This article was originally published on nature


“Wetlands are natural water purifiers on a vast scale, reducing levels of one common pollutant in rivers much more effectively than a gold-standard method.

Many waterways in the US Midwest are awash in harmful fertilizer by-products called nitrates. Wetlands are known to reduce nitrates, but Amy Hansen at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and her colleagues wanted to find out how wetlands compare to other measures for controlling nitrates. The team sampled river water at more than 200 sites in the heavily farmed Minnesota River basin and measured the extent of both crops and wetlands in the area…”

Read on at: nature.