Influence of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 mg/L Ni2+ on growth, mineral nutrition, chlorophyll, carotenoid, soluble protein, soluble sugar, superoxide (O2*-), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), guaiacolperoxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) were studied in the leaves of Salvinia natans plants on 10 days after treatment. With the increase of the Ni2+ concentrations, exposure of the plants revealed that, (1) the addition of Ni2+ affected the absorption of mineral nutrients, it mainly increased the absorption of Ca2+, Na+, Zn2+, Fe3+ and Mg2+, while reduced that of Mn2+, Mo2+, P and K+. (2) The content of chlorophyll, carotenoid, soluble protein and soluble sugar content as well as activities of SOD and CAT decreased gradually. That of O2*-, H2O2 and MDA content as well as POD activity increased, 383%, 168%, 207%, 131% of these controls, respectively. (3) In the leaves of Ni2+ -treated fronds, the polypeptide with apparent molecular weights 94000, was became visible in SDS-PAGE, and the nature of it remains to be determined. The amount and intensity of polypeptide band increased gradually with augment of Ni2+ was also observed, the polypeptide with apparent molecular weight 35,000 increased significantly in fronds. (4) Transmission electron microscope observation indicated that Ni2+ also imposed injury action on submicroscopic structure of leaf cells, disaggregation of nucleolus, agglutination and disappearance of chromatin of nucleus, disruption of nuclear membrane, swelling of thylakoids and breakage of chloroplast envelope, decreasing of cristae quantity and vacuolization of mitochondria. The conclusion could be reached that the plant death was resulted from destruction under structure foundation of physiological function, unbalance of ion equilibrium and disorder of physiological metabolism.