Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 27, Issue 2–3, pp 393–404 | Cite as

Effect of earthworm and loach on Typha augustifolia aboveground and root litter residue in an integrated vertical subsurface flow constructed wetland

  • Yingxue Li
  • Defu XuEmail author
  • Dongqin Zhou
  • Lei Zhou
  • Alan Howard
Original Paper


A litterbag experiment was undertaken over 299 days (January to November, 2015) to investigate how earthworm and loaches affect aboveground and root litter residues of Typha augustifolia. An integrated vertical subsurface flow constructed wetland (IVFCW), for use in the experiment, was designed and built in a screen house at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology. Results showed that the addition of earthworms and loaches into IVFCW significantly increased T. augustifolia aboveground and root litter N content in the influent chamber and effluent chamber at decomposition 299 days (p < 0.05). Similarly, addition of earthworms into IVFCW significantly increased P content of aboveground litter of T. augustifolia in the influent chamber at decomposition 213 days, and in root litter in influent chamber at decomposition 120 days (p < 0.05). With the addition of both earthworms and loaches, the T. augustifolia aboveground litter residual rate was negatively correlated with litter N and P content (p < 0.01), but a significant positive correlation between aboveground litter and C/N and C/P was evident (p < 0.01). Results suggest that earthworms and loaches in IVFCW may stimulate T. augustifolia aboveground and root litter decomposition, and decrease the accumulation T. augustifolia litter.


Litter decomposition Earthworm Loach Constructed wetland 



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. BK20141477), Six talent peaks project in Jiangsu Province (JNHB-057), and Qing Lan Project (20161507).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yingxue Li
    • 1
  • Defu Xu
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Dongqin Zhou
    • 5
  • Lei Zhou
    • 4
  • Alan Howard
    • 6
  1. 1.School of Applied MeteorologyNanjing University of Information Science& TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution ControlNanjingChina
  4. 4.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringNanjing University of Information Science& TechnologyNanjingChina
  5. 5.Institute of BotanyJiangsu Province and Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  6. 6.Department of Geography and Environmental ScienceUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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