HAMMOND, La., Dec. 11 (UPI) — Ornamental plants, such as canna, have proved beneficial in removing nitrogen and phosphorus from stormwater runoff, scientists in Louisiana said.
Excess nitrate-nitrogen and soluble reactive phosphorus degrade water quality and spur the growth of oxygen-depleting microorganisms.
Scientists at Louisiana State University grew canna and other ornamentals, such as iris, calla lily, and dwarf papyrus in stormwater mitigation projects.
Grown in floating wetland systems in warmer climates, the ornamentals proved both attractive to the eye and environmentally friendly in removing excess nitrogen and phosphorus, researcher Yan Chen said in a release Thursday.
Australian canna showed the greatest potential because it is a perennial grown year round, can be harvested regularly and offers the most consistent removal of excess nutrients, Yan Chen’s team said.
Future research will evaluate planting densities, harvesting frequency and growth maintenance techniques.
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