Interactive effects of nitrogen and phosphorus loadings on nutrient removal from simulated wastewater using Schoenoplectus validus in wetland microcosms

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    The concentrations of nutrients (N and P) in the wastewater and loading rate to the constructed wetlands may influence the nutrient removal from the secondary-treated municipal wastewater using wetland plants. Three loading rates of N (low 5.7, medium 34.3 and high 103 mg N d(-1)) and two of P (low 3.4 and high 17.1 mg Pd-1) were studied in simulated secondary-treated municipal wastewater using Schoenoplectus validus (Vahl) A. Love & D. Love in the vertical free surface-flow wetland microcosms. After 70-d growth, there were significant interactive effects of N and P on the total, above-ground and root biomass. The below-ground biomass (rhizome and root) was negatively affected by the high N treatment. The tissue concentrations of N increased with an increase in N additions and decreased with an increase in P applications, whereas the tissue concentrations of P increased with an increase in P additions and decreased with an increase in N applications at the low P treatment, but increased at the high P treatment. Significant interactive effects of N and P loadings were found for the removal efficiencies of NH4 and R but not that of NO,. The plant uptake, substrate storage and other losses (e.g. denitrification and formation of organic film) had similar contribution to N removal when N loading was relatively low. The P storage by substrate was the main contribution to P removal when P loading was high, but plant uptake was the major factor responsible for P removal when P loading was low and N loading was high. The high nutrient availability and optimum ratio of N:P are required to stimulate growth of S. validus, resulting in preferential allocation of resources to the above-ground tissues and enhancing the nutrient removal efficiencies, but the high N concentration in wastewater may hamper the growth of S. validus in constructed wetlands. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1823-1828
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    Cite this