The Algal Truth: The Effects of Fertilizer Pollutants on Dissolved Oxygen Levels and Algae Growth

Madeline West, Garrett Sill, Darryl WALKER, Jeremy Kaplan


Throughout this investigation, we will study the effects of phosphorus pollutants on oxygen levels in water streams as well as its correlation to algae growth. We hypothesize that increased phosphorus content in streams, due to pollution, will lead to lower levels of dissolved oxygen as well as increased growth of algae, due to eutrophication over time, decreasing biodiversity. Previous studies have analyzed the amount of dissolved oxygen present in water samples that included nitrogen and phosphorus. Unfortunately, their hypothesis was disproven due to their limited observation time of just one week (Eyman, 2014). We tested our hypothesis using four different water solutions with various levels of phosphorus in each and recorded the concentration of dissolved oxygen over a period of three weeks. Over the three weeks we were looking for the change in the Dissolved oxygen content. Over the first two weeks there was a large increase, but on the third week found a decrease.

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