Influences on the establishment and dominance of vegetation in stormwater infiltration basins

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Infiltration basins are widely used in urban environments as a technique for managing and reducing the volume of stormwater. These basins can be spontaneously colonized by wild plants, which can be used as bioindicators of edaphic characteristics. As the basins are anthropogenic environments, the description of plant biodiversity allows the determination of which species colonize such environments and identification of the relationships between plants, basin type and operation. Nineteen infiltration basins were selected according to their catchment types (industrial, urban, agricultural). The dominant species were identified and sampled. Rumex sp., Taraxacum sp. and Artemisia sp. are the three types most represented (88, 61 and 55% respectively of the basins studied). Their families and their respective orders are those most commonly found (Caryophyllales, Asterales and Polygonaceae, Asteraceae). Poaceae is the family grouping with the largest number of different species (11). Although each species occupies only 1 or 2 basins, plants of this family occupy 61% of the basins. Although the catchment characteristics of the 19 basins do not play a direct role in the diversity of plant families, they can influence the presence or absence of certain species. Thus, these plants can be used as bio-indicators of basin soil and operating characteristics, such as sediment depths, inundation frequency and duration.

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