Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 10621–10630 | Cite as

Effects of antibiotics on nitrogen uptake of four wetland plant species grown under hydroponic culture

  • Xinnan Tong
  • Xinze WangEmail author
  • Xiaojuan HeEmail author
  • Yanming Sui
  • Jian Shen
  • Jimeng Feng
Research Article


To investigate the effects of antibiotics on nitrogen removal and uptake by wetland plants, four typical macrophyte species, Cyperus alternifolius L., Typha angustifolia L., Lythrum salicaria L., and Acorus calamus L., were grown in hydroponic cultivation systems and fed wastewater polluted with 10 μg L−1 Ofloxacin (OFL) and Tetracycline (TET). Biomass production, nitrogen mass concentration, chlorophyll content, root exudates, and nitrogen removal efficiency of hydroponic cultivation were investigated. The results indicated that in all hydroponic systems, NH4+–N was entirely removed from the hydroponic substrate within 1 day and plant nitrogen accumulation was the main role of the removed NO3. OFL and TET stimulated the accumulation of biomass and nitrogen of A. calamus but significantly inhibited the NO3–N removal ability of L. salicaria (98.6 to 76.2%) and T. augustifolia (84.3 to 40.2%). This indicates that A. calamus may be a good choice for nitrogen uptake in wetlands contaminated with antibiotics. OFL and TET improved the concentrations of total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), organic acid, and soluble sugars in root exudates, especially for oxalic acid. Considering the significant correlation between TOC of root exudates and nitrogen removal efficiency, the TOC of root exudates may be an important index for choosing macrophytes to maintain nitrogen removal ability in wetlands contaminated with antibiotics.


Antibiotics Macrophyte species Nitrogen Oxalic acid Plant uptake Root exudates 


Funding information

The authors received financial support from the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment of China (NO. 2017ZX07203-005) (NO. 2012ZX07105-003).


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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