High Pb concentration stress on Typha latifolia growth and Pb removal in microcosm wetlands

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

When constructed wetlands are used to treat high-Pb wastewater, Pb may become a stress to wetland plants, which subsequently reduces treatment performance and the other ecosystem services. To facilitate the design and operation of constructed wetlands for treatment of Pb-rich wastewater, we investigated the irreversible inhibitory level of Pb for Typha latifolia through experiments in microcosm wetlands. Seven horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands were built with rectangular plastic tanks and packed with marble chips and sand. All wetlands were transplanted with nine stems of Typha latifolia each. The wetlands were batch operated in a greenhouse with artificial wastewater (10 L each) for 12 days. Influent to the seven wetlands had different concentrations of Pb: 0 mg/L, 10 mg/L, 25 mg/L, 50 mg/L, 100 mg/L, 200 mg/L, and 500 mg/L, respectively. The results suggested that leaf chlorophyll relative content, relative growth rate, photosynthetic characteristics, activities of superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, and content of malondialdehyde were not affected when initial Pb concentration was at 100 mg/L and below. But when initial Pb concentration was above 100 mg/L, all of them were seriously affected. We conclude that high Pb concentrations wastewater could inhibit the growth of Typha latifolia and decrease the removal rate of wetlands.

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