Title: Impact of plant assemblages on nutrient removal in constructed wetlands

Authors: Ralph E. Spayd III; Shirley E. Clark; Katherine H. Baker

Addresses: Staff Professional Engineer-In-Training, Herbert, Rowland and Grubic, Inc. 369 East Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17111, USA ' Environmental Engineering, Environmental Engineering Programs, Penn State Harrisburg, 777 W. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057, USA ' Environmental Microbiology, Life Sciences Program, Penn State Harrisburg, 777 W. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057, USA

Abstract: Four different mesocosm scale constructed wetlands - monoculture (Carexstipata), self-designed (passive) community, mixed planted monoculture-passive community and a non-vegetated control - were compared to assess the effects of plant community composition on the removal of inorganic nutrients from agricultural runoff (synthetic tile water). The mixed and self-designed systems consistently produced effluent NO3-N concentrations significantly below 10 mg/L, and had higher rates of evapotranspiration. Results indicate the type and composition of the plant community can impact the performance of constructed wetlands. Therefore, self-design of the plant community through the existing seed bank may increase the effectiveness of wetlands in treating agricultural runoff.

Keywords: agricultural runoff; plants; nitrogen treatment; evapotranspiration; self-design; vegetated treatment systems; nutrient removal; constructed wetlands; inorganic nutrients; plant communities; wastewater treatment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2013.053124

International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 2013 Vol.11 No.3, pp.315 - 322

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 05 Apr 2013 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article