ISSN: 1659-2751

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Characterization of the Wastewater of the Decontamination System at the Integrated Livestock Farm of EARTH University: I. Aquatic plants

Abstract

For many years, aquatic plants have been used as an effective strategy for decontaminating wastewater. This study characterized the different aquatic plants present in the decontamination system at the Integrated Livestock Farm of EARTH University, and focused on the role these plants play in the decontamination of the wastewater. To this end, a taxonomical identification, an adaptation study, macro and micro-nutrient analysis and a bromatological analysis of five aquatic plants, Eichhornia crassipes (Familia Pontederiaceae), Ipomoea acuatica (Familia Convolvulaceae), Limnocharis flava (Familia Limnocharitaceae), Pistia stratiotes (Familia Araceae) and Salvinia minima (Familia Salvinaceae), were performed. It was determined that of the five species of aquatic plants, E. crassipes adapted best in artificial wetlands 1 and 2, and S. minima in artificial wetlands 3 and 4. This can be explained by their fast adaptation and aggressiveness in replacing other species of aquatic plants in the artificial wetlands. In contrast, I. acuatica adapted best in areas of reduced light intensity or in the shade, while P. stratiotes was the least adaptable species to the conditions in the artificial wetlands of the decontamination system. Due to their importance in crop production, concentrations of the macronutrients N, P and K in the aquatic plants were analyzed. L. flava had the highest concentration of N (3.9 %), P (0.64 %) and K (8.3 %). These results indicate that this plant has a high potential for use as fresh material for organic fertilizers. Aquatic plants, particularly S. minima, were effective for absorbing micronutrients such as Fe, Cu, Mn y Zn. Bromatological analyses showed that E. crassipes, due to its high crude protein content and its high level of digestibility, is a plant that is ideally suited for inclusion in an animal diet.

Key words: Aquatic plants, decontamination system, micro and macronutrients, bromatological analysis, water quality.

Artículo en español (pdf) (1492)