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Possibilities and consequences of nitrogen removal from the Scheldt river by emergent macrophytes

Dutch title: Mogelijkheden en gevolgen van stikstof verwijdering van de Schelde rivier door voorkomende macrofyten
Funder identifier: OND1252885 (Other contract id)
Period: 1995

Thesaurus terms: Nitrogen cycle; Nitrogen removal

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Objectives: To investigate the contribution of nitrogen removal for the Schelde river by emergent macrophytes bacterial processes involved in coupled nitrification and denitrification in the rhizosphere of emergent macrophytes will be studied. For this study artificial pore water up-welling systems (APWUS) planted with reed, bulruchs and non-planted systems will be supplied with 15NH+4. Because mono-oxygenases of methanotrophs and ammonia oxidisers are very similar, methane might inhibit ammonia oxidation and vice versa. Therefore, inhibition kinetics will be studied by adding different concentrations of methane and ammonium to the artificial pore water of the APWUS. In addition, the oxygen input by roots of emergent macrophytes will be quantified in two-compartment systems under different light and humidity conditions. Equilibrium devices for obtaining pore-water samples (peepers) will be placed at an intertidal site (Appels, Belgium) along the river the Schelde to study the influence of macrophytes on the pore-water chemistry. The possible consequences of an increased nitrogen removal on the ecology of the Schelde river will be examined with a computer model. For this purpose the existing model MOSES (Model of the Schelde Estuary) will spatially be enlarged and adapted. Sub-models describing growth of emergent macrophytes and describing microbial processses and their interactions with the rhizosphere of these plants, will be developed and implementated in MOSES. To validate and calibrate these sub-models field data like plant growth characteristics, methane and nitrogen emissions rates will be quantified in vegetated and non-vegetated marshes along the Schelde. The field data will be obtained in corporation with the Belgian partners. Planning 1998: Experiments with APWU will be continued. The collected field data will be used to calibrate and validate the different parts of the developed sub-models. Finishing the project and submitting papers of the various topics.

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