About this Research Topic
Aquatic plants refer to a diverse group of aquatic photosynthetic organisms large enough to be seem with the naked eye, and the vegetative parts of which actively grow either permanently or periodically (for at least several weeks each year) submerged below, floating on, or growing up through the water surface. These include aquatic vascular plants, aquatic mosses and some larger algae. Aquatic plants are grouped into life forms, each of which relates differently to limiting factors and has distinct ecological functions in aquatic ecosystems. Life form groups include emergent macrophytes (plants that are rooted in sediment or soils that are periodically inundated, with all other structures extending into the air), floating-leaved macrophytes (rooted plants with leaves that float on the water surface), submersed macrophytes (rooted plants growing completely submerged), free submerged macrophytes (which are not rooted but attached to other macrophytes or submerged structures) and free-floating macrophytes (plants that float on the water surface).
Aquatic plants play an important role in the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems by altering water movement regimes, providing shelter and refuge and serving as a food source. In addition, aquatic plants produce large standing crops which can also stabilize sediments, accumulate large amounts of nutrients thus improving water healthy. Thus, because of their ecological role, aquatic plants are an important component of aquatic ecosystems. Aquatic plants are very vulnerable to human activities and global changes, and many species of the plants had become endangered in the past several decades due to habitat loss, flooding, damming, over foraging, biological invasion and eutrophication, which might not be halted but enforced in the future when more extreme weathers coincide with enhanced human activities.
Thus, investigations aiming to understand the drivers of aquatic macrophyte dynamics and the ecological role of these plants at maintaining ecosystems goods and services are key in order to maintain the health of freshwater water bodies. The complex interactions between abiotic factors in freshwater environment and aquatic plant requirement should be focused at present and in the future. In this Research Topic we aim to compile a variety of article types to include original research, perspectives and reviews to cover a broad range of ecology of aquatic plants, and address the advance and gap of knowledge for management of aquatic ecosystems. In particular, we welcome studies on the following subjects:
• Eco-physiological responses of aquatic plants to ecological factors (including physical, chemical and biological factors) with the emphasis on how aquatic plants adapted to environmental conditions in freshwater ecosystem
• Biodiversity, dispersion and geological distribution of aquatic plants
Keywords: Aquatic Plants, Freshwater, Ecological Factors, Adaption, Response
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