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Wetland

Wetland

In this section that hosts two artificial ponds, visitors have the opportunity to see many aquatic and semi-aquatic plants, but also trees and shrubs that characterize the riparian vegetation. Aquatic plants (also called hydrophytes) require special adaptations for living submerged in water or on the water surface, such as: flat leaves and air sacs for floatation, smaller roots, thin cuticle and stomata remaining open most of the time. They can be divided in floating hydrophytes and rooting hydrophytes such Alisma plantago-aquatica (water-plantain), Sparganium erectum (bur-reed), and Nymphaea alba (white water lily). Visitors can also see semi-aquatic plants (helophytes) such as Cyperus longus (galingale) and Schoenoplectus lacustris (common club-rush) and geophytes such as Typha domingensis (Southern cattail), Iris pseudacorus (yellow iris), and rushes (Juncus spp.). In the surrounding area visitors can also see climbing plants and trees such as Hedera helix (common ivy), Nerium oleander (oleander), Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree) and Vitex agnus castus (chaste tree). The wetland ecosystems are biodiversity hotspots, seriously threatened by human activities, therefore a great number of species hosted by them, both animal and vegetal, are classified as endangered or critically endangered.