Levels of Phosphorus and Nitrogen and how they affect the amount of Dissolved Oxygen: How Increased amounts of Fertilizer affects an Ecosystem

Clark Crotty, Jennifer Dotson, Colin Currie, Justin Agan


 Humans often use fertilizers in order to increase product production and ensure a healthy crop. In recent years it has been found that large amounts of artificial nitrogen in fertilizer has been used to increase the overall crop rates, to meet the demands of the increased growth rates within the human population ( Zhang, Wang, and Wu 2014). Based on these findings we were lead to question why or if increased levels of fertilizer impair aquatic ecosystems. Therefore we conducted research to find the correlation with increased levels of fertilizer and algae production.  To conduct our research we obtained three samples from Dolese Pond, and within two of these samples fertilizer was added.  After the fertilizer was added, measurements of dissolved oxygen, within each sample, were then taken over a course of four weeks. Our results offered that within the initial measurements the control held the least amount of dissolved oxygen while the sample with the added 10 mL of fertilizer yielded the highest amounts of dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen concentrations need to be maintained within bodies of water due to the fact that this oxygen is needed to support life while preserving the health for the overall aquatic environment (Bailey and Ahmadi 2014).

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