Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 5076–5082 | Cite as

Effects of plant diversity on carbon dioxide emissions and carbon removal in laboratory-scale constructed wetland

  • Hongying SunEmail author
  • Quanwei Xin
  • Zhihui Ma
  • Siren Lan
Research Article


Previous studies have shown that plant diversity can enhance methane (CH4) emission and nitrogen purification efficiency in constructed wetlands (CWs), but effect of plant diversity on carbon dioxide (CO2) flux and carbon removal efficiency in CWs is unknown. Therefore, we established four plant diversity levels (each level containing 4, 3, 2, and 1 species, respectively) in laboratory-scale wetland microcosms fed with simulated wastewater. Results showed that plant species richness enhanced CO2 emissions (84.7–124.7 mg CO2 m−2 h−1, P < 0.01), carbon fixation rate (P < 0.05), and microbial biomass carbon (P < 0.001), but did not improve carbon removal (P > 0.05). The presence of Pontederia cordata increased CO2 emissions, carbon fixation rate of belowground, and microbial biomass carbon (P < 0.05), whereas the presence of Phragmites australis only enhanced CO2 emission (P < 0.05). However, the presence of Typha orientalis or Lythrum salicaria did not show an influence on CO2 emissions and carbon removal (P > 0.05). Hence, our study highlights the importance of plant diversity in mediating CO2 emission intensity and carbon processes but not carbon removal in CWs.


Carbon fixation rate Microbial biomass Microcosms Plant diversity Plant species Species richness 


Funding information

This work was funded by the National Science Foundation of China (No. 31500265), Fujian Province Education Department of Science and Technology Project (JA15183), and Special Fund for Science and Technology Innovation of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University in 2017 (the third batch). Thanks for anonymous reviewers’ valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongying Sun
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Quanwei Xin
    • 1
  • Zhihui Ma
    • 3
  • Siren Lan
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.National Engineering Research Center of JuncaoFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Forestry Post-Doctoral StationFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina
  3. 3.Forestry CollegeFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina

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