Oxygen Levels: The Effect of Nutrient Levels on Dissolved Oxygen

John Brennan Garner, Bailey Chambers, Katy Ewing, Michael Cobbs


Water sources suffer from decreasing dissolved oxygen levels. Our goal is to figure out why exactly this happens. This decrease has just recently become a problem, with more and more sources of pollution being added to lakes, ponds, streams and rivers (Welch et. al. 2011). While others have used nitrogen sources and phosphorus sources separately to see the effects of them on dissolved oxygen in water, we plan to discover what effect using both nitrogen and phosphorus sources in the same sample there would be on dissolved oxygen in water (Maillacheruvu, 2003). We plan to expose two different environmental samples (water from Dolese Pond and a creek in Will Rogers Park) to phosphorus and nitrogen sources, both separately and together by using dishwashing liquid, fertilizer, and ammonia, and determine the effect that these nutrients have on dissolved oxygen in the water and algal growth. A dissolved oxygen probe and microscope were used to find the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water over a period of time and what organisms were present, respectively. The results from the experiment could be used to help improve the issue of loss of habitats of oxygen-dependent organisms due to added nutrients in the water.

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