Plant transpiration in constructed treatment wetland: Effects on water budget and management consequences

Paul Bois, Daniel L. Childers, Milena Walaszek, Adrien Wanko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Plant transpiration is an important feature of wetlands with biological and hydraulic impacts. The global objective of this study was to question the influence of transpirational water losses on constructed treatment wetland water budget for a variety of wetland design and time of the year. Biomass and transpiration field measurements were carried out in constructed treatment wetlands (CTWs) submitted to oceanic climate and used for waste- or stormwater management. Measurements were carried out during spring, summer and fall. Biomass and transpiration rate were both significantly affected by season and site configuration, although the effect appears more sharply for season than for site. Transpiration can reach 26% of the incoming flow during the warmest part of the year for wastewater management CTW, when the effect on adjacent water courses is likely to be the most significant. The impact on multi-monthly water budget plummets to 2% of the incoming water volume. For stormwater CTW, transpiration can lead to strong water scarcity, virtually emptying all available water in these stochastically fed systems. As transpiration also plays a significant role in biogeochemical processes in wetlands, it seems important to design this type of ecological infrastructure in close relation with the pursued objectives, be it either the quality of outlet water (emphasis on treatment efficiency) or the quantity of outlet water (emphasis on flow regulation).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113132
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Ecological engineering
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Seasonal dynamics
  • Water management
  • Wetland ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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