Iron Regulation of Wetland Vegetation Performance Through Synchronous Effects on Phosphorus Acquisition Efficiency
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Iron-rich groundwater flowing into wetlands is a worldwide environmental pollution phenomenon that is closely associated with the stability of wetland ecosystems. Combined with high phosphorus (P) loading from agricultural runoff, the prediction of the evolution of wetland vegetation affected by compound contamination is particularly urgent. We tested the effects of anaerobic iron-rich groundwater discharge in a freshwater marsh by simulating the effect of three levels of eutrophic water on native plants (Glyceria spiculosa (Fr. Schmidt.) Rosh.). The management of wetland vegetation with 1–20 mg/L Fe input is an efficient method to promote the growth of plants, which showed an optimum response under a 0.10 mg/L P surface water environment. Iron-rich groundwater strongly affects the changes in ecological niches of some wetland plant species and the dominant species. In addition, when the P concentration in a natural body of water is too high, the governance effect of eutrophication might not be as expected. Under iron-rich groundwater conditions, the δ13C values of organs were more depleted, which can partially explain the differences in δ13C in the soil profile. Conversely, the carbon isotope composition of soil organic carbon is indicative of past changes in vegetation. The results of our experiments confirm that iron-rich groundwater discharge has the potential to affect vegetation composition through toxicity modification in eutrophic environments.
Keywordsiron-rich groundwater wetland vegetation phosphorus (P) eutrophication
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We thank Prof. Marinus Otte of North Dakota State University and Prof. Guangzhi Sun of Edith Cowan University for their constructive comments on the early version of this manuscript.
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