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A terrestrial plant
is one that grows on land. Other types of plants are aquatic
An aquatic ecosystem is an ecosystem in a body of water. Communities of organisms that are dependent on each other and on their environment live in aquatic ecosystems. The two main types of aquatic ecosystems are marine ecosystems and freshwater ecosystems....
(living in water), epiphytic (living on trees, but not parasitic), lithophytes (living in or on rocks) and aerial (can live hanging on air).
Numerous species of terrestrial plants are sold in the aquarium industry as aquatic plants. The distinction between an aquatic plant and a terrestrial plant is often blurred because of the tendency for many aquatic species to have both submersed and emersed forms and because many terrestrial plants are able to tolerate periodic submersion. There are relatively few obligate submersed aquatic plants, (i.e. species that cannot tolerate emersion for even relatively short periods) but some examples include members of Hydrocharitaceae and Cabombaceae, Ceratophyllum, and Aldrovanda and the macroalgae (e.g. Chara and Nitella). Most aquatic plants can, or prefer to, grow in the emersed form, and most only flower in that form. Many terrestrial plants can tolerate extended periods of inundation, and this is often part of the natural habitat of the plant where flooding is common. These plants (termed helophytes) tolerate extended periods of waterlogging around the roots and even complete submersion under flood waters. Growth rates of helophytes decrease significantly during these periods of complete submersion and if water levels do not recede the plant will ultimately decline and perish. Such helophytes are commonly sold in the aquarium trade because of their tolerance for total submersion, and durability because of their original cultivation as a terrestrial plant. If these plants do live for extended periods in aquaria, it is due to intense lighting and unlimited nutrients. Usually these plants can be transferred to a pot or terrarium and will quickly resume growing at a rapid rate. Such plants are more appropriately grown as potted plants, in terrariums, or as marginal pond plants. Many terrestrial plants are not even helophytes but rainforest species that tolerate periodic inundation. Examples of these types of plants include Syngonium, Philodendron, Adiantum, Aglaodorum, Aglaonema, Cordyline, Ophiopogon and Physostegia. These and other examples of terrestrial plants that are commonly sold as aquarium plants are given below.