First Advisor

Martin Lafrenz

Date of Publication

Spring 7-5-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography






Mycorrhizal fungi, Bioswales, Runoff -- Purification -- Heavy metals removal, Urban runoff -- Management, Soil remediation



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 146 pages)


This study assessed the effect of an application of mycorrhizal fungi to stormwater filter media on urban bioswale soil and stormwater in an infiltration-based bioswale aged 20 years with established vegetation. The study tested the use of commercially available general purpose biotic soil blend PermaMatrix® BSP Foundation as a treatment to enhance Earthlite stormwater filter media amelioration of zinc, copper, and phosphorus in an ecologically engineered structure designed to collect and infiltrate urban stormwater runoff before it entered the nearby Willamette River.

These results show that the application of PermaMatrix® BSP Foundation biotic soil amendment to Earthlite stormwater filter media contributed to the reduction of extractable zinc in bioswale soil (-24% and -26%), as compared to the control, which received a treatment of Earthlite stormwater filter media only, and experienced an increase in extractable zinc levels (23% and 39%). The results presented also show evidence that after establishment mycorrhizal treatment demonstrated lowered levels of phosphorus in bioswale soil (-41%) and stormwater (-100%), in contrast to the control, which had increased phosphorus levels. The treatment contributed to reductions between 67% and 100% in every metric detected in stormwater after an establishment period of 17 weeks, while the bioswale with no mycorrhizal treatment had increases between 50% and 117%. Treatment also appeared to enhance the reduction of ammonium and nitrates, while contributing to a greater increase in soil pH.


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