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Aquatic Plants


Yellow-flowered bladderwort, Utricularia vulgaris.
Yellow-flowered bladderwort,
Utricularia vulgaris
.


Spotlight on Plant Life
Bullets.
Bullets.
Bullets.

 

More than 50 Species Provide Food and Shelter

Aquatic plants play an important role within a river's ecosystem. They oxygenate the water and provide food and shelter for all kinds of animals, including aquatic insects, fish and mammals such as muskrats.

  
Fragrant white water lily, Nymphaea odorata.
Fragrant white water lily, Nymphaea odorata.

During the Rideau River Biodiversity Project, 51 species of aquatic plants were found in the River. According to scientist Lynn Gillespie, this means the River has moderate aquatic plant diversity.

The most common aquatic plants were tape grass, common waterweed and coontail. Water star-grass grass is also frequently seen.

A person sampling aquatic plants.
A person sampling aquatic plants.

Aquatic plant diversity was highest in rural areas, with a peak between Kars and Kilmarnock. Diversity was lowest at downstream sites between Mooneys Bay and Manotick.


   Knotted pondweed, Potamogeton nodosus.
Knotted pondweed, Potamogeton nodosus.

Aquatic plants grew best in those places where the river bottom sloped very gradually from shore. Species diversity was typically higher wherever the water's rate of flow was slower.



Yellow pond lily, Nuphar variegata. Don't overlook
our photo gallery!

 

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 Aquatic Plants  
Bullet. 
Bullet. 
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
 Don't Overlook...  
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
Arrow.  


Watch this video!
Diver.
Ready to study aquatic plants!
(1.06 Mb, QuickTime)


European frogbit, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae.
Equipped with leaves that are similar to those of water lilies, but smaller, European frogbit, (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) is an exotic plant that has become established in the Rideau River. Not as well-adapted to flowing water as Eurasian water milfoil, it was found in 20% of the sampling sites, and seldom in abundance.


A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
  
 Images: Ruben Boles, Lynn Gillespie, Judy Redpath