Hydrology Term Paper

Critical review of “The concept of a Hydrophyte for Wetland Identification; Individual Plants Adapt well to Wet Environments”


Hydrophytes incorporate plants that thrive well in wetland conditions. According Tiner’s article under consideration, the environment of the plant community is water- dominated. This paper aims at critically discussing the pros and cons of the article in trying clearly to illustrate the concept of hydrophytes and their environment identification. This involves highlighting the achievements made by the article in describing the concept of the hydrophytes, as well as, the failures in it.

Hydrophytes for wetland identification

Hydrophytes have been established as thriving differently in different wetland conditions. This brings out the ecological adaptations of various species of plants in nature. Plants have been categorized as growing in lakes, ponds, rivers, and coastal waters. These are all hydrophytes and are commonly called aquatic plants. Tiner (1999) clearly illustrates how the wetlands are based with regard to hydrophytes; they are termed as hydrophytic vegetation, hydric soil, and wetland hydrology. This is particularly vital and valuable as it recognizes the transitional nature of plant composition with respect to the moisture gradient of the soil. Various species of hydrophytes and their relatively close plants or sub-species are discussed and the incorporation of species associated with wetland environment. The habitations of the hydrophytes have been discussed with regard to recognized varieties. The article well illustrates the concept of hydrophytes and the best environment for individual species with graphic illustrations. This clearly brings out the clear picture to the learners on the types of species under consideration. Further, understanding of the aquatic or hydrophytic plants and the terrestrial species of hydrophytes has been highlighted. Tiner’s work also illustrates various examples of hydrophytes and the exact ecological environment they thrive. This clearly helps in understanding the various ecological concepts with regard to various hydrophytes.

According to Berry and Dennison (1993) FACU species are more characteristic of non wetlands but they also grow in wetlands where they may even be a dominant species. The concept in plant ecology brings out the difficult in establishing what plants to be considered hydrophytes or wetland plants. This does not clearly come out in the paper, and further does not conclusively tackle on the marine plants and how they are adapted to their ecological nature. Levels of plants to be considered and the hydrophytic in the ecology of plant are of much essence, and need to be tackled clearly when it comes to illustrating the species of a plant, and its relevant environment. This is because the ecology of a plant mainly is dependent on the level of plant. This paper dwells so much on federal work of the government; it does not give out the clear ecological nature of hydrophytes, and their morphological adaptations to their environment for the learner to understand. It fails to illustrate clearly on the indicators of the categories of wetland plants to illustrate the concept of hydrophytes well. The indicators include obligate wetland (OBL), Facultative upland (FACU), and obligate upland (UPL), Facultative wetland (FACW), and Facultative (FAC) (Berry and Dennison, 1993). These clearly describe the species that occur in wetlands and non wetlands. The disparity comes in as many cannot comprehend the concept behind hydrophytes and other plants dependent in water based environments like the marine plants.

Lastly, the work by Tiner (1991), can be termed to have contributed in the understanding the concept of hydrophytes in wetland identification. This comes in the context of, when you get to know hydrophytes; you can be able to know the kind of environment that is present.


Berry, J. and Dennison, M. (1993). Wetlands; Guide to Science, Law, and Technology. Noyes    Publications, New Jersey.

Tiner, R., (April, 1991). The concept of a Hydrophytes for Wetland Identification; Individual                   Plants Adapt well to Wet Environments: Bioscience, Vol. 41(4) pp 155-163.






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