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Wetland Research Centre

The Wetland Research Centre brings together researchers working on applied aspects of wetland ecology. Today, wetlands are managed, restored and created in rural as well as urban environments to obtain various societal benefits (ecosystem services) including water quality improvement, landscape values, water storage, production, resource recycling, improved quality of life, as well as to support biodiversity.

Our network consists of scientists and professionals with practical experience applying to wetlands. The research at the Wetland Research Centre is oriented towards applications of wetland knowledge within environmental and nature management. Recent projects include management and design of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment and nature conservation in Brazil, China, the Netherlands and Sweden. The Wetland Research Centre participated in the EU Interreg IV B project "Aquarius - Farmers as water managers under climate change". The Wetland Research Centre has done national evaluations of wetland creation programsopens in new window for The Swedish Board of Agriculture and The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The Wetland Research Centre is involved, through the Rural Economy and Agricultural Society in Halland, in developing environmental innovations for a sustainable water management in the agricultural landscape.

The Wetland Research Centre is driven in collaboration between Halmstad University and The Rural Economy and Agricultural Society. Contacts at the Rural Economy and Agricultural Society are John Strand and Peter Feuerbachexternal link, opens in new window. Research leader is Stefan Weisner at Halmstad University.

Contact by email:

Research projects

Removing pharmaceutical residues - phytoremediation in constructed wetlands

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are ineffective in reducing pharmaceutical residues (PRs). Thus, these substances are now frequently detected in aquatic ecosystems and even in ground and drinking water. A resource efficient option for PR removal from WWTP effluents can be constructed wetlands. This project investigates the role of vegetation in PR removal in wetlands. The project is run in collaboration with Kristianstad University and Umeå University, and funded by Crafoordska stiftelsen, Kungliga skogs- och lantbruksakademien and Magnus Bergvalls stiftelse. Project leader is Hristina Bodin at Kristianstad University.

CINDERELLAexternal link, opens in new window

Comparative analysis, INtegration anD ExemplaRy implEmentation of cLimate smart LAnd use practices on organic soils

CINDERELLA is a project within the ERA-NET Plus action “Climate Smart Agriculture: Adaptation of agricultural systems in Europe”external link, opens in new window

Drained organic soils with conventional agriculture release enormous amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The focus of the CINDERELLA project is research on rewetting of drained peatlands to minimise GHG emissions while maintaining agricultural businesses and maximising ecosystem services. Further, CINDERELLA aims to develop management strategies and disseminating this innovative concept over Europe.

Valuation of cultural ecosystem services based on contributions to quality of life

Ecosystems contribute to human welfare and well-being through a range of services. The ecosystem services that directly provide people with positive experience are known as cultural. The aim of the project is to describe cultural ecosystem services and to show how they can be measured in terms of contribution to quality of life. The study will take place in peri-urban wetland areas. The project is funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and conducted in collaboration with Environmental Psychology at Lund University.

Level-adjusted wetlandsexternal link, opens in new window

The ´level-adjusted wetland´ is a new type of wetland where the problem of nutrient leakage from arable land is approached from a different perspective. The level-adjusted wetland is optimized for retention of nutrients. The efficiency is expected to be high when low water levels optimize sedimentation and where flow peaks can be infiltrated in specially designed infiltration banks. The contained nutrients can be extracted and used as fertilizers on adjacent fields. The pilot facility was completed at Lilla Böslid south of Halmstad in 2014. The project is funded by Vinnova.

Integrated Buffer Zones (IBZ)external link, opens in new window
The objective of the project is to demonstrate and document a new drainage water technology as a cost-efficient measure for reducing diffuse leaching of nutrients from arable lands in the Baltic Sea catchment. The new concept "Integrated Buffer Zones" (IBZ) will thoroughly connect and integrate terrestrial high production agricultural areas with buffer zones along agricultural streams. The project is funded by Baltic Sea 2020.

The WETEFF project

Towards recommendations for design, operation and monitoring of constructed wetlands for treatment of effluents from Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) in the Baltic region (WETEFF). The WETEFF project is a seed project financed by the Swedish Institute. The project leader is Sylvia Waara at the Wetland Research Centre, Halmstad University, Sweden. Contact:

Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in wetlands
This project approaches the different impacts of species composition and diversity on magnitude and stability of ecosystem functioning. How is ecosystem functioning (e.g. retention of phosphorus and nitrogen) linked to biodiversity and species composition in constructed wetlands? How can ecosystem functioning and biodiversity be optimised in constructed wetlands? The answers enable us to deliver concrete guidelines regarding wetland design and management.

An experimental wetland research facility
The experimental wetland research facility consists of 18 similarly shaped wetlands in which water flow, water depth, and vegetation composition can be controlled individually. The number of wetlands makes replication of treatments possible, thus facilitating statistical evaluation of obtained results. Experiments are primarily performed to reveal  factors affecting pollutant removal in wetlands.

Obtaining reliable pollutant removal estimates
Variation in nutrient removal values between wetlands is very large, and removal values also vary between years for the same wetland, weakening modelling estimates on nutrient removal. We attempt to develop better modelling approaches based on data from flow-proportional water sampling in agricultural wetlands in South Sweden.

Updated 2018-12-06