How You Bloomin'?: The Effects of Various Nitrogen Levels on Algae Growth in Water

Cristina Wedler, Meg Bloom, Kate Wright, Addi Woodruff, Matthew Ridenour


More knowledge is needed on how to improve water quality. Because the availability of nitrogen plays an important role in algae growth, testing water samples with different amounts of nitrogen should produce a variety of results. Our hypothesis states that increased nitrogen levels will lead to a higher algae count. We tested water samples with a variety of levels of nitrogen. The samples tested ranged from a low amount of nitrogen (0.0 mg/L) to a high amount of nitrogen (1.4 mg/L). We also tested an intermediate sample with 0.6 mg/L of nitrogen. These samples were taken from Lake Hefner, the Dolese Outlet, and the Dolese Main respectively on March 26, 2018. Each of these locations are near Oklahoma City, OK. We found that the water samples with a higher amount of nitrogen yielded higher algae counts. As nitrogen levels increase, more nutrients are available to promote aglae growth, decreasing the water quality. Thus, to increase water quality, the amount of algae can be minimized if nitrogen levels are kept low.

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