Role of the coastal wetlands of the Mar Menor lagoon in depuration of nutrient-enriched water: mechanisms and processes in the soil-water-plant system


Fundación Séneca de Murcia of Murcia, Spain



Project Manager
Partnership Entities

Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena

General Objectives

This project studies the role of soils and vegetation of a coastal wetland of the Mar Menor (Murcia, SE Spain), as a natural green filter of the waters of agricultural and urban origin flowing in watercourses of the Campo de Cartagena.


1) Fieldwork:

1.a.- To characterize water inputs flowing to the target wetland (quantitatively, loads, and qualitatively, nutrient contents).

1.b.- To asses nutrient contents in soils and the chemical/mineral forms in which they appear.

1.c.- To asses nutrient contents in tissues of the most representative plant species, as well as in the soil litter.

1.d.- To asses nutrient contents in soil pore-water.

2) Experimental work:

2.a.- To asses what mechanisms are involved in the immobilization, volatilization and adsorption-desorption processes of nutrients in the soils.

2.b.- To asses the strategies and capacity of different plant species to absorb, translocate and store nutrients in aerial and underground parts.


Project Results

Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J.; C. Egea; A. B. Rodríguez-Caparrós; O. Barbosa; M.J. Delgado; R. Ortiz; J. Álvarez-Rogel. 2006. Contents of nitrogen, ammonium, phosphorus, pesticides and heavy metals in a salt marsh in the coast of the Mar Menor lagoon (SE Spain) Fresenius Environmental Bulletin 15 ( 5), 370-378.

Álvarez Rogel, Jiménez Cárceles and Egea Nicolás. 2006.  Phosphorous and nitrogen content in the water of a coastal wetland in the Mar Menor lagoon (SE Spain): relationships with effluents from urban and agricultural areas Water, Air and Soil Pollution  173:21-38.

Álvarez-Rogel, J.; Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J.; Roca, M.J. and Ortiz, R.  2007. Changes in soils and vegetation in a Mediterranean coastal salt marsh impacted by human activities Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science.

Álvarez-Rogel, J.; Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J. and Egea, C. 2007.  Phosphorous retention in a coastal salt marsh in SE Spain. Science of the Total Environment 378; 71-74.

Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J.; Álvarez-Rogel, J.; Conesa-Alcaraz, H.  2008. Trace element concentrations in salt marsh soils strongly affected by wastes from metal sulphide mining areas Water, Air and Soil Pollution 188:283-295.

Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J. and  Álvarez-Rogel, J. 2008. Phosphorus fractionation and distribution in salt marsh soils affected by mine wastes and eutrophicated water: a case study in SE Spain Geoderma 144: 299-309.

González-Alcaraz, M.N., Egea, C., María-Cervantes, A., Jiménez-Cárceles, F.J., Álvarez-Rogel, J. 2011. Effects of eutrophic water flooding on nitrate concentrations in mine wastes. Ecological Engineering, 37: 693-702.