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Uptake of macroelements by the helophytePhalaris arundinacea L.

Abstract

Helophytes are often incorporated into biological wastewater treatment plants. In favourable situations, they can take up large amounts of nutrients. One helophyte, the reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), is fast growing when supplied with sufficient light and nutrients. Experiments were carried out under natural climatic conditions in small plastic tanks filled with sand with regular additions of a balanced and concentrated nutrient solution. In the growing season (May–October), plant production reached 10.5 kg m−2 of dry biomass, of which 66% was in the aerial parts. Maximum nutrient uptake capacity was reached just after flowering and before senescence (beginning of October): 49% N, 34% P, 52% K and 34% Mg of the input was fixed in the aerial parts, which are easily harvestable. The corresponding values for the below ground parts were 12%, 10%, 11% and 11% respectively. Excretion of K and Mg has been observed when nutrients are translocated to the storage organs.

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Dubois, J.P. Uptake of macroelements by the helophytePhalaris arundinacea L.. Aquatic Science 56, 70–79 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00877436

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Key words

  • Macrophytes
  • growth
  • assimilation
  • macroelements