American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Establishment and Evaluation of the Vegetative Community in A Surface Flow Constructed Wetland Treating Industrial Park Contaminants

C.C. Galbrand, A.M. Snow, A.E. Ghaly and R. Côté

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2008.417.432

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 3, Issue 1

Pages 417-432


A surface flow constructed wetland, designed to curve in a kidney shape in order to increase the length to width ratio to 5:1 was used to treat runoff from an industrial park. A natural wetland system located approximately 200 m downstream of the constructed wetland was selected to act as the vegetative community model for the constructed wetland. The selected model was a riparian, open water marsh dominated by emergent macrophytes. Baseline plant species surveying was conducted. In total, 21 emergent wetland plant species, 40 upland vascular plant species, 17 upland shrub species and 13 upland tree species were identified in the model site. The species from the model site were screened for suitability in the constructed wetland based on the following criteria: (a) phytoremediation potential (especially metal uptake), (b) sedimentation and erosion control, (c) habitat function, (d) public deterrent potential and (e) rate of plant establishment, tolerances and maintenance requirements. Transplantation was chosen as the main vegetation establishment methodology in the constructed wetland. The species woolgrass (Scirpus cyperinus) and soft rush (Juncus effusus) were chosen to dominate the interior berms and littoral edges of the constructed wetland cells. The buffer areas were dominated by meadowsweet (Spiraea alba var. latifolia) and the open water areas were dominated by cowlily (Nuphar variegate) and pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) species. A diverse, self-sustaining vegetative community was successfully established in the constructed wetland. The transplant success was gauged by mortality census in the spring of 2003. Over all, 138 dead transplants were observed, many of which had died as a direct result of washout. These computes to an overall site establish success rate of about 87.3%. The species, which suffered the highest mortality rates, were the pickerelweed, with approximately 50 dead plants, the meadowsweet with 32 observed dead plants and woolgrass with 27 dead plants.


© 2008 C.C. Galbrand, A.M. Snow, A.E. Ghaly and R. Côté. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.