Emergy-based evaluation of system sustainability and ecosystem value of a large-scale constructed wetland in North China
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Constructed wetland has been widely adopted to deal with degraded natural wetlands and water bodies; thus, more attention should be focused on ecological–economic sustainability and ecological efficiency of these projects for long-term success. Emergy accounting was conducted to investigate the energy and resource flows in constructed wetlands during the restoration process. Emergy-based indexes were adopted to evaluate the sustainability of a pilot large-scale constructed wetland in a large wetland restoration project in North China, carried out to enhance the river water quality and offset the degradation of natural wetland. Emergy and emdollar values for ecosystem services and natural capital were also calculated. The results showed that when outflow was considered as the product, the studied large-scale constructed wetland was more self-supporting and could be operated with lesser financial investment, although the waste treatment efficiency and the sustainability index were lower than conventional small-scale treatment constructed wetlands. Compared with natural wetlands, more visits from tourists and lesser financial investment coming in as feedback into the wetland would reduce system environment loading and promote system self-support ability, ultimately generating sustainability. In addition, the studied large-scale constructed wetland can effectively simulate energy and resource flows of natural wetland ecosystem and contribute a roughly equal value of ecosystem services in term of gross primary production. The studied large-scale constructed wetland can successfully achieve ecosystem functions as replacement for natural wetland and hasten the restoration process, although the restoration effectiveness of ecosystem structures in terms of living biomass and water using emergy-value accounting is still inconclusive.
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About this Article
- Emergy-based evaluation of system sustainability and ecosystem value of a large-scale constructed wetland in North China
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume 185, Issue 7 , pp 5595-5609
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- Springer Netherlands
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- Constructed wetland
- Ecological restoration
- Ecosystem services
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Institute of Environmental Research, Shandong University, Jinan, 250100, China
- 2. School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan, 250100, China
- 3. School of Life Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan, 250100, China
- 4. Shandong Provincial Engineering and Technology Research Center for Vegetation Ecology, Shandong University, Jinan, 250100, China