Keywords: Cyperus papyrus, Miscanthidium violaceum, nutrient removal, Phragmites mauritianus, slaughterhouse wastewater, abbatoir effluent, wastewater treatment, Typha domingensis, Uganda, tropical wetland plants, nitrogen removal, phosphorus removal, organic matter removal
The potential of four tropical wetland plants for the treatment of abattoir effluent
We investigated morphological characteristics and treatment potential of Cyperus papyrus, Typha domingensis, Miscanthidium violaceum, and Phragmites mauritianus receiving slaughterhouse wastewater in Kampala, Uganda, in experimental mesocosms. Unplanted mesocosms acted as controls. All planted mesocosms achieved significantly higher removals for nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter than unplanted mesocosms. Among macrophytes, C. papyrus depicted highest pollutant uptake. The umbel of C. papyrus had the highest concentration of phosphorus (3.9 mg/g dry weight); while nitrogen concentration was highest in P. mauritianus shoot tissue (39.70 mg/g dry weight). Plants provided the necessary conditions that aided the removal of nutrients and organics through physical and biochemical processes. C. papyrus attained the highest biomass (31.0 kg dry weight/m²), compared to T. domingensis (7.5 kg dry weight/m²), P. mauritianus (7.2 kg dry weight/m²) and M. violaceum (5.0 kg dry weight/m²). C. papyrus had the largest total root surface area (200,634 cm²) in experimental mesocosms measuring 960 cm².