Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 15, pp 14904–14919 | Cite as

A review of bioretention components and nutrient removal under different climates—future directions for tropics

  • Hui Weng GohEmail author
  • Khe Sin Lem
  • Nor Ariza Azizan
  • Chun Kiat Chang
  • Amin Talei
  • Cheng Siang Leow
  • Nor Azazi Zakaria
Review Article


Bioretention systems have been implemented as stormwater best management practices (BMPs) worldwide to treat non-point sources pollution. Due to insufficient research, the design guidelines for bioretention systems in tropical countries are modeled after those of temperate countries. However, climatic factors and stormwater runoff characteristics are the two key factors affecting the capacity of bioretention system. This paper reviews and compares the stormwater runoff characteristics, bioretention components, pollutant removal requirements, and applications of bioretention systems in temperate and tropical countries. Suggestions are given for bioretention components in the tropics, including elimination of mulch layer and submerged zone. More research is required to identify suitable additives for filter media, study tropical shrubs application while avoiding using grass and sedges, explore function of soil faunas, and adopt final discharged pollutants concentration (mg/L) on top of percentage removal (%) in bioretention design guidelines.


Best management practices Bioretention Filter media Nutrient removal Stormwater management Tropical climate 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Division of Research & Innovation, Universiti Sains Malaysia under the grant title of “Influence of Enhanced Bioretention Media and Tropical Shrub on Nutrient Removal for Urban Runoff in Mixed Development Area: An On-Site Study” with grant number as: 203/PKT/6720004.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC)Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering CampusNibong TebalMalaysia
  2. 2.Discipline of Civil Engineering, School of EngineeringMonash University MalaysiaBandar SunwayMalaysia
  3. 3.Jacobs’ Water Scotland teamJacobs UK LtdEdinburghUK

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