When algae gets salty: Saline’s affect on algal growth

Kelli Cowan, Imani Staples, Ted Thao, Cassandra Bratcher


Algae is one of the most prevalent microorganisms in water systems and therefore sensitive to even slight changes in their environment, including changes in salinity. In this experiment, we hypothesized that the more salt added to the water the less the algae would grow. With the information found throughout the experiment, we gain knowledge about how to do damage control of the algae produced from eutrophication as well as factors that cause the algae to grow. Water samples are being collected and tested for the growth of algae with varying concentrations of salt. Each sample had varying levels of NaCl plus a control group with no salt added. The results showed that as salt level increased, algal growth increased as well. Light absorption tested using a Vernier Spectrometer helped determine the growth of algae throughout the different concentrations. Our results showed that the more salt added to the water solution, the more growth increased. This data did not give the results we expected. Therefore, our hypothesis was not supported.

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