The Long Term Effect of Varying Ratios of Eutrophication Ingredients on Algal Growth.

Christion McKinney, Madelyn Medina, Tanner Paget, Kelli Morris, Julia Dabboussi, Ryan Koch


In this experiment we are testing a phosphorus to nitrogen ratio and whether not the different ratios will affect the growth of algae. We tested three different ratios of phosphorus to nitrogen to test this question. Data was collected by a spectrometer connected to LoggerPro and interpreted using an equation that calculated the total amount of Chlorophyll in the sample water. We hypothesized that the mixture that had an intermediate ratio of phosphorus to nitrogen (3:2) would have the highest increased algae growth in agreement with the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis. We thought this would work best, because it often leads to balance in nature, and a more realistic simulation of the ingredients in nature. Using this, we can predict algal blooms, control or create them, and even extend this to varying forms of aquatic plant life that is endangered. During our experiment, our results ended up being a little sticky in the second week with a few errors, but ultimately our results proved our hypothesis, and stayed consistent throughout the four weeks of growth. After graphing the results, it is very noticeable how comparable it is to the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis.

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