Submerged plants are those that are submerged in water.

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Plants submerged in water are called hydrophytes.They are the most adapted to life in water.There is little or no mechanical strength in the stems and leaf petioles.The plants hang limply if they are removed from the water.They have no need for mechanical strength because they are supported by water.This would be a disadvantage as it would limit flexibility in the event of a change in water level.

Submerged plants don’t have the protective tissues that land plants do.The outer layer of the skin shows very little.The surface cells seem to be able to absorb dissolved gases from the surrounding water.If not absent, the internal system of tubes which normally transports water from the roots to all parts of the plant is often greatly reduced.Even if the cut stems are placed in water, the plants will quickly die if they are removed from the water.The normal water transport system is not developed well.There are no breathing pores on the leaves.

The main function of the roots is anchorage and they are often reduced.The root hairs which function in absorption are often absent.Bladderwort is a plant.

Many species have special leaf shapes.The leaves are often divided.This allows for a large surface area for absorption and photosynthesis.Potential damage to the leaves is mitigated by it.Depending on where the plant is, leaves of different shapes are common.Great problems for identification can be created by this.The submerged leaves are different to the floating leaves on the plant.The leaves of the Emergent are usually less divided and have a similar internal structure to land plants.

The leaves and stems of aquatic plants are filled with air.The aquatic fly and beetle are able to take advantage of a novel adaptation.A sharp appendage on the end of their abdomen is used to pierce into submerged plants, giving them access to the internal air-filled cavities as their own personal oxygen source.

There are two types of floating plants.The water lilies are not in the water, but on the surface.Duckweed.The weather and water movement make floating leaves tough.

The upper surface of the leaves is the only area that is well lit.The upper surface of the leaf is where gas exchange takes place.A thick waxy cuticle on the upper surface helps to keep the stomata open and clear.There are often air-filled internal cavities.

To rise above all the other plants and get the lion’s share of the light available, trees have to develop an enormous quantity of structural material.Water lilies are an example of a plant that can do exactly the same thing, but with less structural material.Weak stems produce a massive floating canopy of leaves which dominate the local aquatic plant community just as effectively as trees do in a woodland.The difference is in their medium.Air does not provide all the support that water does.