Phytodepuration (phyto=plant, depurare=clean, purification) is defined as the reduction of contaminants in waste water treatments by means of biological and physicochemical processes driven by aquatic photosynthetic organisms. Phytodepuration is a natural process that happens inside ecosystems receiving waste water. In fact, phytodepuration and autodepuration of water are the usual processes to recover the water quality. This process takes place at natural and artificial wetlands.


The concept of phytodepuration is applied when there is the intervention of any photosynthetic organism, such as higher plants (macrophytes) or macroscopic and microscopic algae. However, the most common concept of phytodepuration implies the action of macrophytes. Nowadays, the main phytodepuration research line is led to the purification of contaminated waters by means of the use of the higher plants (macrophytes) in wetlands and aquatic systems, both natural and artificial.