Over 40 species of aquatic angiosperms, including submersed, floating and emergent types, have been examined for photosynthetic status as part of a search for possible aquatic C/sub 4/ species. The C/sub 4/ system is viewed as potentially of adaptive value in certain aquatic situations, although evidence for its occurrence there is not conclusive. Emphasis was on plants from North-temperate softwater and hardwater lakes to explore both possibilities of CO/sub 2/ limitation, i.e., low total inorganic carbon in softwater vs. low free CO/sub 2/ in hardwater lakes. On the basis of leaf cross-section anatomy, all plants examined, with one exception, clearly did not show evidence of C/sub 4/ ''Krantz anatomy.'' In the submersed plant Potamogeton praelongus Wulf, large starch-producing chloroplasts were concentrated in cells surrounding vascular bundles and in a narrow band of cells between vascular bundles. The in situ photosynthetic rate of this plant was twice that of a related species, but other evidence including PEP carboxylase content and photorespiratory response to high O/sub 2/ did not confirm the presence of the C/sub 4/ photosynthesis.