OJE  Vol.4 No.3 , March 2014
Processes Governing the Retention of Phosphorus and Nitrogen in Nyashishi Wetland
Abstract: One of the important functions of the wetland is the retention of catchment nutrients and improving lacustrine water quality. This study analyzed how much nutrients were retained in the Nyashishi wetland, southern part of Lake Victoria, and went further to analyze the processes which were responsible in the reduction of nutrients. Three major processes were analysed in this study, namely nutrients uptake by three macrophyte species (Eichhornia crassipes, Cyperus papyrus and Typha domingensis) dominating the Nyashishi wetland, nitrification and denitrification processes. The study demonstrated high nutrients retention especially phosphorus nutrients of which up to 98% were retained. In some occasions, particularly for nitrogen nutrients, there was 0% retention especially during wet season. In some other instances, the inflow exceeded the outflow meaning that, more nutrients were generated by the wetland itself. Among the three processes analyzed, nutrients uptaken by macrophytes were more efficient in reducing nutrients in wetland water. Biological nitrification and denitrification which are believed to be the major pathway for ammonia removal in both natural and constructed wetlands were less important in this study. Among the macrophyte species, Eichhornia crassipes demonstrated higher uptake rate than the other two species possibly due to its high turnover rate. This ability can be exploited in removing excess nutrients from runoff by frequent harvesting of the mature plants.
Cite this paper: Sekadende, B. , Machiwa, J. and Mwanuzi, F. (2014) Processes Governing the Retention of Phosphorus and Nitrogen in Nyashishi Wetland. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 124-134. doi: 10.4236/oje.2014.43014.

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