Water Velvet

By: Samrat Sarkar

Apr 04 2017

Category: Flora

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Focal Length:40mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D7000

I can remember when we used to go to play by the Boisa Beel or to a short cycling in a summer dusk in our childhood days we often got surprised seeing the green water of ponds or the beel had became reddish. We named them magic ferns. Water velvet or mosquitofern is actually a species of fern that can be found in great numbers in our locality. The magic happens when it is harsh sunlight. The green chlorophyll absorbs the ultraviolet rays from the morning sunlight for photosynthesis. But as the day goes on the sunlight becomes harsh which is also a hindrance for a good rate of photosynthesis. So, they develop an unique process- anthocyanin helps the leaves changing its color to some reddish tone so as the rate of photosynthesis should not fall.

The scientific name of this magic fern is Azolla pinnata, one of the most important plant species seen around us. In this image you can see the juxtaposition of paddy and mosquitofern. Actually the leaves of this fern shelter the cyanobacterium Anabaena azollae which fixes nitrozen from the atmosphere for the nutrition of the fern. Sometimes, thus, the farmers let them grow in the paddy field so as there are natural nitrogen-rich fertilizers. Also the fern species is rich in protein and is used profoundly in poultry farm for feeding purpose.

But, perhaps, the most important role played by Azolla pinnata is to cure up the atmosphere from some serious pollutants like as zinc, lead, arsenic, copper etc.

The image is taken in the Boisa Beel when cultivation is already in progress.

Photographer: Arun Acharjee

attribution share-alike creative common license 3.0



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