The Effects of Sodium Bicarbonate on Algae Growth

Derah Bostic, Lexi Berry, Kaci Baker, Ashanti Baker, Tim Anderson


Algae are organisms that are present in every aquatic system on the earth and are very sensitive to small changes in these systems, such as the pH level. We hypothesized that as the amount of sodium bicarbonate in the water increases, the growth of the algae will increase because sodium bicarbonate is an excellent source of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is essential for photosynthesis and growth in algae (White et al. 2012). Algae hold in important role in aquatic systems and our study can shed light on the pH levels most ideal for algae to thrive in. Also, the results of the study can be implemented to use pH as a more efficient measure of how well the algae is thriving in a system, as opposed to cell count. A hemocytometer was used to measure the number of cells produced after two weeks. The treatment group with the least sodium bicarbonate had the most growth. Our results did not give us the data we expected, therefore our hypothesis was not supported.

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