Submerged plant-biochar composite system exhibits effective control over residual organic pollutants in the benthic organisms of aquaculture ponds

Juan Ying Li, Siyu Yao, Zilong Mo, Yabo Miao, Yiqin Chen, Wenhui He, Ling Jin, Wenzhong Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


As of now, submerged plants and biochar have demonstrated significant benefits in aquaculture pond sediment remediation. However, there is limited research on the synergistic effects of biochar and submerged plants in mitigating hydrophobic organic contaminant (HOC) accumulation in aquaculture benthic organisms and in controlling the nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) levels in aquaculture water. This study assesses a submerged plant-biochar system's efficacy in removing HOCs from simulated freshwater aquaculture ponds. Vallisneria natans was planted in sediment with varying levels of wheat straw biochar, while Corbicula fluminea served as the targeted benthic organism. The bioaccumulation experiment identified the optimal biochar ratio for the Vallisneria natans-biochar system in controlling HOCs in aquaculture products. Analyses included final accumulation concentrations in benthic organisms, changes in freely-dissolved concentrations in aquaculture sediment, and a mass balance calculation to explore key factors in their removal from the system. Results indicated that the Vallisneria natans-1.5% biochar composite system achieved optimal control of HOCs in sediment and aquaculture products. Biochar addition to the sediment in the composite system demonstrated a “promotion with low addition, inhibition with high addition” effect on Vallisneria natans growth. Notably, the addition of 1.5% biochar (VN1.5 group) significantly promoted the growth of Vallisneria natans leaves and roots. Comparing the final pollutant proportions in different environmental media, concentrations in water (0.20%–1.8%), clam accumulation (0.032%–0.11%), and plant absorption (0.10%–0.44%) constituted a minimal portion of the overall pollutant load in the system. The majority of pollutants (24%–65%) were degraded in the aquaculture environment, with microbial degradation likely playing a predominant role. Bacterial phyla, particularly Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, were identified as potential direct contributors to pollutant degradation in the Vallisneria natans-biochar system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124078
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2024


  • Aquaculture sediment
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Biochar
  • Microbial degradation
  • Remediation
  • Submerged plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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