This study investigated the potential of thiosulfate-driven autotrophic enhanced floating treatment wetland (AEFTW) in removing nitrogen from the secondary effluent at the relatively short hydraulic retention times and low S/N ratios. Simultaneous autotrophic and heterotrophic denitrification was observed in AEFTW. The peak TN removal rate (15.3 g m− 2 d− 1) exceeded most of the reported floating treatment wetlands. Based on the kinetic model results, low mean temperature coefficient and high k20 verified that the excellent performance in AEFTW diminished the microbial dependence on temperature. Nitrogen removal performance of enhanced floating treatment wetland (EFTW) and floating treatment wetland (FTW) were similar and highly sensitive to temperature. The interaction of sulfur transformation on the nitrogen, carbon uptake of plants was studied. Thiosulfate addition significantly raised sulfur content in the shoots and further enhanced the uptake of nitrogen and carbon, and increased the plant biomass at the same time. Higher composition of autotrophic and heterotrophic denitrifiers in AEFTW interpreted the occurrence of mixotrophic denitrification during summer. Thiosulfate induced mutual promotion of nitrogen removal by plant uptake and microbial denitrification in AEFTW.
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