Removal of agricultural non-point source pollutants by ditch wetlands: implications for lake eutrophication control
- Cite this article as:
- Jiang, C., Fan, X., Cui, G. et al. Hydrobiologia (2007) 581: 319. doi:10.1007/s10750-006-0512-6
Ditches grown with nature reed (Phragmites communis Trin) and wild rice (Zizania latifolia Turcz) were selected to study the removal capacity of agricultural non-point source pollutants so as to find a way to alleviate eutrophication in Lake Taihu. Ditches sediment from depths below 40 cm can accumulate organic matter and total nitrogen (TN). TN is correlated positively to organic matter in reed populated sediment and wild rice populated sediment. This suggests that the main composition of TN is organic nitrogen derived from plant decomposition. A significant negative relationship between TN and pH was found in reed and wild rice sediments. Seasonal harvest of helophyte vegetation is an effective method to remove N and P from wetlands. Organic matter and TN concentrations in water and sediments (0–20 cm) in areas where reeds were removed are lower than non-harvested areas (control). Reeds and wild rice have high uptake ability of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). However, the low economic value of these plants will not stimulate voluntary harvest of farmers. Zizania caduciflora Turez Hand-mazt is a kind of vegetable widely cultivated in ditches around the lake. It can also absorb N and P effectively. Thus, large scale cultivation of Z. caduciflora to replace nature plants may improve water quality.