Suitability of macrophytes for nutrient removal from surface flow constructed wetlands receiving secondary treated sewage effluent in Queensland, Australia

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Title Suitability of macrophytes for nutrient removal from surface flow constructed wetlands receiving secondary treated sewage effluent in Queensland, Australia
Author Greenway, Margaret
Journal Name Water Science and Technology
Year Published 2003
Place of publication UK
Publisher IWA Publishing
Abstract From a botanical perspective the major difference between waste stabilisation ponds and wetlands is the dominance of algae or floating plants in the former and emergent plants in the latter. Algae, floating and submerged plants remove nutrients directly from the water column whereas emergent species remove nutrients from the sediment. Water depth is a crucial factor in determining which plant types will become established. Surface flow constructed wetlands offer the greatest potential to grow a wide variety of different types of macrophytes. In assessing the suitability of plant species for nutrient removal, consideration must be given not only to nutrient uptake for growth but also storage of nutrients as plant biomass. A survey of macrophytes in 15 surface flow constructed wetlands treating secondary effluent was conducted in Queensland; 63 native species and 14 introduced species were found. Emergent species have been able to tolerate deeper water than in their natural environment and permanent waterlogging. All species grew well in the higher nutrient enriched wastewater. Submerged, floating leaved-attached and free floating species had the highest tissue nutrient content, followed by aquatic creepers. All these species remove nutrients from the water column. Emergent species had lower nutrient content but a greater biomass and were therefore able to store more nutrients per unit area of wetland. In order to maximise the efficiency of constructed wetlands for nutrient removal, a range of species should be used. Native species should be selected in preference to introduced/exotic species.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.iwaponline.com/wst/default.htm
Alternative URI http://www.iwaponline.com/wst/04802/wst048020121.htm
Volume 48
Issue Number 2
Page from 121
Page to 128
ISSN 0273-1223
Date Accessioned 2004-03-26
Date Available 2009-09-23T02:36:57Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Atmospheric Environment Research Centre
Faculty Faculty of Environmental Sciences
Subject PRE2009-Bio-remediation; PRE2009-Environmental Management and Rehabilitation; PRE2009-Environmental Technologies
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/6088
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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