Azolla the floating fern – a Nitrogen fixer through a symbiotic relationship.

In August the bloom of Azolla has started to increase. I added Azolla to the pond several years ago and have in the past had to skim it off as it covers the complete surface in late summer. It does provide good compost material  with high Carbon and Nitrogen content.  It normally cannot live in Northern climates but somehow has survived well here in the pond.2015-08-06azolla2s

There is a theory called the “Azolla event ” where it is believed that Azolla in the tropical Arctic 39 million years ago fixed so much Carbon that it reversed global warming. Reference .

A good reference can be found at the Azolla Foundation

“Azolla is a unique plant that can help reduce man-made climate change and provide biofertilizer, livestock feed, food and renewable energy anywhere in the world.

The Azolla Foundation was set  up by Azolla Biosystems Ltd founders Alexandra and Jonathan Bujak to provide a platform for sharing information about Azolla and its contribution to new technologies such as space exploration and planetary colonization.”

Also, the Nitrogen Fixation is the result of a sysmbiotic relationship between azolla and a cyanobacteria. This reference shows the formula for the process:

Azolla ssp and the large green leaves are Lemna, Duckweed

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Salviniales
Family: Salviniaceae
Genus: Azolla
Type species
A. filiculoides