The purpose of the experiment “Growth and Resource Allocation of Water Hyacinth as Affected by Gradually Increasing Nutrient Concentrations” was to determine, whether the regular growth of nutrient concentration stimulates the water hyacinth growth and whether biomass allocation plays an important role in the resource acquisition process.
The groups of water hyacinths were conditioned in nutrient-free well water then placed in aquaria with increasing, high, or low nutrient concentrations. The fully grown plants were harvested, weighed, and subjected to various forms of analysis. The experiment included chemical, growth rate, propagation, and resource allocation analysis, plus statistical evaluation.
As a result of the experiment, the ramet number in the plants from the increasing nutrient concentration group was lowest at first but equaled high concentration plants at the end of 8 weeks. Biomass accumulation followed the same tendency. Below/above ground mass ratio lowered significantly in the group growing on increasing nutrient levels. By the end of the experiment, it almost reached the low-nutrient group level. Allocation of the biomass to the different parts of the plant was unaffected by the treatment. However, allocation of P to different tissues was.
Changes in biomass allocation reflect the response to the unstable environment. The highest ratio of below/above-ground biomass in plants subjected to the changing environment represents the adaptation to maximize nutrient consumption. In lower and fluctuating mediums, the plants also allocated more resources to be stored. In the conditions of this experiment, P resource acted as a limiting factor for the hyacinths.