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Species interactions in three Lemnaceae species growing along a gradient of zinc pollution
  • Lorena Lanthemann,
  • Sofia van Moorsel
Lorena Lanthemann
University of Zurich

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Sofia van Moorsel
University of Zurich
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Duckweeds (Lemnaceae) are increasingly studied for their potential for phytoremediation of heavy-metal polluted water bodies. A prerequisite for metal removal, however, is the tolerance of the organism to the pollutant, e.g., the metal zinc (Zn). Duckweeds have been shown to differ in their tolerances to Zn, however, despite them most commonly co-occurring with other species, there is a lack of research concerning the effect of species interactions on Zn tolerance. Here we tested whether the presence of a second species influenced the growth rate of the three duckweed species Lemna minor, Lemna gibba, and Lemna turionifera. We used four different Zn concentrations in a replicated microcosm experiment under sterile conditions, either growing the species in isolation or in a 2-species mixture. The response to Zn differed between species, but all three species showed a high tolerance to Zn, with low levels of Zn even increasing the growth rates. The growth rates of the individual species were influenced by the identity of the competing species, but this was independent of the Zn concentration. Our results suggest that species interactions should be considered in future research with duckweeds and that several duckweed species have high tolerance to metal pollution, making them candidates for phytoremediation efforts.
13 Dec 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
13 Dec 2021Submission Checks Completed
13 Dec 2021Assigned to Editor
16 Dec 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
22 Jan 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 Jan 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
01 Feb 20221st Revision Received
01 Feb 2022Submission Checks Completed
01 Feb 2022Assigned to Editor
01 Feb 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Feb 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Feb 2022Published in Ecology and Evolution volume 12 issue 2. 10.1002/ece3.8646