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FREE-WATER DEPTH AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL FOR CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS
Borst*, M, A. L. Riscassi, L Estime**, AND E. L. Fassman. FREE-WATER DEPTH AS A MANAGEMENT TOOL FOR CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS. Sutton, D.L. (ed.), JOURNAL OF AQUATIC PLANT MANAGEMENT. Aquatic Plant Management Society, Vicksburgh, MS, 40:43-45, (2002).
Marsh plants in constructed wetlands have shown the capacity to remove unwanted pollutants from storm water runoff. The plants can be established at the site from bare roots. However, plant growth from bare roots can be restricted by the elevated water depths. Using several water depths, this study measured the growth of Typha spp., Scirpus spp., and Phragmites spp. from bare root. Plant growth was determined by taking measurements every other day of the average leaf height and counting the number of sprouts formed. The bare roots were placed under 0 cm (low), 14 cm (medium), and 27 cm (high) of water for a total of 42 days. The low water height did not contain any free water. At the end of the experimental period, it was concluded that Typha spp. will produce more sprouts under high water depth, but it's average leaf height is highest under medium water depth. The average leaf height and number of sprouts formed from Scirpus spp. was essentially the same under all three water depths. Leaf growth and sprout formation did not occur from Phragmites spp. bare roots grown under medium and high water. This study has shown that the growth rate and species composition of marsh plants in a constructed wetland will vary based on the water depth at the time of plant establishment.