One of the most effective mitigative approaches to eutrophication is the reduction of nutrient loading into water bodies. Bioremediation presents an economically viable and ecologically sustainable technology to nutrient pollution control taking advantage of the remarkable ability of plants and their associated microbial community to assimilate and remove nutrients from the environment. In this study, four emergent macrophytes (Cyperus haspan, Pandanus amaryllifolius, Pontederia cordata and Thalia geniculata) and two floating plants (Hygroryza aristata and Pistia stratiotes) were deployed in bank-side treatment beds and comparatively assessed for their remediative capabilities for nutrient control. P. stratiotes exhibited the highest removal efficiency for both nitrate and phosphate among the six plant species studied. Emergent macrophytes, P. amaryllifolius, C. haspan and P. cordata, were also found to be highly effective in nutrient uptake exhibiting removal efficiencies up to 100%. With the exception of T. geniculata, depletion of nutrients as a result of plant uptake significantly impeded the natural colonization of algae invariably leading to improvements in water quality in terms of turbidity and pH. Suppression of algae proliferation by T. geniculata was not preceded by a reduction in nutrient concentrations suggesting that T. geniculata may be directly inhibiting algal growth through allelopathy.
Reduction of nutrient contaminants into shallow eutrophic waters through vegetated treatment beds
P. Han, K. Vijayaraghavan, S. Reuben, E. S. Estrada, U. M. Joshi; Reduction of nutrient contaminants into shallow eutrophic waters through vegetated treatment beds. Water Sci Technol 1 September 2013; 68 (6): 1280–1287. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2013.361
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