MULTI-CRITERIA VEGETATION SELECTION FOR MARYLAND BIORETENTION, WITH NITROGEN FOCUS
Davis, Allen P
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Stormwater is a leading source of nutrient pollution in natural waters. Bioretention cells can mitigate stormwater pollution. This study examines the role of vegetation in bioretention. In a bioretention field study; of Eutrochium dubium, Solidago rugosa, and Erigeron sp.; E. dubium had the thickest root and tallest aboveground biomass. The root length of the three species averaged 29.1 cm. A greenhouse bioretention mesocosm study examined three plant species: Eutrochium dubium, Iris versicolor, and Juncus effusus. Only J. effusus created significant nitrate (NO3-) removal from synthetic stormwater influent, 0.21 mg to 0.066 mg NO3--N L-1, only in low-density plantings. However, all planted treatments prevented nitrogen export vis-à-vis the unplanted treatment in two storms. J. effusus had the greatest average biomass growth of the three species, 29-fold vis-à-vis 1.3- and 2.7-fold. J. effusus is the most highly recommended plant for Maryland bioretention in this study. E. dubium is cautiously recommended.