The Effect of Different Nitrates on Algae Growth

Annagrace Lewis, Harrison Muegge, Emily McAfee, Rachel Ritchie


We have observed from other studies that an abundance of nutrients in the water is known to cause eutrophic algal blooms. We then concluded that nitrogen is a key factor in the growth of algae, but we did not know which nitrogen source is the most effective. Our hypothesis is that with greater amounts of nitrogen present in the water, the greater amount of algae will grow. In order to test this, urea, potassium nitrate, and ammonia were placed into separate tubes with the same water source and left to sit in normal growth conditions. After calculating the cell density in each sample, we found that the water with the potassium nitrate (13%) produced the most algae growth after each trial, further concluding that nitrogen plays an important part in algae growth.

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