Loop 2: Station 9
Aquatic and wetland plants
LCNP’s wetlands are an important ecosystem providing many functions critical to wildlife but also doing important work for our benefit. This environment provides all of the essential elements of habitat for a wide variety of creatures.
These wetlands also provide an important buffer to flooding, and function like a sponge, slowing the movement of floodwaters. The slow flow through this wetland system enables the vegetation to remove sediment, nutrients, and toxins, measurably purifying the waters that flow through.
The plants here have unique adaptations that give them the ability to thrive in waterlogged conditions. The multiple trunks of black willow, the stiff upright stem of cattails and the waxy leaves of the lilies, water primrose and spatterdock allow these plants to thrive in these shallow lake edges. In the spring and summer this vegetative community displays a rainbow of colorful flowers.
Do wetland plants produce more oxygen than upland plants?
Wetland ecosystems have “primary productivity” much higher than upland ecosystems. This means they produce more biomass per unit area over time, and they take in more carbon dioxide and emit more oxygen through the respiration of those plants.
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