Aquatic plants are found in lakes, rivers and ponds across the UK and play a vital role in all aquatic ecosystems. They produce oxygen, absorbing nutrients and help to improve water quality, and stabilise lake shores and river banks, thereby protecting them from erosion. Aquatic plants provide food and important reproductive and cover habitats for a variety of wildlife, including wetland birds, fish and invertebrates. They also play an important role in nursery habitat, supporting recreational activities such as fishing and pond dipping.
Our research on aquatic plant ecology and management focuses on developing ecological understanding and useful tools and services for two applied areas of science
1) the monitoring and management of aquatic plants in general and methods for supporting restoration of rare and threatened species and habitats
2) the monitoring and control of invasive non-native aquatic plants ("aquatic weeds") and assessment of their economic and environmental impacts.
Relevant work commpleted include
- Site condition monitoring of Scottish Lochs
- Habitat suitability for the Slender Naiad
- Control of Crassula in the Caledonian Canal
- Floating Weed Manager
Aquatic plant datasheets
A number of the former datasheets on common aquatic and riparian weeds are awaiting revision. Please note that the use of herbicides in Europe is governed by EU Plant Protection Products Directive EU/91/414.
- Please see the NERC Open Research Archive
- Environment Agency guidelines on Aquatic Invasive Species