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Re: [APD] RE: Aquatic vs Aquarium Plants

Good Point Steve,
Trying to put one definition to the term "aquatic plant" is like putting a
single term to the word "Weed".

"A weed is any plant going out of place."

This term is so broad and can be tagged to just about anything.
An aquatic plant is termed with a loose definition too. What plants can live
in a completely submerged realm? Aspidistra or parlor plant (also called
Iron plant) is not an aquatic at all, it doesn't even grow near water much
less found underwater but it's such a hardy plant that it can live
submerged. it can also live without water, in fact it can fit into just
about any environment except cold weather.
So is a terrestrial plant defined as a plant that can't live submerged for
it's normal lifespan? Or is an aquatic plant defined as a plant that cannot
live terrestrially? Boy that's tough, since many plants fall into a category
of "Semi-aquatic" or "Semi-Terrestrial" ??
Not attempting to start a debate, just questioning a term and not in a "I
know it all" slang  as the person who knows it all usually doesn't.IMHO.I
would like to hear your view on this subject.
Mark J. Bethke
Mark & Peta, Max & Sam Bethke
mbethke at socal_rr.com
8450 Canby Ave.
91325 3704
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Pushak" <teban at powersonic_bc.ca>
To: <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Monday, April 12, 2004 11:37 PM
Subject: [APD] RE: Aquatic vs Aquarium Plants

> Stephan Mifsud wrote:
> > Steve Pushak  said: 'The "definition" of aquatic plant is
> > made entirely
> > based upon arbitrary
> > classification for some other purpose; there is no hard biological
> > distinction.'
> >
> > This is something which bothers me. I think we are constantly
> > using the term
> > 'aquatic-plants' instead of 'aquarium-plants'. There ARE
> > distinct biological
> > characteristics that are only found in aquatic plants. A truly
> > aquatic plant
> > grows in water, in Nature, and the aquatic habitat is
> > essential for it to
> > complete its life cycle.
> I think you are talking about an obligate aquatic plant; one that cannot
> live above the water surface. IMHO virtually everybody uses the term
> "aquatic plant" for plants other than obligate aquatic plants.
> The vast majority of our aquarium plants can grow with leaves with
> leaves above OR below the water surface. For these adaptable plants,
> there is no hard distinction between those which can or cannot live
> below the water surface. Instead I suggest that we need to define plants
> which are "suitable for aquarium plants" and there is certainly room for
> difference of opinions. Some plants are more suitable than others, often
> simply because they have attractive or unique forms! This is getting a
> bit repetitious.
> I hope I've clarified what I'm trying to say. Its a little difficult to
> explain. If its still confusing, oh well, I give up. It's a relatively
> minor point isn't it? Sort of like the rubber band vs. fishing line war?
> I can see good points for using either. :-)
> Is Spathiphyllum a suitable aquatic plant? I don't think we'll get a
> solid consensus. Another way to put it: its an aquatic plant if you want
> it to be. Can you live with that statement? :-)
> The majority of terrestrial plants simply cannot exist under water for
> any length of time. There's a grey area of plants that can be forced to
> grow underwater if you supply "adequate" conditions. Since adequate is a
> defined circularly, there's no way of quantifying a definite demarcation
> point.
> Steve P
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