The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of water masses on the surface temperature with direct impact on the surrounding area. Three systems were used for the study: a fully vegetated system (subsurface flow constructed wetland (CW)), a lake with no vegetation and a lake partially vegetated with Lemna minor. Infrared thermography was applied for the different systems analysis, allowing the determination of the surface temperature spatial distribution. In general, the presence of plants and water in the analyzed systems contributed to lowering the surface temperatures when comparing to its surroundings. Differences up to about 22 °C were observed in the temperature between the CW canopy and the surrounding soil, and up to about 19 °C between the lake and the surrounding border. Different plant species (Canna flaccida, Canna indica and Zantedeschia aethiopica) inhabiting the CW were also compared and slightly higher average surface temperatures were observed for C. indica. The above mentioned results are relevant in terms of supporting a strategy for water systems inclusion, for example a lake or a CW, in a site as means of having influence in the surface temperature and to some extent in the heat island effect supporting a sustainable environmental management.

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