Come on in! The water feels great!: Variation in pH and the effects on algal growth

Wesley Prater, Phoebe Smoot, Bailey Oakes, Megan Pierce, William Mimbs


The factors that affect algal growth have been widely studied due to newfound interests in biofuels. Other studies have tested the effect of the pH of water on the reproduction rates of algae. From the results, we hypothesized that algae will reproduce the most in more basic environments because acidic environments will adversely affect enzyme productivity and inhibit photosynthesis. In our experiment, we expose algae to three different pH levels created by three different concentration of vinegar and measure the algal density and chlorophyll content of each bottle. Our results suggested an observable trend in preference towards the more basic environment with the least amount of vinegar. This research will help in the understanding of environments that promote algae growth in order to maximize biomass production for biofuels. 

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