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Nutrient removal potential of emergent (Scirpus articulatus) and floating (Lemna major) macrophytes

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Nutrient removal capacity of Lemna major (floating macrophyte) was compared with Scirpus articulatus (emergent macrophyte) in hypertrophic mesocosms held in situ. While Lemna removed orthophosphate mainly from waterphase, Scirpus on the other hand, took up their phosphorus exclusively from the sediment. Plant recovery of both nitrogen and phosphorus was high in emergent macrophyte than in floating macrophyte. Introduction of macrophyte resulted in decline of denitrifying bacteria, but increase in heterotrophic bacterial populations. Counts of heterotrophic bacterial population were significantly higher in case of Lemna than in Scirpus. Decline of phytoplankton number was more pronounced in case of Lemna due to its shading effect compared to Scirpus. It'is concluded that reclamation ability of floating Lemna was short lived because of nutrient removal mainly from water phase whereas, the nutrient removal mechanism in emergent Scirpus was primarily through the root system from the sediment. Differential rates of nutrient storage was responsible for short term nutrient uptake by Lemna, whereas, it was reverse in case of Scirpus.
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Keywords: Concentration factor; Emergent macrophyte; Eutrophication; Floating macrophyte; Keywords; Lemna; Nutrient removal; Reclamation; Scirpus

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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