The impact of three vegetation management strategies on wetland treatment function and mosquito production was assessed in eight free water surface wetland test cells in southern California during 1998-1999. The effectiveness of the strategies to limit bulrush Schoenoplectus californicus culm density within the cells was also investigated. Removing accumulated emergent biomass and physically limiting the area in which vegetation could reestablish, significantly improved the ammonia - nitrogen removal efficiency of the wetland cells, which received an ammonia-dominated municipal wastewater effluent (average loading rate = 9.88 kg/ha per day NH4-N). We determined that interspersing open water with emergent vegetation is critical for maintaining the wetland's treatment capability, particularly for systems high in NH4-N. Burning aboveground plant parts and thinning rhizomes only temporarily curtailed vegetation proliferation in shallow zones, whereas creating hummocks surrounded by deeper water successfully restricted the emergent vegetation to the shallower hummock areas. Since the hummock configuration kept open water areas interspersed throughout the stands of emergent vegetation, the strategy was also effective in reducing mosquito production. Decreasing vegetation biomass reduced mosquito refuge areas while increasing mosquito predator habitat. Therefore, the combined goals of water quality improvement and mosquito management were achieved by managing the spatial pattern of emergent vegetation to mimic an early successional growth stage, i.e. actively growing plants interspersed with open water. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Effects of vegetation management in constructed wetland treatment cells on water quality and mosquito production