How Much is Too Much: The Effects Doubling and Tripling the Amount of Nitrogen on Algae

Shelby Moak, Chance Matthesen, Meghan McGrath, Lauren Mohar, Kelsey Deal


We are testing how various amounts of nitrogen affect algae. Because production of algae varies with certain nutrients, the amount of nitrogen added to each water bottle should produce a wide range of results. We hypothesized that algae will result in greater growth when it has an intermediate amount of nitrogen, as opposed to having too much nitrogen where it could be harmful. This is because nitrogen is a key nutrient when the ideal amount is added. We added 8mL, 16mL, and 24mL of nitrogen to observe how each amount affected the cell density and chlorophyll content. The more nitrogen that was added, the cell density was lower and the chlorophyll content was higher. The chlorophyll content was higher because the nitrogen increased the production of algae. Cell density was lower which refutes our hypothesis, leaving our hypothesis only partially supported. 

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