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Seasonal and interspecific nutrient mitigation comparisons of three emergent aquatic macrophytes

Moore, Matthew T., Kröger, Robert, Locke, Martin A., Tyler, Heather L., Cooper, Charles M.
Bioremediation Journal 2013 v.17 no.3 pp. 148
Sagittaria latifolia, Typha latifolia, ammonium nitrogen, drainage channels, inorganic phosphorus, leaching, macrophytes, microbial activity, nitrates, phosphates, planting, seasonal variation, summer, watersheds, wetland plants, winter, Mississippi River
The purpose of this experiment was to measure both summer and winter nutrient mitigation efficiencies of three aquatic plants found in agricultural drainage ditches in the lower Mississippi River Basin. Mesocosms (1.25 x 0.6 x 0.8 m) were filled with sediment and planted with monocultures of one of three obligate wetland plant species Typha latifolia, Thalia dealbata, and Sagittaria latifolia, or left non-vegetated to serve as controls. Mesocosms were amended with nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate over a 4 h hydraulic retention time, followed by an 8 h flushing with non-amended water to assess residual nutrient leaching in both summer and winter exposures. Significant interactions between vegetation type and season were noted for both nitrate and total inorganic phosphorus concentrations and loads. Future research will focus on altering hydraulic retention time for improved efficiency, as well as the specific contribution of microbial activity to nutrient mitigation.