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Water 2017, 9(11), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110827

Effects of Plant Growth Form and Water Substrates on the Decomposition of Submerged Litter: Evidence of Constructed Wetland Plants in a Greenhouse Experiment

1,2,3,†
,
1,2,3,†
,
1,2,3,* , 1,2,3
,
1,2,3
,
1,2
and
1,2
1
Institute of Wetland Research, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2
Beijing Key Laboratory of Wetland Services and Restoration, Beijing 100091, China
3
Beijing Hanshiqiao National Wetland Ecosystem Research Station, Beijing 101399, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract

Wetland plants are important components in constructed wetlands (CWs), and one of their most important functions in CWs is to purify the water. However, wetland plant litter can also increase eutrophication of water via decomposition and nutrient release, and few studies have focused on the interspecific variation in the decomposition rate and nutrient release of multiple plant species in CWs. Here a greenhouse litter-bag experiment was conducted to quantify the decomposition rates and nutrient release of 7 dominant macrophytes (2 floating plants and 5 emergent plants) in three types of water substrate. The results showed that plant litter species and growth forms significantly affected the litter mass losses. The nutrient release was significantly different among plant litter species, but not between floating and emergent plants. Litter traits, such as litter lignin, total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) can well predict the decomposition rates of submerged litter. These results indicated that submerging litter in water did not change the relationships between litter traits and litter decomposition rates, and leaching might play a more important role in the decomposition of submerged litter in CWs than that in other terrestrial ecosystems. These findings can provide suggestions for managers about the maintenance of constructed wetlands. View Full-Text
Keywords: constructed wetlands; decomposition; ecosystem functioning and services; plant litter constructed wetlands; decomposition; ecosystem functioning and services; plant litter
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Ping, Y.; Pan, X.; Cui, L.; Li, W.; Lei, Y.; Zhou, J.; Wei, J. Effects of Plant Growth Form and Water Substrates on the Decomposition of Submerged Litter: Evidence of Constructed Wetland Plants in a Greenhouse Experiment. Water 2017, 9, 827.

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