Aquatic Plants

Topics: Plant morphology, Aquatic plant, Aquatic plants Pages: 4 (1089 words) Published: February 15, 2008
There are more to aquatic plants than just floating on the surface of water. Aquatic plants are plants that can adapt and live in a freshwater environment. They are sometimes called hydrophytes. These include plants that live in fresh wetlands, swamps, ponds, lakes, and marshes. This type of plant actually serves two important functions. First, they help oxygenate water (2006) and they provide nutrients and food for some fishes (Tappin, 2003). There are many types of aquatic plants including rooted, emergent, submersed and free-floating. From the pretty water lily to the odd and small duckweed, these aquatic plants have adapted to their water-living environment as well as providing many benefits to the ecosystem and even us humans.

When you think of an aquatic plant, do you picture just any plant living in water? There are actually a few general types of aquatic plants. The four groups are emergent, free-floating, rooted floating-leaved and submersed. Emergent plants are rooted in soil and usually grown around the edges of a pond. Most of the leaves and stems are above the water surface. The free-floating plants float on the water or under the surface. An example is a plant called water hyacinth and a small floating plant called duckweed. Floating-leaved aquatic plants can be rooted or just float freely on the surface of the water. They are simply leaves connected by a firm stem or be completely free-floating. A water lily is a common floating-leaved plant Submersed aquatic plants grow deep under the water surface where there is adequate sunlight (Hamel, 2006). These are the different types of aquatic plants. A few trees though can grow in a swamp area such as the common bald cypress and water tupelo. They are found commonly in southern area swamps (2001).

Aquatic plants have special adaptations to their living environment. One adaptation is in submersed plants. They are adapted in being grown deep underwater where sometime sunlight may be limited for the...

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