The use of Salvinia auriculata as a bioindicator in aquatic ecosystems: biomass and structure dependent on the cadmium concentration.
This study shows, in a multiple-level approach, the responses of Salvinia auriculata to Cd pollution in aquatic ecosystems. S. auriculata ramets were cultivated in nutrient solution and subjected to five treatments with Cd for ten days. At the end of the experiment, the number of new ramets and the dry biomass were determined. For ultrastructural observations, the leaves of S. auriculata were analyzed using a scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscope. At the end of the experiment, the plants exposed to Cd showed damage in the leaves including necrosis and chlorosis, stomate deformations and damaged trichomes. We observed a decrease in the number of new ramets and dry biomass of S. auriculata following the increase in Cd concentration in the solution. At the ultrastructural level, leaves exposed to Cd presented chloroplast deformations and deterioration in the cell wall. All the symptoms of toxicity were directly proportionate to the concentration of Cd in the solution. The results suggests that S. auriculata shows good potential for use as a bioindicator and it can be used in the biomonitoring of aquatic ecosystems contaminated by Cd.