Nutrient Levels Effect on Dissolved Oxygen Output

Alex Perry, Cesar Sanchez, Michael Cobbs


When a body of water increases its nutrient levels, especially in consideration of phosphorus and nitrogen, which promote the growth and later death of algae, this is called Eutrophication (Olatunji et al., 2015). Eutrophication is a major problem being faced by the agricultural community. Nitrogen is usually the limiting factor in the growth of plants (including algae) because of this farmers add fertilizer to their fields (Chapin et al., 1987). Over applications of fertilizers linked with rain causes the fertilizers to run off into water sources, which leads to eutrophication (Diaz, 2008).  The experiment is comparing different nutrient levels of water effect on fertilizer and fertilizers effect on the life cycle of algae.   By putting fertilizer in water the dissolved oxygen will decrease over time because decomposers will breakdown the algal bloom caused by the fertilizer and use up all of the dissolved oxygen in the water regardless of the nutrient levels in the water.  Though others have attempted to prove the effects of fertilizers in water and found adequate data, we took a different direction by trying to see the effects of different nutrient levels of fertilizer in water. This information is important because knowing how fertilizer reacts in different nutrient levels of water will help predict the impact of fertilizer on the ecosystem in the water.

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