In Cuba, freshwater habitats are inside of most environmentally degraded ecosystems and their values are little known by Cuban people. However, at this habitats inhabitant aquatic plants, which are been used with agricultural and therapeutic objectives in many parts of World. Some of these plants are Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms (water hyacinth) and Eichhornia azurea (Swartz) Kunth. These two species of aquatic plants (considered as invaders) are present at La Turbina lagoon (highly polluted artificial lagoon at municipality of Ciego de Ávila). The excessive and uncontrolled growth of both species is considered as an ecological threat for aquatic ecosystems. Both plant species are valuated as a useful resource, which at present are not used, as they are recollected and deposited at margins of lagoon (against the aesthetical value of site) or are recollected and sent (as waste) to dump site. This final disposal could be affect to groundwater and other freshwater habitats around municipality. Another aquatic plant of great interest to science and present at Ciego de Ávila is Pistia stratiotes (water lettuce). E. crassipes and P. stratiotes are considerate as ones of most important aquatic plants of World. E. crassipes, P. stratiotes and E. azurea has high levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. For this reason, these species could be used as mulch in urban agriculture. These aquatic plants have other chemical compounds, which could be used as bio-stimulants, antimicrobials, antiparasitics and/or antioxidants. These uses are important in the context of decrease of Cuban importations of fertilizers, for example. At Ciego de Ávila municipality, the ecology and uses of aquatic plants had been poorly studied, and for this reason, it is their possibilities to be used as an important economic component of local agriculture. Our project is going to the composition, abundance and structure of local communities of aquatic and marsh plants of region and to propose some alternatives for their use and management.
To propose alternatives for use and management of aquatic plants in Ciego de Ávila municipality.