Effects of Fertilizers on Oxygen levels in water

Maci Majors, Rachel Kane, nicholas Koemel, Justin Agan


Recent changes in the animal life in the water of The Schuster Animal Park led us to conduct an experiment observing the effects of pollution on the dissolved oxygen content in a body of water. Nitrogen and phosphorous levels in bodies of water are currently a concern due to the way in which they relate to the process of eutrophication. Many studies are being conducted on the effects of eutrophication and how they can be minimalized (Geronimo, 2015). Our experiment analyzes the effects of various amounts of fertilizer on the dissolved oxygen content of water. We hypothesized that adding fertilizer would lead to an increase of dissolved oxygen, followed by a decrease in dissolved oxygen due to the process of eutrophication. Our tests show both short-term periods such as thirty minute intervals, and long-term periods, up to two weeks. The results show the amount of dissolved oxygen in water samples from a low nutrient water containing Chlorella when exposed to various amounts of fertilizer. Our results show that some fertilizer presence leads to an increase in dissolved oxygen content, but the presence of fungus decreases the level of dissolved oxygen. These fluctuations in DO levels can impact plant and animal life in waters. 


Eutrophication; algae; nitrogen; dissolved oxygen; fertilizer

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