3rd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Jehangir Bhadha
Session Name Posters - Innovative Biological, Physical, and Chemical Nutrient Reduction & Recovery Technologies
Category Innovative biological, physical, and chemical nutrient reduction & recovery technologies
Poster Number 26
Author(s) Jehangir Bhadha,  Everglades Research and Education Center, UF (Presenting Author)
  Timothy Lang,  Everglades Research and Education Center, UF
  Susanna Gomez, Everglades Research and Education Center, UF
  Samira Daroub, Everglades Research and Education Center, UF
  Manohardeep Josan, Everglades Research and Education Center, UF
  Evaluating the role of Aquatic Vegetation on Phosphorus Loads in the Everglades Agricultural Area
  Farm canals in the Everglades Agricultural Area contain an abundance of floating aquatic vegetation (FAV) and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). These species flourish in waters with high phosphorus (P) concentrations and can prevent the co-precipitation of P with the limestone bedrock (CaCO3). To test the effects of FAV and SAV and the presence of sediments on water quality in the canals, a lysimeter experiment was set up and stocked with FAV (water lettuce) and SAV (filamentous algae). Our goal was to test the existing strategy of phytoremediation to reduce P concentrations through plant uptake. The experiment consisted of four treatments with four replicates, and four water exchanges. The four treatments consisted of: (i) limerock, sediment, and FAV, (ii) limerock, sediment, and SAV, (iii) limerock and FAV, (iv) limerock and SAV. The P concentration in all treatments was reduced significantly after each water exchange. Treatments without sediments showed a higher efficiency for P removal in the water samples. The sediments showed a significant difference in P content after the four exchanges. Results from this study were compared to field based observation of eight local farms and used to estimate overall P loads and uptake coefficients. We hypothesize that the presence of vegetation will initially result in a reduction in P-concentration; however will only serve as a short-term sink because of their high turn-over rate and production of labile high-P sediment (floc).