Cypress Swamps for Nutrient Removal and Wastewater Recycling


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Cypress Swamps for Nutrient Removal and Wastewater Recycling
Physical Description:
Ewel, Katherine C.
Odum, Howard T.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
cypress swamps
nutrient removal
wastewater wetlands
wastewater treatment
energy analysis
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville -- Odum Cypress Dome
29.65 x -82.33


General Note:
19 Pages

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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r I



School of

K:,tnherine Carter Ewel
Lorr--.t Resources and JjT, o.i.,n
and Center for Wetlands

H. T. OdiLIr
Department of Environmental rnLin.-rir-; Sciences
and Center for Utc -LanL-
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A .

*Summary of work done by a research r.o.p through the University
of Florida Center for Wetlands supported by grants from The Rockefeller
Foundation and the Division oE Appl L,-,'i Science and R'esearch .....lications
oEi the National Science Foundation.


Many communities L1vr.-.uglhiir. the country are F.,. ir.- increases in utility costs
as new water po.:)];ti-.ri laws come into effect. Installation of advanced
wastewater treatment 3..tems is prohibtLvely expensive for smaller
communities in particular. A project undertaken by the Center for Wetlands
at the University of Florida has been l1,e.sti..-tin;, for nearly five years
the consequences of use of cypress wetlands for sewage recycling,
Secondarily treated sewage has been discharged at the rate of 2.5 cm/wk into
two cypress domes which are small swamps. The main study area (Figure 1) is
located near Gainesville, Florida, where cypress domes are commonly found in
pine flau,-.d-. and plantations. Three experimental cypress domes are
located next to a trailer ,pack. Two of these were accidentally burned in a
fire early in the project; one has been receiving sewage and another
groundwater since March, 1974. A third, unburned dome has been receiving
sewage since [lHch, 1975. A fourth dome located in the university's Austin
Cary Forest is surrounded by a natural stand of slash pine and longleaf pine.
No experimental treatments have been applied to this dome.


" res:. trees are commonly found where water levels fluctuate: in floodplain
forests; around the fringes of lakes; in domes, which are small, circular
.-' ip with internal drv:iNg, ; and in extensively meandering, -q.illow,
slowly moving streams called strands. The greatest extent and density of
cypress trees in n-.rcth-central Florida occur in domes and strands, which are
often un.JL:rlain by clay (Spangler et al., 1976). Peat and limestone of
varying depths are found beneath these ecosystems in south Florida, however,
where optimum growth rates for cypress occur in strands at a hydroperiod of
2WK' to 296 days (Duever et al., 1977). In this are,, wetland habitats occur
in areas with hydroperiods of at least 223 days, and peat,accumulation c.' '",.;
when hydroperiod exceeds 241 days. Peat depth and consequently vegetation
composition and grot',h rates may vary if fire burns through an area with any
fre -nn .-, however. While early growth rates may be faster were peat is
deepest (DuEc'cr et al., 1977), trees rooted in these areas may be more
easily i llcd by fires (Ewel and 'liLch.-.h, 19;7.).

?r.-.:- primary productivity rates in cypress ecosystems are very low in
domes but comparable to Puerto Rican rain forest rates in floodplain forests
and in a sewage-enriched dome (Brown, 1.977). A relationship seems to exist
between gross primary productivity of cypress ecosystems and available
.-'.:-;.?us. Net primary productivity rates of cypress are reflected in the
species composition .:f a swamp. Cypress in association with hardwoods grows
most rapiJll, .hWil.. cypress in pure stands or in association with pine trees
grows more slowly (Mitsch and J-rei, 1978). Drainage conditions a'.-pear to
have a strong influence on growth rates in these swamps Figure 2).

Fig. 1. Map of sewage recycling research sites.







Fig. 2. Relationship between net productivity and drainage in
several wetland ecosystems (Mitsch and Ewel, 1978).


Cypress dome vegetation is usually distinct from vegetation in the
surrounding pine flatwoods. 'pleasr- composition appears to be affected
pri=_arily by fluctuating water levels. Ferns are conmon in the shallower
ege.s of the dome, small floati' plants such as diuc' may grow in th
deeper interior pool, and shrubs ard herha may hb rooted in the organic
matter that accumulates around the bases of trees and on cypress knees.

Application of secondarily treated sewage to cypress does increases
bio=ass of understory vegetation (Figure 3), primarily because of the
proliferation of small, floaLing plants (Lemna peruasla, Spirodela oligorhiza,
and Azolla carolinensis) (Ewe!, 1977). Bald cypress, ;''*'.... cypress, and
black tupelo seedlings planted in the cypress domes ; .:.-. varying degrees
of success. Seedlings of pond cypress, which is the variety of cypress
found in domes, grow at approximately the same rate in both Sewage dome 1
and the Groundwater dome (Figure 4). Because these domns had been
previously burned, light penetration to the water surface is Iceater than
in the other sites. Growth rates of seedlings planted at Austin Cary are
significantly lower. The mortality rate of seedlings planted in the sewage
do=as was considerably higher in the sewage domes than in either of the
control domes (Deghi, 1977). Increases in tree diameter, on the other hand,
have been greater in the experimental domes than in the control dome (Table 1).
Alt",::.,.'h the effects of the fire have compounded the results, the concentra-
tions of nutrients in trees appear to increase initially but to return
eventually to normal (Straub and Post, 1977).

Similarly, increased productivity rates in ;ewage-enriched cypress domes are
apparently due more to increases in leaf biomass than to increases in
wei h,.-specific pho osynthesic rates ('.Q.;5rD, 1977).


TP- -ohorus ,d.,A-t:. calculated for the unburned sewage done and for the control
done are shown in Figure 5 (D ;hi, 1977), In the s&..i:_ dome, at-least 72%
of the incoming phosphorus is estimated to percolate from th.- surface water
either directly downward or through the sands immediately surrounding the
dome; 9% of this amount is retained in the layer of organic material lining
the basin. Increased uptake of phosphorus by faster-grow:i-, trees only
accounts for 2% of the J i.'.-',.:i, phosphorus in this study, leaving appL-..:ir.:-l.y
25% of the incoming phosphorus unaccounted for. However, in an analysis of
a nearby sewage-enriched cypress strand, high concentrations of phosphorus
were found in the ronts of cypress (Lugo et al., 1977). In this ;wamp, it
was estimated that as much as 43% of the phosphorus taken up by the ecosystem
may have been stored in the root tissue.

Neither nitrogen nor phosphorus appears to be moving 'y from under-
neath the domes. Th.- presence of chloride ions in shallow wells surrounding
the domes indicates that the water entering the dome from: the sCewage treat-
miet plant is infiltrating UPI- shallow water table (Dierberg and Brezonik,
197'7). However, LMi: sediments, sands, and clays underlying the dome are
retaining many of the other elements, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus
(Figure 6).




M J S N U M J S N J ', J S N J TV. M S 0
1974 1975 1976 -77

Fig. 3, Chan.rL:3 in biomass of understory v.getation at four experimental
cypress O:J'-es. Se.aje was added to Sewage Done 1 in March 1974
and to Sewage Dome 2 in March 1975.

r0 A--:;. CARY
---ALNTED NOV.,1974
--PLANTED FE3.,1976



0 1 2 3 4 5

15 T2%E3 PLA -:
"C'."THS ?.'.:E PLAN ED

Fig. 4. Growth rates of p:d] cypress seedlings planted in four experimental cypress domes.

~2 ~.







9. 1

Tnhie 1. Average Annual Increaseb in Diameter of Ta.:OdiI distichum
var nutains (6/26/76 6/15/77).

S0:,ase Domne

0.33 + 0.03

Sewage Dome 27

0.36 + 0.03

Dou:e le

0.36 + 0,

Austin Cary
Control Do.e

0.03 + 0.0l

are the mean and plus or minus the standard error of the mean.
liL'|'.'i are in centiiueters.
are based on 94 trees.
are 1.:.;-.1 on 97 trees.
are based on 98 trees.
are based on 195 trees.

j i. allies



INumbrs are g-PFym -y.-cr

Fig. 5, .lajor phosphorus flows in a natural cypress dome and in a
sewage-enriched cypress dome.

-V L I '. -ER


S8-" _


< 40 -


0- t

Fig. 6. Concentrations of three elements in ".'-,c::
water and s"..-1 ",; wells of four experimental
cypress domes.

Dierberg and Brc .:.'.L (197Y) conclude that nitrogen rather than p.... :.pL. :'rus
is the principal limiting factor in the sewage-enriched cypress domes.
Thay prcSnut four observations to support their conclusions: 1.) low N:P
ratio relative to the ratio for the control dome; 2.) lack of constancy of
nitrogen levels over time relative to phosphorus; 3) t,:: fact that most of
th nitrogen in t.1hi dome exists in .inoi "IC Iorre; a::d A4.) corR-l-ation of
].'0- wi th total nitrogen.


Figure 7 illustrates the effect of sewage dci I .. .T into cypress swamps on
leopard frogs: the sewage domes act as a sink, whereas the groundwater
done, r-epl. -nt ,.0, an experimental control, is an exporter of am:sphibian
bioriass (Jetter and Harris, 1976). Fish populations are greatly reduced,
but are seldom an important component in cypress domes because of fluctuating
water levels and low aquatic pror.lic L vity. Ramsay (1977) found that
diversity of bird -=- Li- was greater in a sewage .. than a control dome.
Moreover, the number of bird S .;lL L ii 3 in the sewage dome wa.r 150% greater
than the- number of sightings in the control, dome. Part of this increase iS
due to higher rmal.,-,rs of migrating birds.

An extensive s. -pliH. effort by McMahan and Davis (1977) showed that insect
biomass was greater in the sewage domes than in the control domes, although
all domes show a high level of diversity with little similarity between
them The diversity was as high as values measured in the Puerto Ricanr
rain forest using the same technique. IDavis (1977) found no significant
differences between the domes in r..-..n'iuito populations, particularly of
economically or medically important species. Nor did he find that the
sewage domes produced significantly higher levels of eastern or western
equine e,~',,ph3ltLi3 virus than other domes. Most of the virus activity
is during the ummner. Ho.-C.eL*, '.iK.. of the birds si:,,itc! in both the sewage
done and the natural dome were residents and winter visitors. The summer
visitors comprised only 3% of the total in both cases. i'ecal coliform
levels in groundwater wells in the experimental domes and in the standing
water at a nearby -..s.~ -e-nriched strand were consistently low during a
1-5-year sample 1.-o program (Allinson and Fox, 1976).


A preliminary study of the cost of three different methods of advanced
wastewater treatment for the (.i., of WaLdo, Florida, resulted In the
following estimates (Ordway, 1976);
Spray Irrigation $0.63/1000 gal
Advanced Waste Treatment 1.07/1000 gal
Wetland Recycling 0.42//L,'-, gal

'Jlhase values do not include the cost of secondary treaLment. Waldo is a
;nall city, and now produces 20 to 30 thousand galla s of sewage per day.
The estimates were based on an anticipated flow of 120,000 gallons per day
by 1990. The wetland recycling scheme proposed impoundment of part of a
larger 1- i ih; cypress wetland.

S-1 S-2

~~~-iI .00


Fig. 7, Numbers and biomass of frogs captured at the L.-I,- L,' three
experimental cypress dom-es.







t- !00
z 0

A n ore general analysis by Fritn and TilNle (1977) indicated that the extensive
force i:main network and fencing costs needed for disposal from large sewage
treatment plants into many small cypress domeas would make disposal into
does more expensive than spray irrigation. They also found, however, that
the cost of di4 cL.'',:e into a single large cypress strand was competitive
w-ith spray irr.I .:t M :,, for rhri,- larger disposal systems. Research into the
s:.c:.:a:r and IunctionL of cypress str.autds is b-'in' cuLi:iuced lou:Z L the
ongoing cypress dome work in order to provide an analysis of the ability of
those ecosystems to provide an important service to society which might be
compatible with their normal ecological roles.


The hydrol. r- .I.., .- of an unburned rp rcess dome w-as s:.'. ".ed by HleimbuLrg
(1977) who found 30% less evapotranspLration than in open water (F'U ,re 8).
W:rk done by };:tri; (1978) in a cypress strand showed the same conclusion.
This relationship was not ..... ,L-.1, since increases in productiviLy of a
plant cover increase water loss over evaporation front bare soil (Arkley,
1963; -cClurkin, 1.965). Cypress swamps, however, have low leaf area indices
and leaf biomass (Hitech, 1975; Brown, 19700). Moreaoer, cypress trees drop
their leaves in the dry season, stopping transpiration, while still shAMiL.:
the water and diminishing wind strength, rh, -eby keeping evaporation rates

By transpiring less, cypress trees help maintain their own characteristic
wetland habitat. The draining of cypress ponds in Florida is causing a
loss of water that would otherwise be available for aquifer recharge or
for economic use. A government memorandum circulated in Florida a d-cade
ai:. advocated cutting swamp trees to save water. If implemented, this
would clearly have hurt the economy of Florida.


,. role of cypress dome recycling can be measured with methods used in
energy analysis. In, FL[ LaCL. 9, the ueLr,.y embodied in the work of the swamp
is shown as an input from the left (1). Renewable energies directly and
indirectly from the sun operate the treatment action without economic cost-
To connect and process the wastewaterEs requires purchased goods and services
.which contain embodied energy from the main economy in proportion to the
noney spent. The ratio of economic cost to free environmental service,
both expressed as coal equivalents, is 11.5:3, a factor of 3.8. This is
slightly i qr- e than the av- :-i..:- ratio of fuel use to solar-based energy
(in coal equivalents) in the U.S., which is 2.5.

Troe an environmental-protection point of view, this is an acceptable ratio,
because it is no more dense in economic activity than the average pattern of
the U.S. From an economic point of view, r,-: contribution of free,
environmental, renewable energy flow is substantial, providing matching
energy and attraction for the economic activity to h-lp make it competitive
wi;h systems requiring greater economic input.

-.60 -

C.50 -/

.4 -0-





7/25 9/19 11/14 1/9 3/5
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

4/2 0/7
i2 13



Fig. 8. Seasonal evapotranspiration rates from two cypress domes and
evaporation rates (Hleimburg, 1977),

corresponding pan

F = FtIbdcc< c-d -------

10 C1ol/yr

Z= inflow ot
!nw qualirty

Energy l'n itmmnt Rofri



Waistr, PrFrctsi;n9

I* :T3f 6 yr

I. -rRTrARY Wood Pr'j:jc;,k "
TP.E-T2.4i..mT Trcmnd'e$- Srvce5

Fig, 9a. Diagram defining the investment ratio with values for
the United States. Feedback of high quality ene-rgy is
shown pumping an in E .ow of 3.ow quality energy from a
secondary source. Numbers are coal equivalents.
b. Energy analysis summary of tertiary waste recycli.; ;
that uses cypress swamp interface ecosystems in Florida.
(Odum et al., 1976).


Technol i,.'i:l. tertiary treatment, for inistnce, has lar,,. dollar costs
without much contribution ifro'. environmental processes. The combined system
of nan and nature is cnorq* it ve ecologically and economically when the
the two aspects are reinforcing iot cooperating. The economy 1.,. nliL., and
conservation dollars are wisely spent when the investment ratio (Figura 9)
is low.

ENERGY L. L,.L': ...utL, ON ITS L Ml.."..\. W1ITHIN A I. '..: ,PE

In the same sense that energy converges in food chains, runoff waters from
lands. .-=- help converge L-A.i concentrate t.1i:- cI L .*' embodied in sunlight,
rein, wind, and substances from the uplifted land. The cabodied energy is
the ;i'.:cv' required to ;.an raLte the flow. These flows contribute to the
formation of the g6,..i..r!phologic characteristics of the wetland basin, to
the maintenance of the existing ecosystem, and to the o .ir..etuation of its
rules in service to the landscape as a whole (e.g., .i,,:LFer recharge).
Wetlands :.-i,,ptise aiouL 10 to 20% of the landscape in Florida. The
c .or ..Lr-an effect allows them to dev.-loir high-quality structures, analogous
to the high-quality organisms found at the tops of food chains, ui-., i the
embodied rLery.' of the lar"etL total area in which Cir.e are ,ir,1..]JJ The
nutrient-trapp ing basin of the cypress dome is an -uya.l-- of such a structure.
Because of this convergence effect, the value of a swamp is greater than the
landscape as a whole. This concept is illustrated in Figure 10.

When the capacity of the swamp to serve a t[vcy-lin role for human society
is considered, the value of the swamp ijay increase to a level 10 times
greater than the general landiicape. In systems that survive (both human
and natural systems), structures vilh high energy inputs an.en-rally have
special and important uses in that system. Economic benefits can result
when these structures in natural systems can be tipped to serve human
systems. If calculation of the investment ratio were to take into account
the special role that wetlands play in the landscape, the investment ratio
describing the use of swamps for sewage recycling would be even more
favorable Lhan that in Fig. A.

Laclr]l return flow
vith nutrientss., Topc;raphic coniro'
'.; i ,:c service ..:-- :-.-.. seCls

m mTlter in ECOSYSTEM wat SC-,F, T .

L______ P- OUPL rFT?

10 ;O HER CROUND S- --
.lI -WAY

Fig. 10. Energy flow model illustrating the convergent _f'ect of energy in a landscspc on n .cypress
dome ecosystem.

E}L [ I -.... I -.

[11 Allinson, J. and Fox, J.L. (19/6) Coliforim monitoring of waters associated
with the cypress dome project, pp, 309-320. Cypress wetlands for water
management, recycling, and conservation. H.T. Odu0wa and K.C. Ewel (eds.).
Third Annual P}c':.rt to the National Science Foundation (14NN) and The
Roack [21 Ar.l-', R.J. (1963) Relationships between plant growth and transpuiation.
!il;;ardia 34:559-584.
[3] Mroa:n, S. (1978) A comparison of cypress ecosystems. Cypress wetlands
for water management, recycling, and conservation. H.T. Odua, and K.C. Ewel
(eds.). i'ourth Annual I'e',ct to the National Seinace Foundation, Division
of Applied Science and Research Aip'ilicaLions and The Rockefellor Foundation.
Center for Uetlands, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville.
[I- Burns, L.A. (1978) Productivity, bionA;s and water relations of a
Florida cypress forest. Ph.D. Dissertation. Dept. of Zoology, University
of North Carolina, Cli.i-1 Hill. 213 pp.
3] Davis, H. (1978) .'-fect of the treated effluent on Lmosquito populations
and arbovirus activity. Cypress wetlands for water I :,., ..---A L, recycle i'.,
and conservation. H[.T. Odum and K.C. E'rel (ed.-). Fourth Annual Report
to ti,, National Science Foundation, Division of \r.rrlied Science and
Research Applications and The Rockefeller Foundation. Center for Wetlands,
Univ. of Flori i', Gainesville.
[61 Deghi, G.&. 0'97e) Effect of sewage effluent application on phosphorus
cycling in cypress domes. M.S. Thesis, Univ. of Florida. 143 pp.
[7) Deghi, G.S. (1978) Growth rates of E.-1!, ; in four cypress domes.
i :cess wetlands for water management, recycling, and conservation.
.'iT. Odum and K.C. V].-,l (eds.). Fourth Annual Report to the i;k--i.: A:iL
.aifence r.nend ttion, Division of Applied Science and Research '.;.pliit. .ions
and the Rockefeller Foundation. Center for Wetlands, Univ. of Florida,
[8] Duever, M.J., J.Y. Carlson, L.A. Riopelle, and L.C. i..rv-r (1978)
F.7,--' tem analysis at Corkscrew Swamp. Cypress we:=,.- .1 for water
7.1..1,' ,-.) t, recycling, and conservation. H!.T. Odum .:!I K.C. Ewel (eds.).
Fourth Annual Report to the National Science Foundation, Division of
Applied Science and Research Applications and che Rockefeller Foundation.
Center for Wetlands, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville.
[9] Ewel, K.C. (1978) -.I ..-l r of fire and sewage on under; tory vegetation in
c.- ess domes. Cypress wetlands f,-r water ;: *., ;. 'nt, recycling, and
conservation- H.T. *di-, and K.C.F.Ewel (.:.: :.). Fourth Annual Report to
the National Science Foundation, Division of Applied Science and Research
A., locationss and The T.o-..-'eller Foundation. Center for Wetlands, Univ.
of Florida, Gainesville.
10] Ewel, K.C. and Mitsch, u.J. (1978) The effects of fire on species
composition in cypress dome ecosystems. Fla. Sci. 4l (In "r :3.).
f11] Fritz, 1.R. and H.1l .:, S.C. (1977) Tertiary treat:-ent of wastewater
using cypress wetlands. Boyle ..r,,Lneering Corp., Orlando, Fla.
[121 Heimburg, K.F. (1977) Hydrology and water ",.-..i .ts oi cypress domes,
pp. 56-67. Cypress wetlands for water -..: =---1:c, recycling, and
conservation. Third Annual Report to the National Science Foundation
(RANN) and The RockefeLler Foundation. Center for Wealands, Univ. of
-'I ocida, Gainesville.

[13] Jetter, W. and Harris, L.D. (1977) The effects of perturbaLion on
cypress dome .,in. i1 communities, pp. 577-653. Cj.;. -. r wetlands for
wtecr management, recycling, and conservation, H.T. Odum and ;.C. Ewel
(aids.). Third Annual Report to the National Science Foundation (RANk)
and The Rockefeller Foundation. Center for Uetlands, Univ. of Florida,

{14] Lugo, A.E., Hessel, J., and il.,L...i, T. (1978) Studies on root biomass,
phosphorus immobilization by roots and the influence of root distribution
on plant survival in a rn.> -. *-.tral Florida cypress strand. Cypress
wetlands for water management, recycling, an:d conservaLion. H.T. Oduz
and K.C. Ewel (eds.). Fourth Annual Report to the National Science
Foundation, Division of Applied Science and Research Applications and
The Foundation. Center for .Getlands, Univ. of Florida,
[15)] McClurkin, D.C. (L9'S) Diameter growth and phonology of trees on sites
with high water tables. U.S. For. Serve. Res. Note S0-22. 4 pp.
[16] McMahan, E.A. and Davis, L. (1978) Density and diversity of micro-
arthropods in wastewater treated and untreat:cd cypress domes. Cypress
wetlands for water m:,n:,:.:.i ,t, recycling, and conservation. H.T. Odum
and :.C. Ewel (eds.). Fourth Annual Report to the National Science
Foundation, Division of Applied Science and Reso-arch Applications and
The Rockefeller FoundaLion. Center for aLelands, IT.iv. of Florida,
[17] Mit:..i., W.J. (1975) Systems analsyis of nutrient disposal in cypress
wetlands and lake ecosystems in Florida. I h.D. Dissertation. Dept. of
Environmental Engin,-ri.n Sciences, Univ. of Florida, Cainesville.
421 pp.
[13] Mitsch, N.J. and Fw.=1, K.C. (1978) Comparative biomass and growth of
cypress in Florida wetlands. Amer. Midl. Nat. (In Press).
119] Odum, }H.T., Kylstra, C., Alexander, J., Sipe, N., Leu, P., Brown, N.,
Brown, S., Kemp, M., Sell, Mitsch, W., DeBellevua, E., Ballencine, T.
Fontaine, T., Bayley, S., Zucchetto, J., Costanza, R., Gardner, G.,
Dolan, T., Boynton, W., and Young, D. (1976) Net n alternatives for the United .S:ite-, pp. 2"',.-304. U.S. Enerr7' Policy:
Trends and Coals. Part V.- Middle and Long-tera Ener P'a i.ies and
Alternatives. 94th Congress, 2nd Session Co:nittee Print.]
for the Subcommittee on Energy and Power of the Committee on Interstate
and Foreign Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Covt.
Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
[20] Or:-: .', J.M. (1976) General site selection, design criteria, and
costs for recycling wastewaters L';ru .h cypress wetlands. easter's
Yn-,'-. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville. 54 pp.
[21) Spangler, D.P., Gillespie, D., and L,.,LJ J. (1976) Stratigraphy and
hydro11'..*ic correlation studies in several cypress domes in north-central
Flori 1 :, pp. .10-1 ".. Cypress wetlands for .;'at:.or m;-1-.- .- nL., rtc: L.ling,
and conservation. H.T. Odum and K.C. :.-el (ads.). Third Annual Report
to the National Science Foundation (K .a;) and 1. I Rockefeller Foundation.
Center for Wetlands, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville.
[22] Straub, P. and Post, D..- (1978) Rates of growth and nutrient
concentration of trees in cypress domes. Cypress wetlands for water
man.- I -:it, recycling, and conservation. H.T. Odum and K.C.- wel (cds.).
Fourth Annual Report to the National Science Fo.undation, DivIsion of
Applied once and Research Applications and The Rockefeller Foundation.
CEnter for Wetlarnds, Univ. of Florida, Cain.svuille.

Full Text


CYPRESS SIIAMFS}'ORNlITRIENTRE:{OVAI.ANDWASTEWATERKath.,rln .. C"rterE".. 1 School ofForest and nndCent"rfoc Wetlands II.T. Odu",Depart",,,nt ofEnvironmentalEngineering Sciencesand Center foeUetlands, Univ"rsltyofFlorida,Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A. "Summary ofwork don" hy "res",,,rchgrolll'through the Untversity ofFloridaCenterfor Wetlands supportedby grantsfrom The RockefellerFoundation a"dthe Division of I,,>plledSclcmce and t:,.",,,,rchApplic3t1ons oftheNationalScienceFoundation.


INTRODUCTlO:' throughoutthecountry arc facingincreasesinutilitycosts "9ni:" "'aterpoLlution 1""'8cone intoeffect.Installationofadvanced "'astew"tct crealment systemsis prohibitively "",pellsive for """,11ercornnuniUes inparticular.AprojectundertakenbytheCenterforWetlandsattheUniversityofFlorida has beeninvestigatingforn,,"tlyfiveyeatstheconsequences of useofcypresswetlandsfor sc"age recycLlng.SeCondarilytreated sewage hasbeendischargedattherateof 2.5 into two cypressdomeswhichares",al1 swamps. The ",ain studyarea (figure 1)1slocatednearGainesville,Florida,wherecypress are commonly foundinpine flatwoods andplantations.Three experinentalcypressdomesare locatednextroa[railerpark. 1\10 of rhese",ere accidenrallyburnedina fireearly intheproject;one has beenreceivingse"ageand anotherground"ater since Harch, 1974.Arhird,unburned doae hasbeen receIvIng8e''''&"'sInce March,1975.AfourthdomelocatedintheuniversIty's Austin Cary Forestissurrounded byanat ..ealstand of slashpine andlongleafpine. Noexperimentaltreatments havebeenapplIed tothisdome. CYPRESS ECOSYSTE}lS IN FI,oRIDACypresstreesarecommonly found ",here water levelsfluetuate: ,infloodplain forests; aroundthe fringes oflakes;1ndomea, whIch are small, cIrcular withinteenaldeainage; andinextensively meandering, shallow, slo"ly moving streams calledstrands.Thegreatest extent anddensityof cypressteees in north-central Florida occur in do"'"s andstrands,which arc ofteaunderlain by clay(Spangleretal.,1976).Peatand limestoneof varying depths arefoundbeneath these ecosystemsinsouthFloeida, whereoptimUII. growthrates foecypress occurin stnlllds ata hydroperiod of 286 to 296days (Duev"r et aI.,1977).Inthis "rea, wetlandhabitats occur in areas",ith hydroperiodsofat least 223days,andpeat,accumulationbeginswhen hydroperiod exceeds241days.Peatdepth andvegct"tionCOO"lposition andgrowth rates1IIay varyiffire throughanareawithany frequency, however. earlygrowthratesmay be fasterweee peatisdeepest(Duever et al.,1977), treesrooted inthese areasmay bemoreeasilykilledbyfires (F.weland Kitsch,1978). CrosspriIl",ry productivity rates in cypresseeosyste",s are very lowin domes bllt comparable to Puerto Ric"n rainroresteates infloodplain furest6 andina sewa8e-enriched dome (Brown, 1977).A eelationshipseems to existbetweengross productivity orcypressandav"ilablephosphorus. Net primary productivity rate6 of cypressare reflecredinthe species compositionofa swamp.Cypress in associatIon.. ithhardwoodsgrowa nost rapidly,while cypress in purestands orinassociationwith pinetreesgrows moreslowly(Kitsch and Ewel, 197R). Dr"inage conditions to have"strong influenceon growthrat",S illthese swamps(Fi.gure 2).


oGAINESVILLE/lUSTI>! CARY I. SEWAGEcypOO"': RESS -...-.Fig.1.Map of ""wagerecyclLngresea.chsIt"".




EFFECT OF SEWACEdo",,,v<:>getationie;"",,,allydistinctfro",veg"tationinthe pi"" flat"oods.Spe,,-iesco",positionappears to oenffectec by fluctuatingwaterlev"ls.F<:>rns'Ireco;;]:;;on inthe "hullo...,rcdllngs plantedat Austin Cary aresignificantlylo"er.Th" mortnlity rate o[ seedlingsplanted in the""""gedo:;:"sWilS considerablyhigherin these"ag" domesthan ie.either of thecO:1t.roldome9 (Deghi,1977). Jncre"ses in treedi::>eter, on theother hand. been !:reater inthe ,,"perim..nt,,1dOl,estnan inth ..connol dom .. (Table1). AltrlOugh tbeeffectsofthe irehave compou"d"dthe the cOncentra tionsof nut-rients in tree9 ro increas., initiallybutto return"v"r.tually to normal (Straub and Post,1977). Si.,ila-rly, productivit:y -rnte" in """,age-enrichedcypressdOl,e" are "pparcnt:ly due ltlOre to incre"s"," in lcafbi"",asst:hantoinc-r"ase" in weight-specificphoto"ynthe"icrate" 1977). NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS Phosphorusbudgets calculatedforthe unburnedse""gedoce andforthe co"troldOCle are sho"n in Figure:; (Degh1.1977).Inthe sewagedome, at least72% of the incomingphosphorusis estimated topercolate from the "m;f"ce",ateroither directly do"n"ardo-r through the sands surroundingthe dO:l";9% ofthis amount is retained in th"layer of organicmat"rialliningtil" basin. Incrca""d uptakeof pho3phorus by faster-g-ro,;ingrrees only ,,-ccount:s for 27. oftheincoming phosphoru"inthis study,leaviug "pproximatelyof the phosphorus un",,"counted for. Ho"ever, inan "nalysis of a nearby seu"ge-entiche,lcyp-ressstrand, high conce"trations ofphosphorus "ere foundinthe root', of cypres"(Lu!:oet:,,1.,1971). IIIthis ""nOll', it wasestimatedt:hat as ouchas1,3% ofthephosphortls taken upbythe eco"y"temn,,-y havebeenstoredin thero"ttissue."cirClernitrollen nor phos;>llorusappears to bemO'Jinglaterally from undr11,,-athth"domes.Thepr",,"nce of chloridelOriS in slmllo'"""lIss"rrouo,Hngthedomesindicate" thatthe Haterentering the froe the ,,.,,,,'getreatL,cnt plantIs infHtr"tin!!thp.shallo"vater t"ble (Dierb"rf;andilr<'zonik,1977).l\o"",v",r, the ""dim""ts,nndclay.q und ..dyinr: the doroe are many of the oth ... r prtrticularly'lnet phosphorus (figure6).


fl\';Z' 0 SowCQO DomoII 6SwageDomo 2 Domo 4000 Au;!in CoryConlrolDome ,'SNJMMJSO1977SNJMMJ1976 SNliMMJ 1975M J 1974 -300N,,-"i, 200 "0"0,"w 100Fig.3. Changos in biomnss ofunderstoryvegetation at four experimental cypress wasadded to 1in March 1974 andto Scwngc Domo 2 in March 1975.


0 < 00 00 0 ,, ,, ,, 0,,,0 ,, 0, 0, ,0 0 0,0, ,, 0,,, 0 0 0 0 ,, ,0 0, ,0 > ,, z 00 '. 0 0 ,0,, ,0w,0OU ,, NZ0 ,00, 0, ,,0, >. 00 0, ."" 0, 00"W,, b 0 0 0N" WW m" W 0W"0 >< 0 "\< 00 z"'\0 000 U 00 n w w '" w, ZZ" >.z 0 0 Ww .," 00I 0 0 n, N "U 0 0 0 0 0 ,0 0 0 N0 ",U (\In).LH9I::1H",.


Table 1. AnnualIncreaseb in ofdlsticbum var nut"ns (6/26/76-6/15/77), ..Do"''' Ie Seyage,Dome 2Da,ee1"0.33 + 0.030.36+0.030.36+0.030.08+0.01b V"lu"sarc the ",aan sudplusorminlls thestandarderror orth" Quan.Valueslisted atein ""nti,"'tets.atebased on94 trees.Voiuesatcbased On97ttees, atcbased on98 trees,\'31"e"arebased on195 trees.


. ,\LOSS FRCMWATER COW. ....N 01SEWAGE DOME 20.1LOSS FROM WATER COWM'"I 8.6 Numbsf5areFig.$. flowsinan1turalcypressdooeand in asevage-enclchedcypressdome.


TOTAL f:ITROGEN tJtaa' waL \'lATeR TOTALPHOSPHORUSo 60 '0SEWAGE DOM!:: ,SEWAGE DOME,GROUND_WATERDCMECHLORIDE.l;UST1N""'"'DOMEFig. 6. Conc... of in sud"ci!waCer nnd surroundingwell3 offour cypr",."dOEl"".


BrozonLk(1977)conclud<'thnc""hct"'E'enth"rlo"'"s in "''''''Iuito pop"lations,particularly ofeeonoClicallyormedLcallyImport.,mt"peci"".Kordidh" find that the s.."agedo",,,,,produ<.:"dsierdficalltiyhiGher of e""tern or w""ter"equi""encephali.tisvirustha" oth"r dem"'..No"tofth"virus activIty isduringtheummll'!Y.HoweY"r.96% or tll"birdssightedin both these,,"gedo,.,,,and the natural dome ",erer"sid"nts"nrlwInter,-isltdr". The "u'""'"rvisitorscompris"d only 3%of the total illboth cas,,".Fecal"oliform levelsin e"oundwater",..11,. Inthe c:xperlmentaldo",es andinthe sta"dingwa,cr at a nearby s"""rl "trand "ereconsistoently10""-

G-'LEOPARDFROGS ENTERING PER METEROr EDGELJ LEAVING PER METER orEDGES-IS-2 .-/ .. -do;W;c-."" .. rtJir,N#*' 43 59 83 bAt--w_$,-;' -f@.@%', .;'%160g 0120 "-10:>['" 060 w60 m,;'0'"Zro o 7fifj:j-g;5 d 6.256 6.9rgf;:236 400 570 pFig. 7. Nu",b"rs and bl<:>",a"s uf capturedatth"dge" of thr.. e experimentaldomes.


Ag"-"er,,,l"nalysl" by Fritz"",l lIelle(977) Lldicatedthattlt,,-exten"ivefo;:-""'cainnet-,JOrk atldfencing costsneeded(orfromInrg"se""aget""atr.l,,-nt plantsinto "lmp"tHiv", .. it;'sprayirrigation (orthese largerdispos"lR"""arch i.nto th",md function ofcyp"""sstnmds is "onti,,-uedo:lgoingcypre""domework in orde" to providean ofti,e of be"eccosyste",g to provide nn i",portuntservice to soci"'ty,,1\ich lIIight b"co;:?ati"le"'iththeirnormalecologicalroles. THE ROLEOF SIU\.'Il'S HI SAVEG'1':e hydrologic budget of Ill\ unburned cypres" studiedby lIeltab""g(1977)"'h" found 307. less evapotransplrnUonth"" in ope",.-"tor(Fi.g""e 8). do;">e by Ilu-rn"(W78) in "cypressst-randshoc;edthecom;lu:;ion.1:,15rc-Iationship""" not expected,slnc",inc..-eases in p,.odu<:tlvity o( "plantcoverincrellse'..ate" loss overevaporatioafro"ba,.esoil(Arkley,1,63;1965).Cypress"",,,,,ps, however, have10'" leaf areaindi<:csl""f"io:,a""(Hits<:h,1975;Brow", 1978). ",,,pres,, tre .. drop t:,,,irl"nve"illthed"ysell"on, stopping transpirati"n,'.hile still shadingtilewateraaddiI:li.nlshingwindstrength,rhcn,bykeeningevaporation...ates1o"; Bytransplringless,cypresstreeshell'maintaintheiro,mchar,,,ctc,,istic"'''tlandhabitat.Thedraining of cypressponds in Floridaie,olllslng"loss of water chat wouldotherwisebeavnllabte for aquiferrechargeor for use.Amemorandumclr<:ulated in Florida a '::0 advocated cuttingswampt""est.o 1;nvewater. If this "'ould clcarlyhave hurt the econonlY of ENERGYANAl.YSISThe roleof cypressdo",",recyclingcan be me"sured"'ithDethods,,, .. ,,d in"'''''''Winnalyllis. In 9, theenergyembodied in the"ork of theswamp is asan inputfromtheleft(1). e"ergies directlyand indirectly from the SUl\ operatethetre"tme"t action economic co"t. Toconnect andprocessthe""stew"tcn,requirespurcc.asedgoodsand"ervic",.""ich contain emb"died"nergy(roOlll,emain "cononyInproportIonto th";-;o,,"ysp""t,Theratio of econoMiccosttof"e""nvi"orc,ental""tc,expressedascoal equivalents, is11.5:3,"factor of3,8. Thls is lars"r thaathe nvera?,eratioof fuel usc to energy(incoalequivalents) intheU.S., which is2.5. an "nvironmental-protectio"pol.nt of vi"w,th:bi" an accept"bleratIo, it is no den"e in "<:ono",l,,a"tivity l!Ja" th"av"r."Kep"ttern of u.s. From an economic pointof vic"""thecontribution of f""e,c"1v::'ron:nental,ren""ableenergy flowis providingmatchiag1lndnttraction forthe "cono",Lca"tivity Co .."Ake it competLtives:''';:ern''requiringgr""tereco"omi"ll'I)"t,


,,,, -os.GOl'--.---,-----.-....--.--.--'--,,--.---,---,--'j::: 0SEWAGEDOME2 CO /0AUSTINCARY DOME.50,,/ \ p.-" PANEVAPORATIONI l...-:

,.I.",,:..00 CO"" """-"I)'<.'Of:,/''.'" 1 ...,1ow'"..... 1 .. ..-.,101;'iC;hO", L .N. Vo ... g, 1 ..."1,.",,, "",._'_ -!L," ....'I ..,. ...., 7 ->J,.";;',.,.v.a,,,/ tCOHO."l'CTPflCSS'"IHTOI_AC.._--"'"sw ....... .. ,Iocto//Tr./tTlM"w

Technologicaltt,"'.. nt,for hasJa.y,e dollar costs,""eht.ontribution from e"viro","..(',oc"s"es. The eo",binud"ystull\"an nature isecolor.ically""decono::>ically,,henthe the tim"s('ectsaCereinfoccingcoo('erating.Th"economy hen"fit" nndconse.vatiol1 dollars ate wiselyspuntwhenth"inv,,"tClent ratIo (Figur" 9)is lor....f:NcRGY0;1 ITS Wi':'rIN>;U5tHrill)!" l.MH.lSCAPE Inth .. sa ..e sensethat energyconve.g"s Infood ch"ins,,unoffw"tersho",..eshull'conve.gearldCOrlcentr"te the ,mer&y"",bodiedirlsunlight, rain, ... ind, nndsubstancesf.o", the uplifted land.Th ..eo,bodied energy Istheenergy requIredto generatetheflow.Theseflowsc is cr"at.. tthanthe landscap..asa"hole.This concept isillust.ated in Figurc 10. l.11en the capacity ofthe "",,,mp toserlle a recycling rolll [or hm,"", societyis considered, thelIaloeofthe s..."m!> increasetoalellel10ti .... s gre"ter thanthe gene.allandsca!>e. In systems thatsurllive(both hu'Oanarlsfo.sewaee recycling wouldbeevenfavo.lIhlethanthatj,nFig. 9b.


To;:e;-cOo,:e'm;t', flow wIthwil'jjjlefig. 10. energy flow modelthe effettof er.crgyin on ncypressdo::eetosyste::..


[l J1 .. ,131 (1. J ["j [ 6 J p,IS'['? I[ 101 [11) [12 J RliFEREi'iCES,\lUnso,,-. J. 'mdFox, J.L.(19/6) ColHo,," of "aters assoclated w1ththedom"pn;pjcct,pp, 309-320. "ctL:u,d"(or"aterl'".anagc",ent,r"cycling,andli.T.o..:UOlandK.C.Ewel (eds.). fllirdAnnu3-l Reportto th" NatIonal Sci"n"efou"datlo"(K.\NIl) 9-584.I,r"...", S. (l'l78) A comparisonofecosystemsCypress""tland" for water'Oklnage",ent, recyclillg,and conserv,,;;!on. H.T. Oduo,and K.C. Ewel (eds.). Fo,,,th AnnualReprottothe Nation"lScicncefou"dation. Di ...bion ofAppUedScienceand Research IIpplicati"ns n"d'iheFoundation.Cente..forIleU,mels, Univ. of florida,Cai""s"ili". Bllrns,L.II. (l'HS) I'roeluctivity, 'lad"'aterrelation" ofa floridacypress forest.Ph.D. Di"s"rtation.Dept.ofZoulogy, Universityof NorthCaroUn",Chapel Hill.213 1'1'. Davis,H. (1911:1) Effect of thetreated eifluent on tlOsq,lito populationsand arbovirns activlty. Cypress wctla"dsfer watert:anag","ent.recycling,""dconserv"tion. 11.1'. Odum a"d ICC.E:'lOl (cds.). Fourth A11nualReport tothe National Science FOll"dati,m,DivisionofApplied Scie"ce and ResearchIIpplications aOlITheRockefeller I'oundatio".Cent"..for Hetlands, Univ.of Florida, Gainesville.I)e&hi,C.S.(1971) Effect of s""aGeeffluent applicationonphosphQruscycll,,&in cypressdo,""-s.H.S. Thesis, U"iv. ofFlorida. lA3 Pl'.Deghi,C.S.(1978) Growthrates of s{'edllngs infourcypress do"",s. Cl'press wetlands for water"."'agement, recyCling. mldconservation. II.T. Odem andLC. Ewel (cds.).Fourth AnnualReport totheNationalScience fou"datio",Divitdon ofIIppiied Science a"d Research Applications andthe RockefellerFOlladation. Genter for Wetlands, Univ.offiorida,Gainesville. Due"er,H.J., J.E. Carison, L.A. Riopelle,""d L.C. (1978) Ecosyst"'"an"ly"is at Corkscrew S"amp. Cypresswetla..,ds for water""mal'''laent, recycling,andconservation, H.t.O., Orlando, Fla.HeilIlbucg.K.}'. (1977)Hydroiogy andbudge;;s of C)pI' ..ssdom"s,1'1'. 56-67. Cypress,,"tiands for waterrecycli1\:':, and co"s,.rvation. ThirdAnnual lle.pon to the 1: ..UonalSei"ne"Foundation(RA..'1);) and The Rock"felier!'oundation. Cent"r for W"tland", Univ.offlo,ida, Gain"svilie.


[13j IJ. "ndHatris, L.D.(.1917) Th"eHects of perlutb"Uo" on cypressdomeani"",1co,""'unitIes,1'1'. 571-653. Cypress""tla"d"for...."rer=n"l:"",,,nt,recycling,>;Ind conservatio:l.II.T. Odu"l and K.C.f:"el(cds.). ThirdAnnual Heporttolh" National Seiene" Foundation O:'\llN) TheRockefellcrFoundation. C"nt"rfo,t'''tlands, Univ.of ,'lorida.C"inesvLllc.[i:']L"go,Xcss"l, J., "ad Il"aloll,T.(1978) Studies onroot bi",,,ass.phosphorus bytootsand th"i"fluenc"ofrootdistributionon pi"ot survivalin a north-central Floridacyptess "traad.Cypress"'etlands fur",atet,,;'nageeu,,,t,,ccycling, consetv"tiun.Il.L Odu:;I ar:d K.C.E\.Iel("ds.).Fou,th AnnualRepotttothe !;atiooalScience Foundntioo, ofApplied Scicnce and R"search Applications ''''dTh" RockefelletFoundation. for Univ.offlorida,Cainesville. NcClurldll,O.C. (1965) Db",etergrowthnodp.,,,no]ogy of trees On siteshiXhwater tables.U.S.For.S"rv. Res.Kote50-22. 4pp. l-:c:t<>han, R.A.and Davis,J..(1978) Density and diversity01 mictoatthcopods in ...ast"""tertreated,tnd\lntreat"" cypressdom"s. Cypress"'cclands for maaage"'e"t,r"cycling,lind conserv"t!on.H.T. Otion, Divl"ionofApplie,l Science and R"",,,,,reh and Th" I'ound"tion. Center for l-lctlands, U"iv.of Florid",Cnl.""s/ill".