What are Macrophytes?
Macrophytes, also known as aquatic plants, often don’t get enough recognition for the important role they play in our lakes and are often viewed as a weedy nuisance on shorelands. But macrophytes offer countless benefits for lakefront homeowners, wildlife, and overall lake health. They provide critical habitat for fish and aquatic invertebrates, produce oxygen in the water, and provide food for fish and other wildlife. For homeowners, macrophytes prevent erosion on shorelines, as well as reduce runoff from storm events.
The presence of certain macrophyte species can also be an important indicator of the health of your water. Certain species are tolerant of pollution or toxins, while other species are very sensitive to lower-quality water and will not survive. Therefore, when certain macrophytes are present that are sensitive to pollution, we know that the water they are found in or around is high quality. We call species like this “indicator species” because they indicate to us the quality of some aspect of their ecosystem.
About Merry Macrophytes
Merry Macrophytes is an interactive and engaging way to learn about the aquatic plants in your lake. Macrophytes are easily sampled and monitored, making them ideal indicator species to gain a general idea of waterbody health. You’ll learn about species that indicate good water quality as well as tips and tricks for species identification! The program is completely self-guided, so you can take part at your own pace!