Definition - What does Aquatic Plants mean?
Aquatic plants, or aquatic crops, refers to plants and flowers that grow and thrive in an aquatic environment, whether freshwater or saltwater. Also known as macrophytes, these plants mostly grow in water-saturated soil. As a result, these plants are quite common in wetlands. Various factors contribute to the distribution and growth of aquatic plants, namely water depth, salinity, grazing, waves, and nutrients.
Aquatic plants are easy to grow in modified hydroponic systems and provide both great indoor displays and exotic food crops to tempt the taste buds. Examples include watercress, Chinese water chestnuts, lotus root, rice, and water spinach (kangkong).
MaximumYield explains Aquatic Plants
Vascular aquatic plants originate from a variety of plant families including angiosperms, such as dicots and monocots, as well as ferns. Fewer plants can survive in salt, saline, and brackish water. These include plants that fall under the Zostera and Thalassia categories.
As far as propagation and reproduction is concerned, aquatic plants mainly reproduce by seeding and flowering. Some plants have also been shown to display asexual reproduction related to fragments, turions, and rhizomes.
Duckweeds are often referred to as the smallest type of aquatic plants while the Amazon water lily is the largest. Small marine animals often use aquatic plants for shelter.
In aquaponics, it is a misconception that only aquatic plants or crops are suitable to grow. In fact, an aquaponics system supports a wide range of traditional crops because the plants are elevated out of the water much more so than aquatic crops would be.