Role of plants in a constructed Wetland: Current and new perspectives

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176 Scopus citations


The role of plants in the treatment of effluents by constructed wetland (CW) systems is under debate. Here, we review ways in which plants can affect CW processes and suggest two novel functions for plants in CWs. The first is salt phytoremediation by halophytes. We have strong evidence that halophytic plants can reduce wastewater salinity by accumulating salts in their tissues. Our studies have shown that Bassia indica, a halophytic annual, is capable of salt phytoremediation, accumulating sodium to up to 10% of its dry weight. The second novel use of plants in CWs is as phytoindicators of water quality. We demonstrate that accumulation of H2O2, a marker for plant stress, is reduced in the in successive treatment stages, where water quality is improved. It is recommended that monitoring and management of CWs consider the potential of plants as phytoremediators and phytoindicators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-419
Number of pages15
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Bassia indica
  • Bioindicator
  • Constructed wetland
  • Phytoremediation
  • Salinity
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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