The aquatic biome is the largest of the five biomes that make up the Earth's biosphere. It is divided into two categories, freshwater and marine or saltwater. The aquatic biome makes up 75 percent of the planet and is the source of all life, according to the University of California's Museum of Paleontology. The biome is home to numerous species of plants and animals.
Pondweed is an aquatic plant that comprises about fifty species of Potamogetonaceae. It can be found in ponds, lakes and slow moving streams across the United States. It produces small flowers that bloom above the surface. Some species of pondweed are cultivated as food for waterfowl and as protective covering for fish in conservation projects.
The large round leaves of the water lily float at the edges of lakes and streams in many parts of the world. Showy, variously-colored flowers rise above the water on stalks. Some bloom only at night. The water lily is one of the most ancient of the flowering plants. Study of its seed may provide an understanding of the link between flowering plants and the even more ancient gymnosperms.
The water chestnut forms thick mats on the surface of fresh water. A rooted floating plant, it has two kinds of leaves, broad ones that float, and feathery submerged leaves. It produces tubelike stems and is cultivated for its edible corms. The corms of the water chestnut plant are underwater rootlike structures that contain extra nutrients to keep the plant alive in cold and dry seasons. The corms of the water chestnut are called by the same name and are prepared in Asian food dishes.
Mosquito ferns are free-floating fernlike plants that grow on the surface of ponds that are hidden from wind. The tiny fern leaves overlap one another and grow together quickly, creating a quilted look. This aquatic plant can become a pest if left not controlled.
Sea lettuce is a bright green type of algae that is ordinarily free-floating in marine waters. Sea lettuce is used as food and as a medication. It is rich in nutrients like folic acid and protein.
Many marine plants are classified as algae. Vascular, or higher, plants evolved to meet the requirements of life on land.
Eelgrass is an aquatic grass plant that produces long green blades. It is often found in shallow waters in coves and estuaries where marine life such as scallops, crabs and small fish may also be found. Eelgrass is a threatened species of marine plant. An estimated 90 percent of the world's eelgrass has disappeared, according to the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
Widgeon grass is a perennial plant that stays completely submerged by water. It produces small, pear-like fruits that grow from its long and wispy branches. It is considered a brackish water plant, meaning it can grow in fresh water and salt water.