Macronutrient (N, P, K) and redoximorphic metal (Fe, Mn) allocation in leersia oryzoides (rice cutgrass) grown under different flood regimes


Vegetated drainages are an effective method for removal of pollutants associated with agricultural runoff. Leersia oryzoides, a plant common to agricultural ditches, may be particularly effective in remediation; however, research characterizing responses of L. oryzoides to flooding are limited. Soil reduction resulting from flooding can change availability of nutrients to plants via changes in chemical species (e.g., increasing solubility of Fe). Additionally, plant metabolic stresses resulting from reduced soils can decrease nutrient uptake and translocation. The objective of this study was to characterize belowground and aboveground nutrient allocation of L. oryzoides subjected to various soil moisture regimes. Treatments included: a well-watered and well-drained control; a continuously saturated treatment; a 48-h pulse-flood treatment; and a partially flooded treatment in which water level was maintained at 15 cm below the soil surface and flooded to the soil surface for 48 h once a week. Soil redox potential (Eh, mV) was measured periodically over the course of the 8-week experiment. At experiment termination, concentrations of Kjeldahl nitrogen, phosphorus (P), potassium (K), iron (Fe), and manganese (Mn) were measured in plant tissues. All flooded treatments demonstrated moderately reduced soil conditions (Eh < 350 mV). Plant Kjeldahl nitrogen concentrations demonstrated no treatment effect, whereas P and K concentrations decreased in aboveground portions of the plant. Belowground concentrations of P, Mn, and Fe were significantly higher in flooded plants, likely due to the increased solubility of these nutrients resulting from the reductive decomposition of metal-phosphate complexes in the soil and subsequent precipitation in the rhizosphere. These results indicate that wetland plants may indirectly affect P, Mn, and Fe concentrations in surface waters by altering local trends in soil oxidation-reduction chemistry. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Publication Title

Water, Air, and Soil Pollution