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A macrophyte is an aquatic plant that grows in or near water and is either emergent, submergent, or floating. In lakes and rivers macrophytes provide cover for fish and substrate for aquatic invertebrates, produce oxygen, and act as food for some fish and wildlife.
As watershed health indicators
A decline in a macrophyte community may indicate water quality problems and changes in the ecological status of the water body. Such problems may be the result of excessive turbidity, herbicides, or salinization. Conversely, overly high nutrient levels may create an overabundance of macrophytes, which may in turn interfere with lake processing.
Macrophyte levels are easy to sample, do not require laboratory analysis, and are easily used for calculating simple abundance metrics.
- "Macrophytes as Indicators of freshwater marshes in Florida" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-04-05.
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