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High biomass yield increases in a primary effluent wastewater phytofiltration are associated to altered leaf morphology and stomatal size in Salix miyabeana

A. Jerbi, N. J. B. Brereton, Simon Amiot, Xavier Lachapelle-Trouillard, Yves Comeau, F. E. Pitre and M. Labrecque

Article (2020)

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Cite this document: Jerbi, A., Brereton, N. J. B., Amiot, S., Lachapelle-Trouillard, X., Comeau, Y., Pitre, F. E. & Labrecque, M. (2020). High biomass yield increases in a primary effluent wastewater phytofiltration are associated to altered leaf morphology and stomatal size in Salix miyabeana. Science of the Total Environment, 738. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139728
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Municipal wastewater treatment using willow ‘phyto’-filtration has the potential for reduced environmental impact compared to conventional treatment practices. However, the physiological adaptations underpinning tolerance to high wastewater irrigation in willow are unknown. A one-hectare phytofiltration plantation established using the Salix miyabeana cultivar ‘SX67’ in Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, Quebec, Canada, tested the impact of unirrigated, potable water or two loads of primary effluent wastewater 19 and 30 ML ha−1 yr−1. A nitrogen load of 817 kg N ha−1 from wastewater did not increase soil pore water nitrogen concentrations beyond Quebec drinking water standards. The willow phytofiltration phenotype had increased leaf area (+106–142%) and leaf nitrogen (+94%) which were accompanied by significant increases in chlorophyll a + b content. Wastewater irrigated trees had higher stomatal sizes and a higher stomatal pore index, despite lower stomatal density, resulting in increased stomatal conductance (+42–78%). These developmental responses led to substantial increases in biomass yields of 56–207% and potable water controls revealed the nitrogen load to be necessary for the high productivity of 28–40 t ha−1 yr−1 in wastewater irrigated trees. Collectively, this study suggests phytofiltration plantations could treat primary effluent municipal wastewater at volumes of at least 19 million litres per hectare and benefit from increased yields of sustainable biomass over a two-year coppice cycle. Added-value cultivation practices, such as phytofiltration, have the potential to mitigate negative local and global environmental impact of wastewater treatment while providing valuable services and sustainable bioproducts.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Willow; Phytofiltration; Leaf morphology; Stomata; Wastewater; Sustainable biomass

Open Access document in PolyPublie
Subjects: 1000 Génie civil > 1000 Génie civil
1000 Génie civil > 1006 Génie hydrologique
1000 Génie civil > 1007 Ressources et approvisionnement en eau
Department: Département des génies civil, géologique et des mines
Research Center: Non applicable
Funders: CRSNG/NSERC - Strategic Project Grant, CRSNG/NSERC - CRD Grant, CRSNG/NSERC - Discovery Grant, National Research Canada Forest Innovation Program Grant, NRCan Opportunity Fund
Grant number: STPGP-506680-17, RDCPJ476673-14, FEP RGPIN-2017-05452, CWFC1718-018, CWFC1920-104, 3000660151
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2021 14:58
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2021 01:20
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/9073/
Document issued by the official publisher
Journal Title: Science of the Total Environment (vol. 738)
Publisher: Elsevier
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139728


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