The Effect of Added Decomposers on the Process of Eutrophication and the Resulting Dissolved Oxygen Saturation of a Water Source

Allison Baker, Abigail Arthaud, Jeremy Kaplan


We are attempting to find which nutrients commonly found in sewage cause dissolved oxygen to decrease in waterways.  We are trying to find if increasing the common nutrients of phosphorus and nitrogen can cause the dissolved oxygen to decrease.  We are the first ones to answer this question because we are primarily focusing on the nutrients of phosphorus and nitrogen in the fertilizer and how those nutrients cause a change in the dissolved oxygen.  We performed a short term test and a long term test, both testing the dissolved oxygen of a sample of water with 10 mL of fertilizer, 5 mL of fertilizer, and no fertilizer.  We recorded the dissolved oxygen content of each in the short term test, and then added decomposers to the long term tests to see if the decomposers produce more change in the dissolved oxygen content.  The key impact of our research is to see how these common nutrients can affect the dissolved oxygen content in waterways in order to see how it would affect the animals living in that environment.  The common nutrients we used are found in fertilizer which used often in agricultural contents.  Often, these nutrients can run off into different lakes and waterways, and we are attempting to see how that will affect the species living there.


Keywords: Eutrophication, Nutrients, Dissolved Oxygen, Decomposers, Pollution

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