Submitted to: Mississippi Water Resources Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2004
Publication Date: 4/20/2004
Citation: Beadle, J., Holland, M.M., Kroger, R., Moore, M.T., Cooper, C.M. 2004. Can wetland plants be useful in mitigating nutrient runoff from agricultural fields? In: Proceedings of the Mississippi Water Resources Research Conference, April 20-22, 2004. Raymond, Mississippi. 2004 CD-ROM.
Technical Abstract: Human activities have altered the global biogeochemical cycle by doubling the rate of nitrogen input into terrestrial systems. In Mississippi, nutrients are the third largest agricultural pollutant. Experiments were conducted to determine if Juncus effusus (L.) and Paspalum urvillei Steudel, wetland vascular plants commonly found in the southern United States, are suitable for planting in ditches or ponds bordering agricultural fields as a buffer for nitrogen and phosphorus retention. Specimens of each species were collected at the University of Mississippi Field Station and were each individually planted in drums in a greenhouse. Drip dosers were used to apply a treatment of 5mg/L nitrate and 0.15mg/L phosphate to the plants. Water samples were collected from the drum's inflow and outflow, and plant tissue and soil samples were taken. Data from analyses show an average removal of 92% nitrate and 71% phosphate for Paspalum and 95% nitrate and 49% phosphate for Juncus. Exposures began on the week of July 14, 2003 and continued until November 14, 2003. Further analyses of above and belowground plant tissue of similar plant species (e.g. Leersia oryzoides (L.) Swartz) grown under simulated nutrient enriched conditions in mesocosms tell a comparative story. Plants harvested from nutrient enriched mesocosms have higher N and P in above and below ground tissue than plants grown without enrichment. These results suggest that these common wetland plants, under simulated nutrient runoff conditions are actively assimilating and accumulating N and P within above and belowground tissues.