eMonocot Cyperaceae

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Seasonal effects of 19 plant species on COD removal in subsurface treatment wetland microcosms

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Taylor, C. R., Hook, P. B., Stein, O. R., Zabinksi C. A.
Journal:Ecological Engineering
Keywords:chemical oxygen demand, constructed wetland, constructed wetlands, microbial, model, organic-carbon, oxygen loss, performance, root zone, roots, sulfate, system, TEMPERATURE, TOLERANCE, waste-water treatment

{Plants have many well-documented influences in treatment wetlands, but differences in individual species effects on year-round and seasonal performance are poorly understood. In this study, we evaluated plant effects on seasonal patterns of organic carbon removal (measured as COD) and sulfate concentration (used as an indicator of rootzone oxidation) in replicated, batch-loaded, greenhouse microcosms simulating subsurface treatment wetlands. Microcosms were planted with monocultures of 19 plant species or left unplanted as controls, dosed every 20 days with synthetic secondary wastewater, and operated over 20 months at temperatures from 4 to 24 degrees C. Study-long COD removal averaged 70% for controls and 70-97% for individual species. Most species enhanced COD removal significantly and the benefits of plants were greatest at 4-8 degrees C because COD removal decreased at low temperatures in controls but displayed limited seasonal variation in planted microcosms. Removal was significantly better at 24 degrees C than 4 degrees C with two species (Panicum virgatum and Leymus cinereus), significantly poorer with two species (Carex utriculata and Phalaris arundinacea), and did not differ with 15 species. Only one species showed a significant positive correlation between temperature and COD removal (Iris missouriensis

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