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© Lionel Wibail, CRNFB
© Wouter Van Landuyt
© Wouter Van Landuyt
Lemna minuta - Minute duckweed

Synonym: Lemna minuscula
French name:  Lentille d'eau minuscule
Dutch name: Dwergkroos
Family: Lemnaceae
Group: Vascular plants
Origin: North America
Habitat: freshwater
Introduction:  aquariums and ponds
ISEIA Score : 10
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 1983
Invasion stage: spread
Spatial distribution: widespread
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: high
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: Lemna minor settles in shallow standing or slow flowing waters, often in shaded conditions. As for native Lemna species, it is found in meso- to eutrophic environments and is strongly resistant to pollution.
Distribution in Belgium
Established populations
absent from district
isolated populations (1-5 localities per district)
widespread (>5 localities per district)
Endangered areas
low risk
medium risk
high risk

Endangered Natura 2000 habitats ():
freshwater habitats: 313031503260
Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: low
Competition: medium
Disease transmission: low
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: likely
Physical alteration: medium
Natural successions: low
Food web alteration: low
More on impacts: Outbreaks of Lemna minuta make dense floating mats at the water surface, that reduce light penetration and gas exchanges, causing the predominance of respiratory activities and the reduction in dissolved oxygen in water beneath the mats. As for native duckweed species, outbreaks are usually limited in time and space and are favoured by increased levels of water eutrophication that often cause the disappearance of submersed macrophytes. Competition with native macrophytes is poorly documented but seems to be less severe than with other invasive aquatic plants. Waterfowl and Cyprinid fish are known to eat duckweeds to supplement their diet and may help to reduce outbreaks.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Stiers Iris, Triest Ludwig, Vanderhoeven Sonia, Van Landuyt Wouter, Van Rossum Fabienne, Verloove Filip
Published on:  22 November 2007
Last update:  21 December 2010
Armstrong, W.P. (2007)
Wayne's Word Lemnaceae.
On-line fact sheet at: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/1wayindx.htm.
Centre for Aquatic Plant Management (2004)
Information sheet: Lemna species.
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Denys, L., Packet, J. & Van Landuyt, W. (2004)
Neofyten in het Vlaamse water : signalement van vaste waarden en rijzende sterren.
Natuur.focus 3(4): 120128.
Janes R., Eaton J.W. & Hardwick K. (1996)
The effects of floating mats of Azolla filiculoides Lam. and Lemna minuta Kunth on the growth of submerged macrophytes.
Hydrobiologia 340: 23-26.
Lambinon, J., Delvosalle, L. & Duvigneaud, J. (2004)
Nouvelle fore de la Belgique, du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des régions voisines.
Editions du Patrimoine du Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise.
Muller, S. (2004)
Plantes invasives en France : état des connaissances et propositions d'actions.
Publication scientifique du Museum d'Histoire naturelle, Patrimoines naturels n°62.
Thiébaut, G. (2007)
Non-indigenous aquatic and semiaquatic plant species in France.
In: F. Gherardi (Ed.), Biological invaders in inland waters: profiles, distribution and threats, Springer: 209-229.
Toussaint, B. & Bedouet, F. (2005)
Les espèces végétales invasives des milieux aquatiques et humides du bassin Artois-Picardie.
Agence de l'Eau Artois-Picardie, 38 pp.
Van Landuyt, W., Hoste, I., Vanhecke, L., Van den Bremt, P. Vercruysse, W. & De Beer, D. (2006)
Atlas van de Flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest.
Nationale Plantentuin en het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek i.s.m. Flo.Wer vzw.
Verloove, F. (2006)
Catalogue of the Neophytes in Belgium (1800-2005).
Scripta Botanica Belgica 39, 89 pp.

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