A wide variety of beneficial organisms, ranging from bacteria to protozoa to higher animals, can exist in wetland systems. The range of species present is similar to that found in the pond systems described in Chapter 4. In the case of emergent aquatic vegetation in wetlands, this microbial growth occurs on the submerged portions of the plants, on the litter, and directly on the media in the SSF wetland case. Wetlands and the overland flow (OF) concept described in Chapter 8 are similar in that they are both "attached-growth" biological systems and share many common attributes with the familiar trickling filters. All of these systems require a substrate for the development of the biological growth; their performance is dependent on the detention time in the system and on the contact opportunities provided and is regulated by the availability of oxygen and by the temperature.
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