Going Bananas: Potassium Nitrate’s Effect on Algae Growth

Julie Watkins, Ryan Wheeling, Cash Everett, Shauni Windle


According to Hinga (2002), many factors influence algae growth. One of these factors, according to Sardans and Penuelas (2015), is that different nutrients, especially potassium, greatly influences algae growth. Based on this knowledge, researchers in this experiment sought to understand the effect of potassium nitrate on algae growth. Researchers manipulated the potassium nitrate levels of three out of the four bottles (the fourth bottle served as the control group). It was hypothesized that as potassium levels increased algae growth would increase as well. After one week, researchers found that the cell density of each sample increased. This data supports our hypothesis. However, future research is needed to measure other factors such as light, O2, and temperature’s influence on cell density.

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