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Chairman: Dr. Krishna M.B.

Rapporteur: Ajay Narendra

Macrophytes of Muriyad Wetlands: Ecological Role in Relation 
to Rice Cultivation and Fishing

Sanil Kumar M.G. and John Thomas K.


Macrophytes - plants observable by naked eyes are an important component of aquatic ecosystems.  The changes in the community composition or alterations in the abundance of individual species provide valuable information on the causes and direction of ecosystem transformation.  

We studied the aquatic macrophytes of Muriyad wetlands to assess the ecological effects and role of macrophytes in relation to rice cultivation and fishing. Muriyad wetland is seasonal freshwater floodplain wetland of 63 km2.  The whole area is inundated by water for about six months.  

Ipomoea carnea, Salvinia sp., and Limnocharis flava are some of the major weeds seen in this wetland. Ipomoea carnea is a plant with high regenerative capacity and is very difficult to eradicate the weed by physical methods. Salvinia sp. and Cyperus cephalotes together form heavy floating mats in the wetlands. Considerable amount of labour is needed to remove these weeds manually. A few years back Limnocharis flava was found only in some abandoned paddy fields but now it has spread into larger areas.  Removal of the weed by hand pulling method is not effective since only petioles will get detached, allowing it to regenerate later.  Nymphaea, sp., Nelumbo sp. and Ipomoea aquatica are some other major weeds seen in this wetland.

Address: Dept. of Zoology, Christ College Irinjalakkuda, Kerala, India
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