Feasting Fungi: What Kind of Pollutant Will Cause Decomposer Microbes to Consume More Oxygen?

Emily Wilkinson, Thomas Spadea, Jenna Tarrant, Traci Richardson


The purpose of this experiment is to observe how organic and inorganic pollutants affect dissolved oxygen content in ponds. The problem is that different kinds of pollutants decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen in ponds at different rates. What types of pollution affect the amount of dissolved oxygen more? Of course, this is a topic that has been extensively researched, but because pollution is still a widespread problem further related research is always useful. To tackle the question we observed the different rates at which oxygen decreased in water that contained algae, fungi, and either inorganic or organic pollutants. We ran an experiment using a dissolved oxygen sensor so that we could electronically monitor the decrease of dissolved oxygen under these conditions. This experiment will help us further understand the impact of certain types of pollutants on pond water.

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