Physiological parameters of plants as indicators of water quality in a constructed wetland
- 1.1k Downloads
Increasing demand for water has stimulated efforts to treat wastewater for reuse in agriculture. Decentralized facilities for wastewater treatment became popular as a solution to remote and small communities. These systems mimic natural wetlands, cleaning wastewater as they flow through a complex of filter media, microbial fauna, and vegetation. The function of plants in constructed wetlands (CWs) has not been fully elucidated yet.
In the research reported here, we provide evidence for a new use of plant physiological parameters in CWs as bioindicators of water quality along the system. We measured improved plant performance downstream of the CW by means of photochemical efficiency, CO2 assimilation rate, and cell membrane stability. In addition, we found evidence for temporal improvement of plant performance, which was correlated to the establishment phase of plants in a newly operating CW. It is suggested that improved monitoring and management of CWs should take into planning consideration the promising potential of phyto-indicators.
KeywordsConstructed wetland Phyto-indicators Photochemical efficiency Plant performance Assimilation rate Cell membrane stability
The Southern Arava Sustainable Waste Management Plan was funded by the EU LIFE Fund. The CW were planned and designed by Eli Cohen—Ayala Water and Ecology and Yael Ben Zvi of Ofra Aqua Plants, landscape design and construction by Kibbutz Neot Smadar. We wish to thank Kibbutz Neot Smadar and staff for the opportunity to make this research.
- Brix H (1997) Do macrophytes play a role in constructed treatment wetlands? Water Sci Technol 35:11–17Google Scholar
- Gersberg RM, Gearheart R, Ives M (1989) Pathogen removal in constructed wetlands. In: Hammer DA (ed) Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment: municipal, industrial, and agricultural. Lewis, Chelsea, pp 431–445Google Scholar
- Hammer DA, Bastian RK (1989) Wetland ecosystems: natural water purifiers? In: Hammer DA (ed) Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment: municipal, industrial and agricultural. Lewis, Chelsea, pp 5–20Google Scholar
- Hodkinson ID (2005) Terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates as bioindicators for environmental monitoring, with particular reference to mountain ecosystems. Environmental Management 35:649–666Google Scholar
- Kloepper JW, Schroth MN (1978) Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on radishes. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Plant Pathogenic Bacteria, Vol. 2, Station de Pathologie Vegetale et Phytobacteriologie, INRA, Angers, France, pp 879–882Google Scholar
- Kulikova NN, Paradina LF, Suturin AN, Kozyreva EI, Boiko SM, Tanicheva IV, Antonenko AM (2004) Phytoindication of available heavy metals in industrial and communal sewage sludge. Agrokhimiya 11:71–79Google Scholar
- Maxwell K, Johnson GN (2000) Chlorophyll fluorescence - a practical guide. Journal of Experimental Botany 51:659–668Google Scholar
- Papageorgiou GC, Govindjee (2004) Chlorophyll a fluorescence: a signature of photosynthesis (advances in photosynthesis and respiration). Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
- Rachmilevitch S, DaCosta M, Huang B (2006) Physiological and biochemical indicators. In: Huang B (ed) Plant-environment interactions. CRC, Florida, pp 321–355Google Scholar
- Rosenberg DM, Resh VH (1993) Freshwater biomonitoring and benthic macroinvertebrates. Chapman & Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Sage RF, Reid CD (1994) Photosynthetic response mechanisms to environmental changes. In: Wilkinson RE (ed) Plant-environment interactions. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Seidel K (1976) Macrophytes and water purification. In: Tourbier J, Pierson RWJ (eds) Biological control of water pollution. University of Pennsylvania Press, Pennsylvania, pp 109–123Google Scholar
- Zhou T, Paulitz TC (1993) In-Vitro and in-Vivo Effects of Pseudomonas Spp on Pythium-Aphanidermatum - Zoospore Behavior in Exudates and on the Rhizoplane of Bacteria-Treated Cucumber Roots. Phytopathology 83:872–876Google Scholar