Eutrophication: Water Quality Parameters

1135 words 5 pages
The Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms and Eutrophication

Eutrophication, by definition, is a process where bodies of water receive excess nutrients that stimulate excessive plant growth. Eutrophication results from continuous pollution in the form of agricultural run-offs or sewage outflows. Fertilizers and sewage are both rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, which are both nutrients essential for plant growth. However, these nutrients are typically low in content in aquatic environments, which limits the growth of algae and plants, but with an increased amount of these nutrients, more plants are able to grow, disrupting the natural environment. Eutrophication is becoming more and more common throughout the world. One main
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We then used the lists in the lab manual to determine if the soil nutrients were depleted, deficient, adequate, sufficient, or had a surplus.

Results Figure 1 – Water quality parameters: Dissolved Oxygen

Figure 2 – Water quality parameters: Conductivity Figure 3 – Water quality parameters: pH Figure 4 – Water quality parameters: Optical density Figure 5 – Water quality parameters: Temperature (°C) Figure 6 – Change in nutrient levels

Figure 7 – Change in mass of Elodea

Figure 8 – Bean plant height over time

Figure 9 – Soil content

Figure 10 – pH of Soils in the three different treatments

Figure 1 shows that the dissolved oxygen in the “high” aquarium is highest at the beginning and continues to rise and fall, while the dissolved oxygen of the “control” aquarium stays somewhat the same and then drops a little at the end. Also, the nitrate and phosphorus skyrocketed in the “high” aquarium (Figure 6), aiding in the drastic growth of the mass of elodea in the tank (Figure 7). Figure 8 shows that the bean plants above the “high” aquarium grew faster than the other two. Discussion
The results of this experiment somewhat confirm my hypothesis. As stated in the results, the bean plants above the “control” and “moderate” aquariums did thrive, but the plants above the “high” aquarium also thrived as well. As the fertilizer was increased to simulate agriculture runoff and other pollutants to the