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Macrophytes as Biomonitors of Trace Metals

Water Quality Control

  1. Shimshon Balanson,
  2. Tarun K. Mal

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.wq1513

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Balanson, S. and Mal, T. K. 2005. Macrophytes as Biomonitors of Trace Metals. Water Encyclopedia. 2:64–68.

Author Information

  1. Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Aquatic macrophytes are macroscopic aquatic plants that play an important role in the health of aquatic ecosystems. Not only do macrophytes provide vital structural support in aquatic ecosystems (1), but they also contribute toward food production, nutrient regeneration, and habitat for a wide range of organisms. Because of their roles in aquatic ecosystem health, aquatic macrophytes can be utilized as indicators of stream health (2). In fact, aquatic macrophytes may be indicative of a variety of ecosystem stressors including nutrient runoff, changes in hydrologic regime, and exotic species invasion (3, 4). Therefore, species richness of aquatic macrophytes, their composition, and density have all been incorporated into different macrophyte indicators (5, 6). As such, bioindicators estimate the pollutants affecting the biota in an ecosystem and are purely qualitative in nature.


  • aquatic macrophytes;
  • macroscopic aquatic plants;
  • bioindicators;
  • biomonitors;
  • trace metals