Transparency of water depends on the presence of suspended insoluble substances which in turn determine the quantity of light that can penetrate the water surface and make life possible for the plants. Light intensity is especially important in relation to photosynthesis, of course. In waters of high clarity the light penetrates for several meters, as in clear lakes, but in most waters penetration is for only a few meters; in very heavily silted dark waters the light penetrates for a meter or less. Transparency of the water determines not only the depth to which plants can successfully grow,
Heteranthera can also be grown successfully outside the water. Photo by G.J.M. Timmerman.
but also some aspects of their coloration. In greater depths or in less translucent waters the plants have a brownish or reddish color mixed with their basic green leaves; in clear waters they are entire-
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