Ammonium removal in constructed wetland microcosms as influenced by presence and species of plants and organic carbon load
Riley, Kate Alexis
Stein, Otto R.
Hook, P. B.
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We evaluated ammonium nitrogen removal and nitrogen transformations in three-year-old, batch-operated, subsurface wetland microcosms. Treatments included replicates of Typha latifolia, Carex rostrata, and unplanted controls when influent carbon was excluded, and C. rostrata with an influent containing organic carbon. A series of 10-day batch incubations were conducted over a simulated yearlong cycle of seasons. The presence of plants significantly enhanced ammonium removal during both summer (24 degrees C, active plant growth) and winter (4 degrees C, plant dormancy) conditions, but significant differences between plant species were evident only in summer when C. rostrata outperformed T. latifolia. The effect of organic carbon load was distinctly seasonal, enhancing C. rostrata ammonium removal in winter but having an inhibitory effect in summer. Season did not influence ammonium removal in T. latifolia or unplanted columns. Net production of organic carbon was evident year-round in units without an influent organic carbon source, but was enhanced in summer, especially for C. rostrata, which produced significantly more than T. latifolia and unplanted controls. No differences in production were evident between species in winter. COD values for C. rostrata microcosms with and without influent organic carbon converged within 24 hours in winter and 7 days in summer. Gravel sorption, microbial immobilization and sequential nitrification/denitrification appear to be the major nitrogen removal mechanisms. All evidence suggests differences between season and species are due to differences in seasonal variation of root-zone oxidation.
Riley KA, Stein OR, Hook PB, "Ammonium removal in constructed wetland microcosms as influenced by presence and species of plants and organic carbon load," J Environ Sci Heal A, 2005 40(6-7):1109-1121