Bloom and Doom: The Effect of Nitrogen and Phosphorus on Eutrophication and Dissolved Oxygen Content in Water

Heather Henderson, Grayson Kuehny, Sam Kimbrough, Jeremy Kaplan


Eutrophication is the growth of nutrients in a body of water caused by an increase in organic nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus (Hoefnagels, 2014). Our lab tested the effects of these organic nutrients on levels of dissolved oxygen. We questioned if the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus is directly proportionate to the amount of dissolved oxygen. We tested this by completing two different experiments that showed the algae growth and levels of dissolved oxygen. Our experiment showed that dissolved oxygen decreases in bodies of water with high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. One alternative explanation is that the yeast used in our experiment was made with tap water and not deionized water, thus skewing our results and making them unclear. The implications of our research could aid in the restoration of ecosystems affected by eutrophication.

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