Aquatic Plants can improve water quality.

Macrophytes are vascular plants that live in a freshwater aquatic system, such as wetlands, shallow lakes, and streams. They are aquatic plants visible by naked eye that grow permanently or periodically submerged below, floating on, or growing up through the water surface. Macrophytes can be attached to the grounds or they can be floating unattached. Aquatic plants attached to the bottom often have leaves floating on the water surface while their stems are submerged and their roots anchor the plant in the sediment. Floating unattached plants may have present roots, which hang free in the water as their leaves drift on the surface. Macrophytes also include submersed plants and emergent plants. Submersed plants are distinguished by having their entire body underwater; whereas, emergent plans are characterised by their stems and leaves growing above the water while the roots grow under the surface of the water. Macroscopic flora can be divided into three groups: the aquatic angiosperms (flowering plants), pteridophytes (ferns), and bryophytes (mosses, hornworts, and liverworts).

Aquatic macrophytes are a critical component of the healthy ecosystem. Photosynthesis of these plants is a primary source of oxygen. The aquatic plants serve as a substrate for algae and shelter for various invertebrates. Macrophytes play a significant role in a nutrient cycle, hence they help in stabilizing ecosystem.

Human population can greatly benefit from aquatic macrophytes. The water plants can be used as a biological filtrate of the sewage by removing nutrients and decreasing concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen. Some aquatic plants have an ability to absorb pollutants like phenols. Macrophytes, such as duckweeds which reduce mosquito population, can be also utilised in pest control and fight against specific insect-borne diseases.

Macrophytes presence has its disadvantages as well. The increase of macrophyte biomass decreases the mean water velocity of a creek or river, therefore, raising the water level. In the case of the continuous river discharge, raised water level increases the possibility of overflowing banks and flooding of agricultural land.  Tall emergent macrophytes growing along a shore often limit access to shoreline, which affects fishing and navigation. Aquatic plants are also often blamed for clogging up plumbing fitters and water filters.

Comments are closed.