Hydrophytes: Classification and Adaptations
(Morphological, Anatomical and Physiological Adaptations of Aquatic Plants)
What is an adaptation?
Ø “Any feature of an organism which enables it to exist under conditions of its habitat is called adaptation”.
Ø Adaptations are for withstanding adverse conditions of environment and to utilize the maximum benefit of the environment (nutrition or conditions).
Ø Adaptations in plants may be in:
1. Morphological features
2. Anatomical features
3. Physiological characters
4. Reproductive characters
Classification of plants based on water relation (Warming, 1990)
(1). Hydrophytes: plants growing in or near water.
(2). Xerophytes: plants adapted to survive under very poor availability of water.
(3). Mesophytes: plants growing in an environment which is neither very dry nor very wet.
What are hydrophytes?
Ø Hydrophytes (aquatic plants, water plants) are plants growing in or near water.
Ø These plants are adapted to survive in excess of water in their surroundings.
Ø Greek: Hudor = water; Phyton = plant: water plant
Ø Examples: Utricularia, Vallisneria, Hydrilla, Chara, Ceratophyllum, Trapa
Ø Aquatic plants are the producers of the aquatic ecosystem.
Ø They fix sunlight and ensures the survival of an aquatic ecosystem.
Ø Even though plants originated in water, except algae, most of the aquatic plants are evolved from their mesophytic relatives.