Articles | Volume 18, issue 6
Research article
17 Jun 2014
Research article |  | 17 Jun 2014

An optimisation approach for shallow lake restoration through macrophyte management

Z. H. Xu, X. A. Yin, and Z. F. Yang

Abstract. Lake eutrophication is a serious global environmental issue. Phytoremediation is a promising, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly technology for water quality restoration. However, besides nutrient removal, macrophytes also deeply affect the hydrologic cycle of a lake system through evapotranspiration. Changes in hydrologic cycle caused by macrophytes have a great influence on lake water quality restoration. As a result of the two opposite effects of macrophytes on water quality restoration (i.e. an increase in macrophytes can increase nutrient removal and improve water quality while also increasing evapotranspiration, reducing water volume and consequently decreasing water quality), rational macrophyte control through planting and harvest is very important. In this study, a new approach is proposed to optimise the initial planting area and monthly harvest scheme of macrophytes for water quality restoration. The month-by-month effects of macrophyte management on lake water quality are considered. Baiyangdian Lake serves as a case study, using the common reed. It was found that water quality was closest to Grade III on the Chinese water quality scale when the reed planting area was 123 km2 (40% of the lake surface area) and most reeds would be harvested at the end of June. The optimisation approach proposed in this study will be a useful reference for lake restoration.