AuthorBrown, Jonathan Jed, 1964-
KeywordsAgriculture, Plant Culture.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture.
AdvisorGlenn, Edward P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe discharge of untreated aquaculture effluent can pollute receiving water bodies. I tested the feasibility of using salt-tolerant plants (halophytes) with potential as forage and oilseed crops, as biofilters to treat saline aquaculture effluent. Plants were grown in draining lysimeters in greenhouses and irrigated with effluent salinized with NaCl. Irrigation water came from a recirculating tilapia culture system. I measured yield potential, water use and capacity for nitrogen and phosphorus uptake. In Experiment 1, Suaeda esteroa, Salicornia bigelovii and Atriplex barclayana (Chenopodiaceae) were grown in sand in 0.02 m³ lysimeters. Plants were irrigated with effluent of 0.5 ppt, 10 ppt and 35 ppt salinity, to meet evapotranspiration demand and to allow 30% of the applied water to leach past the plant root zone. Despite the high leaching fraction and short residence time of water in the pots, the plant-soil system removed 98% and 94% of the applied total and inorganic nitrogen, respectively, and 99% and 97% of the applied total and soluble reactive phosphorus respectively. For all species, salt inhibited (P ≤ 0.05) the growth rate, nutrient removal, and volume of water the plants could process. The salt marsh species S. esteroa and S. bigelovii performed better than the desert saltbush, A. barclayana, at 35 ppt. In Experiment 2, Suaeda esteroa, was grown in lysimeters containing approximately 0.8 m³ sandy loam soil and irrigated three times per week with 31 ppt NaCl effluent. I used five irrigation treatments, ranging in volume from 50 to 250% of the potential evaporation rate. Plant biomass and water consumption increased significantly (P ≤ 0.05) with increasing irrigation volume. Nitrate concentrations in water draining from the lysimeters decreased during the experiment, and were significantly lower in the high-volume treatments than in the low-volume treatments. Phosphorus concentrations in the leachate water increased during the experiment as a function of increasing irrigation volume. Irrigating halophyte crops with aquaculture wastewater of seawater-salinity may be a viable strategy for disposal of effluent.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Renewable Natural Resources