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Bioresour Technol. 2010 Mar;101(6):1686-92. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2009.10.001. Epub 2009 Oct 27.

Effects of plant diversity on nutrient retention and enzyme activities in a full-scale constructed wetland.

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  • 1School of Life Sciences, Taizhou University, Linhai 317000, PR China.


This study focused on the relationship between plant diversity (six species richness levels) and nutrient retention and enzyme activities associated with carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in a full-scale constructed wetland (CW) fed with post-treatment domestic wastewater. Effects of plant species richness on nutrient retention and enzyme activities were assessed using soil chemical and zymological methods, respectively. Retention of NH(4)-N and NO(3)-N in the wetland substrate increased with increasing species richness, while phosphorus retention significantly decreased under the richness level of 16 species per plot. Activities of enzymes such as dehydrogenase, beta-glucosidase, invertase, phenol oxidase, L-arsparaginase, protease and nitrate reductase, while they were affected by plant species richness, were strongly depended on the presence or absence of plants in CW substrate, while activities of enzymes such as CM-cellulase, urease and acid phosphatase were strongly depended on plant species richness. We conclude that plant species richness influenced nutrient retention and enzyme activities in the substrate in our subtropical CW; increase plant species richness in CW will likely improve the efficiency of wastewater treatment.

Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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