Can multiple harvests of plants improve nitrogen removal from the point-bar soil of lake?

Liwei QIAN, Hao DUAN, Jianfang YAN, Yiu Fai TSANG, Junlian QIAO, Xiaohua FU, Lei WANG

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Point bar areas around lakes can provide ecological service functions. For example, plants growing on point bars absorb and remove nutrients from the soil and water. However, if the point-bar plants are unregulated, in the fall and winter, plant debris will decompose, releasing nutrients that then enter the water body and cause eutrophication. Therefore, any harvesting should be managed. But how to harvest plants and how often to harvest them, and there is little research on these. In this study, the point bar at Qingcaosha Reservoir was used to study the effects of three plant harvesting modes (M1: unharvested; M2: one harvest in the fall; and M3: one harvest in summer and one in the fall) on the removal of nitrogen (N) from point-bar soil. The largest amount of N was removed by the plants when the M3 mode was used (26.93 g/m²). However, the M2 mode removed the most N from the soil during the plant growth season (81.62 g/m²), which implied that the nitrification and denitrification effects of soil microorganisms make the largest contribution to N removal from this point-bar soil. The nitrification and denitrification activity of microorganisms was higher for M2 than for M1 and M3 in the following year. Additionally, summer harvesting (M3) had a negative effect on nitrification efficiency in the current season because anaerobic bacteria in the soil significantly increased and nitrifying bacteria significantly decreased after harvesting. However, after a period of recovery, the number of microbial nitrifiers increased again and nitrification activity rose in the following year. The reduction in oxygen supply after harvesting may be the main reason for low nitrification in the current season, but it was beneficial to nitrification and denitrification in the following year because there was luxuriant plant growth. Therefore, when considering both the current season and the following year, harvesting should not be too frequent and one harvest in the fall (M2) led to the largest removal of N from the soil. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109371
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online dateAug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


Qian, L., Duan, H., Yan, J., Tsang, Y. F., Qiao, J., Fu, X., & Wang, L. (2019). Can multiple harvests of plants improve nitrogen removal from the point-bar soil of lake? Journal of Environmental Management, 249. Retrieved from


  • Point-bar soil
  • Point-bar plants
  • Harvesting modes
  • Nitrogen removal


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