During the last years, bioengineering techniques are successfully being used to restore highly degraded fluvial ecosystems. Bioengineering techniques used in stream restoration involve the utilization of aquatics plants (i.e., helophytes) in combination with other materials (i.e., rocks and wood) to reduce soil erosion, increase landscape stabilization, and recover river and stream habitats. In fluvial restauration actions, helophytes are deployed in the streambed and fluvial margins within a tubular flexible gabions containing gravel (i.e., rock rolls) or rotted in a coconut fiber structures (i.e., fiber roll). Once in the stream, both types of substrate protect helophytes against floods and erosive processes until they develop a proper root system. The present experiment conducted at URL aims to address the following two objectives. First, to evaluate the retention capacity of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from a waste water treatment plant effluent of the two types of substrate (rock and organic fiber) and the interaction with helophytes. Second, to assess whether this nutrient retention capacity varies as a function of the vegetative cycle of helophytes.
Leading scientist: Susana Bernal, Ramon y Cajal researcher, CEAB-CSIC