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The establishment and management of emergent vegetation in sewage-fed artificial marshes and the effects of these marshes on water quality

Abstract

Experiments on the establishment and harvest ofPhragmites australis,Zizania aquatica,Typha latifolia,Typha angustifolia,Sparganium eurycarpum andSpartina pectinata were conducted in three 0.4 ha clay-bottomed man-made marshes in the central portion of the lower peninsula of Michigan. Propagules consisted of seeds for the annualZ. aquatica and root and rhizome clumps for the other species.S. eurycarpum showed rapid establishment but was subject to invasion by other species.Typha spp. established stands more slowly but maintained better stand density and purity.P. australis sent out mainly tillers from propagule clumps rather than rhizomes and vertical shoots.S. pectinata andZ. aquatica failed to establish. Multiple harvests ofTypha spp. at intervals of 3 or 6 weeks resulted in biomass removal of 130% and N and P removal of 150% of the controls. Nutrient budgets developed for the three marsh-ponds after six years of intermittant operation showed a net removal of fixed N from flow-through waters but a variable situation with total P.

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Correspondence to Karl E. Ulrich.

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Ulrich, K.E., Burton, T.M. The establishment and management of emergent vegetation in sewage-fed artificial marshes and the effects of these marshes on water quality. Wetlands 4, 205–220 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03160496

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Keywords

  • Standing Crop
  • Freshwater Wetland
  • Emergent Vegetation
  • Nutrient Budget
  • Prairie Cordgrass