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Open AccessArticle

Short Term Effects of Salinization on Compound Release from Drained and Restored Coastal Wetlands

Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18059 Rostock, Germany
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Water 2019, 11(8), 1549; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081549
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 22 July 2019 / Accepted: 24 July 2019 / Published: 26 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
Over the past two decades, great efforts have been made to restore coastal wetlands through the removal of dikes, but challenges remain because the effects of flooding with saline water on water quality are unknown. We collected soil samples from two adjacent coastal fen peatlands, one drained and diked, the other open to the sea and rewetted, aiming at assessing the mobility and export of various compounds. Microcosm experiments with constant flow-through conditions were conducted to determine the effluent concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), ammonium ( NH 4 + ), and phosphate ( PO 4 3 ) during saline–fresh water cycles. Sodium chloride (NaCl) was used to adjust salinity (saline water, NaCl concentration of 0.12 mol L−1; fresh water, NaCl concentration of 0.008 mol L−1) and served as a tracer. A model analysis of the obtained chloride ( Cl ) and sodium ( Na + ) breakthrough curves indicated that peat soils have a dual porosity structure. Sodium was retarded in peat soils with a retardation factor of 1.4 ± 0.2 due to adsorption. The leaching tests revealed that water salinity has a large impact on DOC, NH 4 + , and PO 4 3 release. The concentrations of DOC in the effluent decreased with increasing water salinity because the combination of high ionic strength (NaCl concentration of 0.12 mol L−1) and low pH (3.5 to 4.5) caused a solubility reduction. On the contrary, saline water enhanced NH 4 + release through cation exchange processes. The PO 4 3 concentrations, however, decreased in the effluent with increasing water salinity. Overall, the decommissioning of dikes at coastal wetlands and the flooding of once drained and agriculturally used sites increase the risk that especially nitrogen may be leached at higher rates to the sea. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal wetlands; salinity; dissolved organic carbon; ammonium; phosphate; dual porosity coastal wetlands; salinity; dissolved organic carbon; ammonium; phosphate; dual porosity
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Liu, H.; Lennartz, B. Short Term Effects of Salinization on Compound Release from Drained and Restored Coastal Wetlands. Water 2019, 11, 1549.

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