Plants of estuary, Biology

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Plants of Estuary

The plants of the estuary are of four basic types:

  1. Phytoplankton,
  2. Marginal marsh vegetation,
  3. Mud-flat algae and
  4. Epiphytic plants growing on the marginal marsh vegetation.

Because of the turbidity in water, phytoplankton is normally uncommon. However: great blooms of certain algae are well known which include Spartina and Salicornia. Most of the estuarine algae are of marine origin common genera include Ulva, Enteromorpha, Chaetomorpha and Cladophora. These are often seasonally abundant, disappearing during certain seasons. The obvious estuarine plants are the marginal and marsh vegetation. These include mangroves and marsh grasses and marsh submerged filamentous colonial green algae. A few animal-feed on them directly but a large proportion is consumed as detritus.

The mud-flats which are uncovered at low tide may be sites of intense photosynthesis by diatoms and filamentous blue-green algae. The brown colour of a mug-flat may be due as much to number of diatoms as to the presence of organic material in the mud.


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