We are collecting duckweeds from around the UK for identification and assessment for usability. In 2020 we made expansive collections in North East England and made progressive efforts in the South West and Midlands. We aim to expand our collection to include the weirdest and far wide most hidden duckweeds in all of the UK. That means we need YOUR help. Can you suggest anywhere? if so we'd love to hear about your duckweed covert spots, so contact us!
Duckweeds are one of the fastest growing plants on Earth and they provide a unique agricultural solution because they do not compete with existing crops which require land, which incidently we are running out of and have increasing problems with land quality. . The wide-accessibility of duckweeds worldwide and indeed in the UK because of large population sizes, speed of growth and high nutritional contents as 'water sponges' make them useful for various applications. Duckweed fast growth also makes them a sustainable food option.
PhD research at the University of Nottingham involves collaboration between Life sciences, Plant and crop sciences. The BBSRC and Future food Beacon of Excellence fund this work. The UK collection is required in order to characterise UK native and invasive duckweeds. We are working to understand their success and growth strategies using genome sequencing, growth traits and micronutrient analysis.
To use duckweed as a future food crop. It offers a nutritious alternative to land crops. You can grow around 30 tonnes per hectare per year. Duckweeds contain around 45% protein, species offer diversity in the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients they offer. We are interested in the vitamin and mineral compositions for food applications.
We are looking for volunteers to aid us in our collection effort!
If you have seen duckweeds around you, please report it to us. If you want to be a collector we would love to hear from you.
ALL YOU NEED IS:
ALL YOU NEED IS:
This is a great ecological activity recommended for families with children, to get outdoors and learn about plant biology, plus watching them grow in water on your windowsill is entertaining for children! If you have an artistic flair, you could have a go at drawing the duckweeds and perfecting your botanical drawing skills.