The Effects of pH on Algae Cell Growth in Water

Bailey Liebherr, Erin Hester, Kaelan Huffman, Andrea Harrison, Patrick Cusaac


Environmental conditions such as pH can have a major effect on the growth of different algal species. We measured the effects of different pH levels on Oscillatoria cell growth in water from a Lake Hefner fishing pier.  We hypothesized that the sample with the neutral level pH equal to the natural pH of Lake Hefner would experience the most cell growth, and therefore have the healthiest aquatic environment. We added baking soda and vinegar to increase and decrease the pH of the water (respectively), and measured the density of Oscillatoria using a hemocytometer. All samples decreased in cell density over the incubation period, and thus our hypothesis was not supported.  However, controls experienced the least amount of decline, suggesting that neutral pH is best for supporting algae.  

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