In nature aquatic and amphibious plants live in various types of still and moving waters. They are found in or on the banks of rivers, streams, backwaters, ponds, lakes, marshes, and swamps, as well as in man-made irrigation ditches or canals. In some areas of the world these plants are to be found on worked land where marsh culture products such as rice are grown and where various kinds of aquatic and marsh plants occur as weeds.
Every type of natural water is characterized by certain peculiarities which influence to a greater or lesser degree the plant communities existing there. The qualities of these waters and the conditions which they provide for water plants are partly variable, partly invariable. To the constant qualities belong the composition of the substrate (the soil on the bottom) and the quality of the water (nutrients, pH, etc.). The other qualities of the medium are subject to greater change as a rule. These variable factors include the depth of the water, its temperature and transparency, and its velocity, among others.
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