Algae and Nitrogen: Can too much of a good thing be helpful or harmful?

Breanna Shelby, Kristin Rother, Rachel Meinders, Angela Riley


Eutrophication has become a global epidemic that scientist have been trying to solve. Algae needs Nitrogen to survive and thrive. We hypothesized that an excessive amount of nitrogen could actually hurt algae instead of helping it, and therefore giving a possible solution to eutrophication. We built photobioreactors to create a testable environment for our hypothesis. After measuring the cell density of algae with added nitrogen concentrations, we found our hypothesis to be unsupported: We saw an increase of algae cell growth with added nitrogen concentrations.  

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