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BREAKOUT SESSION D

Utilizing systematic experimental designs to explore the impact of plant diversity
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It is increasingly clear that plant diversity plays a major role in shaping many ecosystem services. Replacement (substitution) series are the most commonly used experimental design for studying diversity but require large quantities of plants, occupy large areas, and have substantial weaknesses in their setup, analysis, and interpretation. In contrast, systematic experimental designs (SEDs) that modify a variable gradually across a plot can (1) reduce the required plot sizes and number of individuals, (2) expand the experimental inference space, and (3) better inform the calibration of competition indices. While SEDs for plant spacing/density (e.g. Pudden clinal plots, Marynen plaids, and Nelder fans) are well established, SEDs that vary species composition are less common. Goelz (2001a) proposed two novel SEDs for plant composition/diversity. The first is a triangular design that systematically varies the relative density of each of three species from each corner of the triangle, providing for all possible combinations of the three species. The second design is a modification of the Nelder (1962) Fan that varies plant density along the radial axis and species composition along the arc. The only publication using these designs is a single Goelz Triangle experiment completed by Goelz (2001b) almost two decades ago. As a pilot study to finally test the potential of these novel SEDs, we have established experimental plots at two locations (Urbana, IL and Salina, KS) using a range of both herbaceous annual, herbaceous perennial, and woody perennial species. Productivity in aboveground biomass will initially be the primary metric by which the impact of diversity is assessed.

Kevin Wolz, Co- Executive Director Savanna Institute

Timothy E Crews, The Land Institute

Assessing the Efficiency of Constructed Wetlands in Removing PPCPs from Treated Wastewater and Mitigating the Ecotoxicological Impacts
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The prevalence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in municipal wastewater has led to increased concerns about their impact on both human health and ecosystem. The constructed wetlands have been recognized as one of the cost-effective and green mitigation approaches to remove the PPCPs in the municipal wastewater. In this study, the effectiveness of a full-scale constructed wetlands treatment system (CCWTs) in removing the 36 PPCPs was investigated. The load mass of PPCPs discharged by the wastewater treatment plant into the CCWTs was calculated. Removal efficiencies of PPCPs were evaluated based on physico-chemical properties such as octanol-water partition coefficient (log Kow), molecular weight (MW, g mol-1), and the acid dissociation constant (pKa). The CCWTs are especially efficient in removing azithromycin, sertraline, tolfenamic acid, and diphenhydramine with removing efficiency > 88%. However, the removal efficiencies of PPCPs in CCWTs exhibit a large variability, depending on physical and chemical properties of the molecules, with 4.7-96.7% for antibiotics, 5-86% for antidepressant and antiseizure drugs, 3.5-88% for NSAIDs, 29-77% for β-blockers and statins and 5.5-94% for other types of PPCPs. In addition, the environmental risk assessment showed that the majority of the PPCPs (excluding sulfamethoxazole) in the effluent yielded low aquatic risk (risk quotient, RQ ≤ 0.1) due to the efficiency of CCWTs. The toxicity index scores were calculated by integration of the predicted and available toxicological hazard data into the prioritization ranking algorithm through Toxicological Prioritization Index (ToxPi).

Mohamed Bayati, Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri-Columbia; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri-Columbia

Thi L. Ho, Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri-Columbia; Center of Core Facilities, Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute, Vietnam

Danh C. Vu, Faculty of Technology, Van Lang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Fengzhen Wang, School of Art and Design, Wuhan University of Technology, China

Elizabeth Rogers, Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri-Columbia; School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri-Columbia

Craig Cuvellier, Columbia Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, Missouri

Steve Huebotter, Columbia Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, Missouri

Enos C. Inniss, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri-Columbia

Ranjith Udawatta, Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri-Columbia

Shibu Jose, Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri-Columbia; School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri-Columbia

Chung-Ho Lin, Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri-Columbia; School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri-Columbia

Bioremediation of atrazine using Bacillus thuringiensis spore-based display system
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Due to human activities and industrial processes, numerous organic pollutants generated contaminate soil and water in the environment. In the agricultural industry, although banned in European Union in 2004, atrazine (ATR) is still one of the worlds’ most heavily applied herbicides. The ATR has widely contaminated surface and ground waters due to its persistence, endocrine disruption activity and high mobility in the environments. Long-term exposure to ATR through consumption can increase the risk of miscarriage and breast cancer, reduce male fertility to humans and cause intersex to amphibians. The goal of this project is to develop a green and cost-effective bioremediation technique without the requirement of toxic solvent and byproducts as in the conventional remediation technology. The Bacillus thuringiensis spore-based display system is a novel bioremediation technology that expresses a high density of enzymes on the spore surface. The spores are resistant to severe weather conditions, and therefore they could survive in harsh environments. We incorporated six enzymes, AtzA-F, responsible for ATR degradation in Pseudomonas sp. strain ADP, into our spore system. We have successfully constructed AtzA- and AtzB- bearing spores. Our results showed that the AtzA-bearing spores are very stable and resistant to the runoff with a shelf-life longer than four years. They degraded 80% of applied atrazine to non-toxic and less mobile metabolites hydroxyatrazine in soil and water within 48 hours. Furthermore, the AtzB-bearing spores were capable of further degrading the metabolite hydroxyatrazine to N-isopropylammelide in water. We anticipate that this project will be the first study using the enzyme-bearing spores to degrade an organic persistent pollutant to carbon dioxide and ammonia. With the success of this study, the spore-based display system can be utilized to remove other persistent organic pollutants, such as dioxins, PFAS, explosives, petroleum polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and plastic waste around the world.

Shu-Yu Hsu, Center for Agroforestry, School of Natural Resources; University of Missouri, Columbia

Hsin-Yeh Hsieh, Center for Agroforestry, Bond Life Sciences Center, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology; University of Missouri, Columbia

George C. Stewart, Bond Life Sciences Center, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology; University of Missouri, Columbia

Chung-Ho, Lin Center for Agroforestry, School of Natural Resources; University of Missouri, Columbia

Genotype × Environment Interactions of Poplars Established for Landfill Phytoremediation in the Great Lakes Basin, USA
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The Great Lakes Basin is a vital provider of freshwater and other ecosystem services to the United States. However, this important resource has been increasingly degraded by human-induced pollution. In 2010, the United States established the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to combat pollution and protect and restore the Basin. The research presented here is from one of over 5,000 projects funded to date by the GLRI. The overall objective of the current study was to assess the genotype × environment interactions of poplars established in sixteen phytoremediation buffer systems at landfills in the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior watersheds for pollutant transport reduction. Field plantings consisted of three site groups, according to year of establishment: 2017 (six buffers), 2018 (five buffers), and 2019 (five buffers). Each site group contained twelve poplar clones established in randomized complete block designs. Our specific objective for each site group was to assess survival, growth, and health across sites, clones, and their interactions. While sites and clones were different for most traits (P < 0.05), site × clone interactions governed survival, growth, and health for all three site groups (P < 0.05). Significant changes in rank and magnitude for height, diameter, and health across sites and clones led to the characterization of two genotypic response groups – clones that: 1) performed consistently across sites, and 2) had site-specific performance. We will present information defining genotype × environment interactions that can be used to maximize the success of poplar-based agroforestry restoration projects.

Elizabeth Rogers, University of Missouri – Columbia, School of Natural Resources, Center for Agroforestry, Columbia, MO; USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Rhinelander, WI

R.S. Zalesny Jr.[1], A. Pilipović[2], C-H. Lin[3], R.A. Hallett[4], J.G. Burken[5], E.O. Bauer[1], B.S. DeBauche[3], R.A. Vinhal[1,3], A.H. Wiese[1]

[1]USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Rhinelander, WI, USA

[2]University of Novi Sad, Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment, Novi Sad, Serbia

[3]University of Missouri – Columbia, School of Natural Resources, Center for Agroforestry, Columbia, MO, USA

[4]USDA Forest Service, New York City Urban Field Station, Bayside, NY, USA

[5]Missouri University of Science and Technology, Civil, Arch., and Environ. Engineering, Rolla, MO, USA