Improving reservoir water quality with aquatic plants: Benefits and challenges

Darren YEO  April 20, 2020

NUS ecologists have revealed some of the capabilities of aquatic plants to enhance the water quality of our reservoirs.

Aquatic plants (known as macrophytes) perform vital roles in freshwater ecosystems, including providing habitats for wildlife, removing or reducing nutrients, and stabilising the substrata. Macrophytes also help to maintain clear-water conditions in lakes and reservoirs, due to their ability to compete with and inhibit phytoplankton (i.e., microscopic algae), which would otherwise cause the water to appear green and murky. Good water clarity in turn boosts macrophyte growth, in a positive cycle that further stabilises the low-phytoplankton abundance, clear water state.