Make it Grow: The Effect of Fertilizer on Algae Growth

Alexis Marroquin, Kierra Swindall, marissa rodriguez, Alexandra Quezada, Patrick Cusaac


Added nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, have been shown to improve algal growth. However, excess algal growth can be detrimental to aquatic systems.  Thus, we wanted to examine the effects of added fertilizer (a nitrogen and phosphorus source) on algal growth in local water bodies. We hypothesize that if fertilizer is added to golf course water, there will be more cell growth because fertilizer helps organisms grow. We filled three 45 ml VWR falcon tubes 20 ml of water from a local golf course pond, then added 5ml fertilizer solution one (low) and 10ml fertilizer solution to another (high; total volume = 30 ml). Our hypothesis was supported by our data. Added fertilizer increased algal growth over the two week incubation period. These data suggest that adding fertilizer would improve algae yield for biofuel production. 

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