ABSTRACT Recently local government and environmental protection authorities in China have turned to the water hyacinth, one of the world’s worst aquatic weeds, to reduce nutrient concentrations in highly eutrophic lake waters, especially in Lake Dian in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province. Although we do not reject using water hyacinth to reduce lake eutrophication, it is not a complete solution. In our view, a more complete solution requires a holistic consideration of watershed or drainage characteristics, and a solid understanding of the limnological features of individual lakes. Before the bio-geochemistry and toxicological effects of water hyacinth be thoroughly understood, applying it widely to lake restoration and overstating its practical value is not only irresponsible but also dangerous.
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