A review on plant-microbial interactions, functions, mechanisms and emerging trends in bioretention system to improve multi-contaminated stormwater treatment

Tariq Mehmood, Gajendra Kumar Gaurav, Liu Cheng, Jiří Jaromír Klemeš, Muhammad Usman, Awais Bokhari, Jie Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Management and treatment of multi-polluted stormwater in bioretention system have gained significant attraction recently. Besides nutrients, recent source appointment studies found elevated levels of Potentially toxic metal(loid)s (PTMs) and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in stormwater that highlighted many limitations in conventional media adsorption-based pollutant removal bioretention strategies. The substantial new studies include biological treatment approaches to strengthen pollutants degradation and adsorption capacity of bioretention. The knowledge on characteristics of plants and their corresponding mechanisms in various functions, e.g., rainwater interception, retention, infiltration, media clogging prevention, evapotranspiration and phytoremediation, is scattered. The microorganisms' role in facilitating vegetation and media, plant-microorganism interactions and relative performance over different functions in bioretention is still unreviewed. To uncover the underneath, it was summarised plant and microbial studies and their functionality in hydrogeochemical cycles in the bioretention system in this review, contributing to finding their interconnections and developing a more efficient bioretention system. Additionally, source characteristics of stormwater and fate of associated pollutants in the environment, the potential of genetical engineered plants, algae and fungi in bioretention system as well as performance assessment of plants and microorganisms in non-bioretention studies to propose the possible solution of un-addressed problems in bioretention system have been put forward in this review. The present review can be used as an imperative reference to enlighten the advantages of adopting multidisciplinary approaches for the environment sustainability and pollution control.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Article number113108
Pages (from-to)113108
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Green infrastructure
  • Hydrological performance
  • Plants-microbes interaction
  • Pollutant reduction
  • Stormwater management

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