Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 19, pp 19634–19644 | Cite as

Phytodesalinization potential of Typha angustifolia, Juncus maritimus, and Eleocharis palustris for removal of de-icing salts from runoff water

  • Gaëlle Guesdon
  • Ana de Santiago-Martín
  • Rosa Galvez-Cloutier
Research Article


Typha angustifolia, Juncus maritimus, and Eleocharis palustris were evaluated for de-icing salt removal from runoff water. Plants were exposed to a range of de-icing salt levels (0.2, 0.7, 4, 8, and 13 dS m−1) in laboratory-scale subsurface constructed wetlands (CWs) for 2 months under greenhouse conditions. Effluent characteristics, plant height, biomass, and Cl and Na removal rates and uptake were monitored. More water volume was retained in CWs of T. angustifolia (∼60 %) than of J. maritimus and E. palustris (∼37.5 %), which accounted for the electrical conductivity increase in effluents (1.3–1.9-fold). Based on the NaCl removal rate, T. angustifolia showed the greatest phytodesalinization ability (31–60 %) with the highest removal at the lowest salt levels (0.2–0.7 dS m−1), followed by J. maritimus (22–36 %) without differences in removal among levels, and E. palustris (3–26 %) presenting a removal rate highly decreased with increasing salt levels. Plant height and biomass were stimulated at low de-icing salt levels, but, at higher levels, T. angustifolia and E. palustris growth was inhibited (tolerance index ∼67 and 10 %, respectively, in the worst cases). Salt amounts in aboveground biomass in g m−2 differed among levels and ranged as follows: 13.6–29.1 (Cl), 4.2–9.3 (Na; T. angustifolia); 7.0–12.0 (Cl), 2.7–6.4 (Na; J. maritimus); and 0.9–7.6 (Cl), 0.3–1.6 (Na; E. palustris). Chloride and Na translocation decreased with de-icing salt increase in T. angustifolia, while no significant differences were found in J. maritimus, which is interesting for harvesting purposes.


De-icing salts Road runoff Constructed wetland Phytodesalinization NaCl removal Halophytes Salt-tolerant plants 



This research was supported by the Autoroute du Sud de la France Company. The authors especially wish to thank Magali Lambert, Francesco Fusai, and Michel Bisping for his laboratory assistance. We thank the Editor and the anonymous referees for their helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaëlle Guesdon
    • 1
  • Ana de Santiago-Martín
    • 1
  • Rosa Galvez-Cloutier
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de Génie civil et Génie des eaux, Faculté de Sciences et de GénieUniversité Laval, Pavillon Adrien-PouliotQuébecCanada

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