Comparing Algae Growth at Different Fertilizer Concentrations

Jeycee Mcdaris, Mychelle Nguyen, Savannah Martin, Seth Rimpel, Ann Money


Water quality has been an impending issue that is threatening Oklahoma water sources.  Eutrophication, the excess growth of algae due to high nutrient availability, often found in fertilizers, leads to a decrease in dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations in the water (Diaz et al. 2008).  The decrease in DO amounts in the water causes other marine life to die because there is not enough oxygen available to support all of the marine life in the ecosystem.  For our experiment, we will be testing the impacts of varying fertilizer concentrations on algae growth in water derived from a local lake, Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We predict that as fertilizer concentration increases, algae growth will increase.  Our results indicate that algae growth does increase as fertilizer concentrations increase.  Furthermore, our studies found that specific types of algae that excel in polluted environments grew in the higher fertilizer concentrations that were not present in lower fertilizer concentrations.

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