Morphological adaptations

Morphological adaptations:

A. Root system is badly developed.

B. Roots of floating hydrophytes exhibit very poor growth of root hairs, and absence of true root caps, with root pockets to defend their tips from damages. (Example: Eichhornia)

C. Rooted hydrophytes such as Hydrilla, Elodia, Vallisnera, derive their nourishment via their body surfaces. Most of the plants partially based on their roots for the absorption of minerals from the soil. Roots are completely absent in Ceratophyllum, Salvinia, Utricularia, Azolla, and so on.

D. In Jussiaea repens two kinds of roots develop. Some of them are normal, whereas others are negatively geotropic, spongy in nature, floating roots, and keep the plants afloat.

E. In free floating hydrophytes, the stem is short and thick, floating on the surface of water example: Eichhornia.

F. In Nelumbium and Nymphaea the stem is a rhizome. Such rhizomes live for numerous years and generate leaves every year.

1679_Nymphaea root.jpg

 Figure: T.S. of Nymphaea root

G. In rooted plants with floating leaves, the leaves are big, flat and entire, example: Nymphaea, Victoria regia. Their high surface is coated with wax. The wax coating saves the leaves from mechanical and physical damages and too prevents clogging of stomata by water.

H. In floating plants of Eichhornia, Trapa and so on, the petioles become characteristically swollen and turn into spongy, giving buoyancy.

I. Plants like Limnophylla heterophylla, Ranunculus, Salvinia, Sagittaria, Azolla and so on exhibit heterophylly, with submerged dissected leaves offering little resistance alongside the water currents, and absorbing dissolved carbon-dioxide from water. The aerial leaves exhibit typical mesophytic features. This acts as foliage leaf.

J. Pollination (example: Vallisneria) and dispersal of fruits and seeds are completed by the agency of water.

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