Edge of Blue: Analysis of Plant prescriptions for aquatic ecosystems

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Presentation at the CWRA BC Branch Conference, 2015

Canadian Water Resources Association

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Aquatic ecosystems, inland, coastal and marine, provide humans with resources for recreation, food, water supply, and economic development for fishing, aquaculture, forestry, agriculture, industrial processing, and other competing sectors. They perform environmental functions for pollution, erosion control, slope stabilization, and restoration of habitats and their soils, contributing significantly to general human well-being. Achieving sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems has been the main and largely failed objective of fisheries management. Today aquatic ecosystems are functioning solutions in working habitats and constructed wetlands restoring water quality for mining operations, waste water treatment, human settlement in harsh environments, and rural/urban communities of every size. Healthcare facilities and precincts are also seeking aquatic ecosystems to address bioengineering treatments for bio hazards and waste created and offloaded by the healthcare industry. There is concern for water borne diseases infiltrating water supplies as a result of degraded or reduced efficiencies in water quality monitoring and treatment.

A better understanding of plant selection becomes crucial in the design of outdoor environments. The presentation will outline and explain the various uses of aquatic plants in inland aquatic, natural aquatic and modified aquatic ecosystems (flood plains, rivers and streams, lakes, wetlands, dams, fish passes, pools, and hatcheries); and coastal and marine ecosystems (estuaries, lagoons, coral reefs, polar oceans). Literature on the chemical analyses of the water, mineral, protein content, and nutrient uptake to thwart plankton blooms, and boast productivity of aquatic plants reveals correlations between plant species prescribed for water quality treatments to their nutrient, mineral and chemical absorption rates. The work of C.E. Boyd and Scarsbrook and the National Academy of Sciences report on the usefulness of aquatic plants supported by the National Research Council will be highlighted.




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