A Review of significances and roles of aquatic macrophytes
Macrophytes are large aquatic plants belonging to taxonomically diverse groups. They are adapted morphologically, anatomically and physiologically to grow in aquatic habitats of fresh water, brackish water or sea water. This review is based on the rigorous study of literature and papers based on work done on wetlands and macrophytes. Surveys show that macrophytes form an important component in the structure and functioning of an aquatic ecosystem. They play a vital role in the sustenance of life by providing habitat, food, fodder, fiber, green manure, medicines and other useful products. They act as a bioindicator, influence water quality, perform nutrient cycling and reduce shore erosion. The work concluded that knowledge of floral diversity in any aquatic habitat is essential as each and every plant has its role in food chain and they must be documented and conserved before they become extinct without being acknowledged. Researches must be undertaken to scientifically study and extract the important constituents from unknown flora by identifying them with the help of indigenous people so that it can be further flourished for the welfare of mankind. The aim of this paper is to review the diverse roles of macrophytes and to focus on the conservation of aquatic resources and the biodiversity within them, as they not only provide various ecosystem services but are important for the livelihood and ecological balance.