Juliann Lyons

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

David Stiles, Ray Johnson, Alvin Bedel


Access granted to WKU students, faculty and staff only.

After an extensive unsuccessful search for the author, this thesis is considered an orphan work, which may be protected by copyright. The inclusion of this orphan work on TopScholar does not guarantee that that orphan work may be used for any purpose and any use of the orphan work may subject the user to a claim of copyright infringement. The reproduction of this work is made by WKU without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage and is made for purposes of preservation and research.

See also WKU Archives - Authorization for Use of Thesis, Special Project & Dissertation

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


Depressed areas that will retain water over the soil and form acceptable reservoirs for the invasion of water loving hydrophytes are considered to be wetlands. The presence of standing water may be changeable, and even where there is an absence of water, organic soils may hold adequate moisture to promote germination or to support the growth of emergent hydrophytes.

The role of aquatic plants is a major component in the development of constructed and natural wetlands in order to manage water quality problems. Aquatic and marginal plants have the distinctive ability to remove elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide form the water, replacing it with acceptable levels of oxygen to promote microbial activity. Many species have the ability to utilize significant concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which makes them an essential factor for wetland management. It is important to maintain a balance of aquatic plants within the wetland ecosystem. Many of these water plants combine both useful purposes with an appealing appearance. They help to create an ecological equilibrium that is vital in still water. The oxygenators are the most important, however, floating aquatics, marginal plants, moisture enthusiasts, and waterlilies are also active components in a balanced wetland system.

There are several elements to consider when selecting plants for the wetland. The most significant criteria for plant selections should involve the elusive objective of achieving permanently clear water, generally referred to as pond balance. Determinations should be made as to the amount of nutrients that might be removed from the water and should be balanced with the species of plants that are capable of performing the task. Another aspect of plant selection is the ornamental merits of the species to be chosen. Seasonal colors, striking foliage, height and most important, the plant’s ability to cover unattractive areas, are essential constituents for achieving the desired effect of enhancing the wetland’s appearance. As more wetlands are constructed for the disposal of animal wastes, perception is a very important factor and should be considered in the development phase of the project.


Agriculture | Botany | Life Sciences | Plant Sciences