Temperature, plants and oxygen: How does season affect constructed wetland performance?

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The influence of temperature and plant-mediated oxygen transfer continues to draw attention from researchers, practitioners and regulators interested in the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Because the vast majority of research on constructed wetland performance has been conducted during periods of active plant growth, the true influence of temperature, season, and plant species selection on constructed wetlands performance has not yet been evaluated adequately. In this article, we briefly summarize changes in the understanding of these influences on wetland performance, and suggest that effects of temperature and oxygen transfer are not readily separable because both factors respond to seasonal cycles and because effects of one can offset the other. We further speculate that the net effect of seasonal variation in these factors is such that plant-mediated oxygen transfer affects water treatment most in winter. Results of controlled-environment experiments conducted at Montana State University support these perspectives. Different plant species' capacities to oxidize the root zone responded differently to seasonal cycles of growth and dormancy, and species' effects on wastewater treatment were most pronounced in winter.




Stein OR, Hook PB, "Temperature, plants and oxygen: How does season affect constructed wetland performance?," J Environ Sci Heal A, 2005 40(6-7):1331-1342
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