The Importance Of Aquatic Macrophytes In The Aquatic Environment
They serve as primary produces of oxygen through photosynthesis and provide a substrate for algae and shelter for many invertebrates. Macrophytes plays vital part of the chemical cycling in aquatic environment aquatic macrophytes are the corner stones of an aquatic environment and have the physiological ability of removing mineral nutrients and heavy metals (Uka et al 2009a). The study of aquatic macrophytes is an essential component of understanding a water body due to its important ecological role and its ability to characterize the water quality (Ghazan et al 2006). Aquatic macrophytes are important because they play prominent role in nutrient and heavy metal recycling of many aquatic ecosystem (Pip and Stepaniuk 1992). Heavy metals and other contaminates can be removed by microorganisms. It has been demonstrated that aquatic macrophytes such as Eichornia crassipes, Lemna spp. Salvinia spp, Typha spp and Azolla spp. has been utilized as a means of reducing nutrients levels of polluted water (Oki and Une, …show more content…
Non –native species may also develop large uncontrollable population when intentionally or accidentally introduced into areas where they have no natural enemies to check their growth. Most problems with aquatic macrophytes arise when growth becomes too dense. In addition, certain non – native plant species are extremely aggressive (invasive) and can take over large areas of aquatic habitat.
The floating mat of vegetation of macrophytes covers available sunlight from the water surface. The direct effect of this is low production in natural fish food (Phytoplankton – Zooplankton species) thus resulting in overall low fish productivity. The bloom of macrophyte vegetation result also in massive fish kills due to high oxygen demand and competition for available nutrients. These invasive aquatic macrophytes affect biodiversity as well as water quality (Uka et al 2009b).Submerged species can also spoil the gravel spawning beds of some fish (Salmonids in particular) and high densities of photosynthesizing macrophytes are capable of causing large fluctuations in oxygen, this can stress many fish species. Similarly, fish mortality may ensue when photosynthesis does not exceed respiration (under prolong hot and cloudy condition) thus resulting in oxygen