Aquatic Plants Need Sunlight, Too
Did you know that sunlight helps aquatic plants grow, too? Sunlight is an important element for photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to create energy to grow and live. Sunlight entering the water can be blocked by algal blooms – accumulations of algae that form when there is too much nitrogen and phosphorus in a water body. A layer of green blooms forms on the surface of the water and prevents sunlight from reaching plants under water. Without enough sunlight, aquatic plants – which provide habitat for other fish and wildlife – cannot survive.
Viewer Tip: Extra nitrogen and phosphorus from over-fertilizing or not cleaning up fertilizer spills can be picked up by rain water and transported into streams, lakes and rivers. You can help prevent algal blooms and make sure aquatic plants receive all of the sunlight they need by only using fertilizer when needed and promptly sweeping up any spills.
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(Sources: EPA, “Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)”, http://www.epa.gov/gmpo/habpage.html, USFWS, “Pond Aeration”, http://www.fws.gov/midwest/ashland/mtan_16.html)