Effects of nutrients on concentration of dissolved oxygen

Erin Francis, Giovanni Penna, Kelli Perkins, Jillian Wormington


Eutrophication , although it occurs naturally through geological time, can still stress freshwater (Rosset et al. 2014). The process of eutrophication, which decreases dissolved oxygen levels in freshwater can be sped up by an increase in compounds that contain nitrogen and phosphorus. This acceleration occurs through pollution, which reduces dissolved oxygen levels as an indicator of water quality. The question that is then posed is why is there less oxygen in water bodies that have higher concentrations of pollutions like nitrogen and phosphorus? In response to the question and idea, we will be testing the effects of different pollutants on dissolved oxygen levels of different water bodies.  Using electronic sensors, we will measure dissolved oxygen in milligrams per liter. We predict that the higher the level of pollutants and decomposers that are present in the water will mean less dissolved oxygen levels. The results of this experiment can be used by agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency to get a better understanding of eutrophication and the effects that pollution has on dissolved oxygen levels in water bodies.

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