Fungi Hypha saves the day: How introducing Fungi Hypha halts the Eutrophication in the water, allowing more dissolved O2.

Shelby Preece, Tom Lawlis, Jeremy Kaplan


Eutrophication occurs when water receives more nutrients than necessary (Correll, 1998). When collecting samples from different areas of a pond, we noticed varying concentrations of dissolved oxygen (O2). This observation led us to question why some sources of water have less oxygen than others (French, 2014)? We hypothesize that when pollutants are introduced to a body of water the dissolved O2 levels decrease due to eutrophication causing species biodiversity to decrease. At first we were observing the effect of pollution on the species diversity in different samples of water, with different levels of pollutant. After the two week incubation period our samples had visible contamination of fungi hypha. The fungi hypha affected the species diversity and dissolved oxygen levels of each sample by reversing the effects of eutrophication. We are testing why the dissolved O2 levels are increasing with the presence of more fungi hypha. Even though this topic has been thoroughly researched, our question has not been answered because it is such a small aspect of a broad subject. We are focusing on a very small portion of water pollution to further our knowledge of the effects of pollution. Our goal is to gather evidence to support our hypothesis of how pollution affects species diversity and dissolved O2 levels through eutrophication. We tackled the question of whether or not pollution actually has an effect on the dissolved O2 levels by placing different levels of pollutants in samples of water and measuring the amount of dissolved O2 in the samples over a period of three weeks. Then we measured the dissolved O2 levels and the effects this had on the species within the samples. The samples with the greatest populations of fungi hypha had the highest levels of dissolved O2. The key impact of our research is to provide a better understanding of how eutrophication effects the environment. 

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