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Plants along a shoreline first of all help prevent erosion of the soil by the waters action along the shoreline. Plants also help in the maintenance of the oxygen-carbon dioxide balance in the atmosphere in that they require carbon dioxide to conduct photosynthesis, then they give off oxygen as a waste product. For plants that live in an aquatic environment, such as lily pads, the oxygen can be dissolved into the water for fish to abosorb via their gills. Plants can also serve as a structural habitat for both fish, amphibians, and reptiles, offering a safe habitat for them in which to live, reproduce, and thrive.
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