Constructed Wetlands Influence the Everglades

by | Sep 29, 2017

In the 1960s and 70s, it was recognized that phosphorus runoff was negatively impacting the Everglades Protection Area. By the mid-80s, one solution was use of constructed wetlands, called Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs). STAs biologically filter the water flowing into the protected area, reduce phosphorus, and improve the ecosystem services of the soil and plant life.

The Soil Processes and Performance in Constructed Wetlands symposium planned at the Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL, will address this important topic. The symposium will be held Tuesday, October 24, 2017, at 9:30 AM. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

Despite the fact that they have been used for decades, constructed wetlands like the STAs are still an evolving technology, says Patrick Inglett, University of Florida, symposium organizer. This session examines STA systems to improve our understanding of soil and microbial processes and how they contribute to nutrient removal.  Our ultimate goal is to help designers and users to effectively model and manage them to achieve long-term pollutant load reduction.

Plant life and soil microbes in the constructed wetlands are important to make nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen less harmful. Kaylee Rice, University of Florida, will discuss their roles, and that of enzyme activity, in decomposition.

Carlos Pulido, Florida International University, will discuss the effects of varied water levels on the storage of phosphorus.

Other University of Florida speakers will also present. Paul Julian will review aquatic productivity. Sara Baker will discuss soil microbial enzyme activity and how it is affected by water flow. Todd Osborne will discuss the spatial distribution of nutrients. Taylor Smith will discuss forms of soil phosphorus and its storage in soils.

Media Invitation
Contact: Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, [email protected]. Please RSVP by October 10, 2017.

For more information about the 2017 meeting, visit Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 10, 2017 is required. Visit for registration information. For information about the Soil Processes and Performance in Constructed Wetlands symposium, visit


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