Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) are cost-effective systems for the remediation of polluted water. In FTWs, the metabolic activity of microorganisms associated with plants is fundamental to treatment efficiency. Bioaugmentation, the addition of microorganisms with pollutant-degrading capabilities, appears to be a promising means to enhance the treatment efficiency of FTWs. Here, we quantified the effect of bioaugmentation with a four-membered bacterial consortium on the remediation of water contaminated with crude oil in pilot-scale FTWs planted with Phragmites australis or Typha domingensis. The bacteria had been isolated from the endosphere and rhizosphere of various plants and carry the alkane hydroxylase gene, alkB, involved in aerobic hydrocarbon degradation. During a treatment period of 36 days, FTWs planted with P. australis achieved a reduction in hydrocarbon concentration from 300 mg/L to 16 mg/L with and 56 mg/L without bioaugmentation. In the FTWs planted with T. domingensis, respective hydrocarbon concentrations were 46 mg/L and 84 mg/L. The inoculated bacteria proliferated in the rhizoplane and in the plant interior. Copy numbers of the alkB gene and its mRNA increased over time in plant-associated samples, suggesting increased bacterial hydrocarbon degradation. ... mehrThe results show that bioaugmentation improved the treatment of oil-contaminated water in FTWs by at least a factor of two, indicating that the performance of full-scale systems can be improved at only small costs.