Submitted to: Society of Wetland Scientists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2003
Publication Date: 11/15/2003
Citation: Kroger, R., Holland, M.M., Cooper, C.M., Moore, M.T. 2003. Agriculture and wetlands: Finding mutualistic ground [abstract]. South Central Chapter Society of Wetland Scientists. No page numbers.
Technical Abstract: Wetlands and agriculture are closely linked dating back to pre-historic times. Only recently have constructed wetlands been used to mitigate non-point source pollution of receiving waters. The role constructed wetlands play in pesticide removal, including the fate of the chemicals, has been well documented. However, the role constructed wetlands play in nutrient removal (fate and effects) requires further experimentation. The first step in this experimentation process is a simulated field experiment. Several bentonite-lined mesocosms at the University of Mississippi field station have been used to determine the fate and removal efficiency of N, P, and K from a simulated agricultural runoff scenario. This experiment also tested the hypothesis of a maximum loading capacity within a wetland. What are the fates of nutrients? What is the nutrient loading capacity? When is it reached? A 10 month, biomonthly treatment of two mesocosms is helping answer these questions. Above-ground plant tissue, sediment and water samples are providing data. However, with a closed simulated experiment certain factors such as nutrient concentrations and runoff rates are restricted. What would be the next progressive step for assessing the effectiveness of constructed wetlands on nutrient runoff? A natural field experiment in an open system, with variable runoff rates, nutrient concentrations, and retention times would provide real answers to this question. Furthermore, harvesting above-ground biomass has been suggested as a means of increasing the efficiency and loading capacity of nutrient removal of constructed wetlands.