Biomass, nutrient and trace element dynamics in cattail and switchgrass during wetland and terrestrial phytoremediation of municipal biosolids
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Knowledge of nutrient accumulation and partitioning in plants is important to determine the optimum timing of harvesting during phytoremediation of biosolids. This research showed that a greater proportion of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) absorbed by cattail and switchgrass was partitioned to the aboveground biomass (AGB), but this partition decreased after the onset of nutrient retranslocation to roots. Therefore, AGB should be harvested prior to retranslocation in order to optimize nutrient phytoextraction. Trace elements partitioned preferentially to the root biomass, indicating that AGB harvesting will have little impact on their phytoextraction. Net mineralized N concentration (Nmin) in biosolids from the primary lagoon cell was optimized near field capacity [60% water filled pore space (WFPS) but changed little under drier conditions (30% WFPS). Under near-saturation conditions (90% WFPS), net Nmin decreased with incubation time, likely due to reduced mineralization and denitrification. Available (Olsen) P concentration was not affected by moisture content.