Why Do We Need Water Plants?

Aquatic plants are extremely beneficial as far as the health of your pond or aquarium is concerned. They are also an undervalued part of the freshwater eco-systems. There are many people who do not like these plants in their fishing holes but little do they know that the aquatic plants play a very important role in a water body. A few of its advantages have been listed below.

Habitat: Aquatic plants provide space for small aquatic, crustaceans and snails to live in. These insects are in turn eaten by fish and waterfowl. Therefore it enables the food-chain to keep going.

Food: The aquatic plants are food for many animals and birds like ducks and geese. They usually feed on the seeds and tubers of plants. In the past, even humans have made use of these aquatic plants as food. Edible roots, shoots and even pollen have been utilised for the making of biscuits. Native Americans have a delicacy called “duck-potatoes” which are the edible tubers of Arrowheads.

The roots as well as the shoots of the aquatic plants can sometimes be of medicinal value and can sometimes be used for salads and garnishes.

Cover: Amphibians and young fish use the aquatic plants to hide from the predator fishes. They provide them enough foliage to keep themselves under cover so that they do not become feed for the larger fish. These plants are ideal for baby fish nurseries because apart from providing them with a protective cover, they also are a source of food for them.

Nutrient Cycling: Water plants have a vital part to play in the complex chemical cycling in a water body. They influence the oxygen content in the water. They have recently been in the news for their ability to soak up pollutants from water that is highly contaminated. They utilize the nutrients for the improvement of water clarity. Scientists are trying to develop ways and means through which they can be used as indicators of water quality.

Control of Erosion: Emergent plants protect the shorelines from erosion. They also help to stabilize the sediment which can increase the clarity of the water.

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