Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2004
Publication Date: 10/15/2004
Citation: Poach, M.E., Adams, S., Hunt, P.G., Cohen, A.D. 2004. Constructing floating wetlands to improve the water quality of agricultural ponds [abstract]. Agronomy Abstracts. 2004 CDROM.
Technical Abstract: While wetlands have been constructed at the borders of aquatic systems to protect water quality, sometimes wetlands cannot be constructed at the water's edge either for aesthetic reasons or because of landscape position. Research objectives were to construct viable floating wetlands and to evaluate their ability to reduce nutrients and algae in simulated pond systems. Two types of floating wetlands were investigated, natural and artificial. Natural floating batteries were collected from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Artificial wetlands with and without plants were constructed using commercial peat soil. Both types of wetlands were enclosed in a mesh structure that was supplemented with foam to enhance buoyancy. Pond mesocosms with foam planks were used as controls to evaluate the ability of floating wetlands to improve water quality. Pond mesocosms were loaded with water from a nearby agricultural pond that was spiked with nitrate. Successful transplantation and creation of floating wetlands were indicated by vigorous plant growth in both natural and planted, artificial systems. Mesocosms with floating wetlands had significantly lower pH and dissolved oxygen than controls, which indicated that algae were reduced in the wetland mesocosms. Wetland effects on nutrient reduction are being evaluated.