|Growth and nitrogen uptake by Salicornia europaea and Aster tripolium in nutrient conditions typical of aquaculture wastewater.
|Quintã, R, Santos, R, Thomas, DN, Le Vay, L
|Year of Publication
|Aquaculture, Aster Plant, Biomass, Chenopodiaceae, Nitrates, Nitrogen, Salt-Tolerant Plants, Waste Water
The increasing need for environmentally sound aquaculture development can, in part, be addressed by using halophytic plants in integrated multitrophic aquaculture systems (IMTA) to remove waste dissolved nitrogen (N). However, knowledge of plant ability to take up nitrogen is of foremost importance to predict plants performance in such systems. Two species, Salicornia europaea and Aster tripolium, have been identified as potential candidates for IMTA due to their salt tolerance, potential N removal capabilities and their high commercial value as an additional crop. This study investigated the growth and N uptake rates of these two species under different N supply (NH4(+), NO3(-), NH4NO3). S. europaea plants produced a lower biomass when grown in NH4(+) compared to NO3(-) or NH4NO3, while A. tripolium biomass was not affected by the form in which N was supplied. N uptake in plants incubated at different concentrations of (15)N enriched solution (up to 2 mmol l(-1)) fitted the Michaelis-Menten model. While S. europaea NH4-N maximum uptake did not differ between starved and non-starved plants, A. tripolium NH4-N uptake was higher in starved plants when supplied alone. When NO3(-) was supplied alone, NO3-N maximum uptake was lower, for both species, when the plants were not starved. Comparison of starved and non-starved plants N uptake demonstrates the need for cautious interpretation of N uptake rates across different conditions. According to the observed results, both S. europaea and A. tripolium are capable of significantly high biomass production and N removal making them potential species for inclusion in efficient IMTA.