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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Optimizing placement of constructed wetlands at landscape scale in order to reduce phosphorus losses

Djodjic, Faruk; Geranmayeh, Pia; Markensten, Hampus


Constructed wetlands (CWs) are one of the main countermeasures to reduce diffuse phosphorus (P) losses, but there is still a lack of systematic guidance accounting for spatially variable effects of hydraulic and P load on P retention. We present a three-step modelling approach for determining suitable placement of CWs in four different size groups (0.1-1.0 ha), based on incoming hydraulic and P load. The modelled hypothetical CW area was only 17% of that previously estimated and area of efficient CWs is even lower. The mean area-specific P retention increased with CW size. However, the spatial variation in retention was large for all size groups and largest (6-155 kg ha(-1) year(-1)) for the smallest CWs due to highly variable incoming P loads, showing the possible benefits of targeted placement of CWs. The presented modelling approach has also flexibility to include and account for possible future changes in land cover and management.


Constructed wetlands; Modelling; Optimised placement; Phosphorus retention

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2020, Volume: 49, number: 11, pages: 1797-1807
Publisher: SPRINGER