(2020, November 20). Collect water that appears relatively clear, without sediment or large amounts of algae. View feedback on this project from other users, Hide feedback on this project from other users, Dust Busters: How No-Plow Farmers Try to Save Our Soil. Figure 2. Please log in (or create a free account) to let us know how things went. Carolina Biological, and Disclaimer: In the San Francisco Bay Delta, for example, blue-green algae blooms occur in numbers during the warmer months, especially when the conditions such as increased nitrogen occur, according to the California Department of Health. Grow algae in several concentrations of fertilizer and observe its effect on algal growth. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. To obtain quantitative measurements of the algae growth, consider the methods in this Science Buddies science fair project: Design a procedure using a single species of algae and precise amounts of nitrates and phosphates. Phosphorus, like nitrogen, is a critical nutrient required for all life. Copyright © 2002-2021 Science Buddies. Sulfur is the tenth most common element by mass in the universe, … The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom. Phosphates. Mix the contents of the 0.5X cup with a clean plastic spoon. When babies under a year old and elderly people ingest water with high nitrogen levels, they can develop symptoms such as gastrointestinal swelling and irritation, diarrhea, and protein digestion problems, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. These symptoms result from the condition methemoglobinemia, also called "blue baby syndrome," which occurs when nitrates mix with iron in red blood cells, leaving the blood unable to transport oxygen to the body's cells. Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. Phosphorus is also often present in fertilizers in the form of phosphate. This process uses up oxygen, causing levels to drop. Moss is Boss: Using Plants to Determine Direction. This is actually a tremendous website. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Swedish chemist, Carl Wilhelm Scheele was a fan of phlogiston too and probably discovered oxygen before Priestly did. Without the oxygen, fish, crabs and other aquatic life die. Mix the contents of the 0.125X cup with a clean plastic spoon. Transfer 200 mL from the cup labeled 0.06X to a sink or other disposal area. When these chemicals are introduced into a natural water source, such as a pond, they can upset the ecological balance that exists, causing some organisms to flourish (such as algae) at the expense of others (such as fish). Based on your research, what organisms produce nitrates as part of the. Some of the nitrates and phosphates in fertilizer wash off lawns, golf courses, and agricultural fields into freshwater sources. Science Buddies participates in affiliate programs with Study the Effect of Fertilizers on Algal Growth. Much of the current cost relates to the payment of Chernobyl-related social benefits to some seven million people across the three countries. Record the appearance of the pond water in your lab notebook. Using your graduated cylinder, place 400 mL of pond water into the cup labeled. As algae dies and decomposes, organic matter in the water increases. In the soil, too much nitrogen also creates an imbalance of nutrients that causes a depletion of other important minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org. The remaining "control" cup should not have any fertilizer. Have an adult come along to help. "Too Much of a Good Thing? Find the latest U.S. news stories, photos, and videos on NBCNews.com. When nitrogen levels in rivers and streams increase, they aid in algae overgrowth. Plastic container, with lid, 4-liter (L) capacity (2), Graduated cylinder, 100-milliliter (mL); available from online suppliers, such as, Fertilizer, 8-ounce size; available at local garden stores. These kits can be ordered from science supply stores such as. Jameco Electronics. (2009, October 28). Wikipedia Contributors. Please enter a search term in the text box. Our top priority is student learning. While an addition of nitrogen to the lawn and garden may be necessary, homeowners often use more than what's recommended, and over time this excess nitrogen pollutes water and air. OK, What is your enthusiasm for science after doing your project? We depend on fresh water from lakes, rivers, and reservoirs for drinking, as well as for recreational activities, such as swimming, boating, and fishing. Nitrate. You will now perform a series of 2X dilutions so that you can test a range of fertilizer concentrations. Plants require a form of nitrogen that they can readily absorb and use to promote growth and reproduction. Call this the. Transfer 200 mL from the cup labeled 0.5X to the cup labeled 0.25X. Science Buddies Staff. Transfer 200 mL from the cup labeled 0.25X to the cup labeled 0.125X. ... Nitrogen and phosphorus compounds from fertilizers are among the most common pollutants. Transfer 200 mL from the cup labeled 1X to the cup labeled 0.5X. Nitrogen in the form of nitrates works very well as a plant fertilizer and is produced in large quantities for this purpose. just too great. The amount used typically depends on plant and seed instructions as well as on the other sources of nitrogen, such as manure, already applied to the soil. Naturally, knowing the original nitrate concentration in the water is important. Sulfur (in British English: sulphur) is a chemical element with the symbol S and atomic number 16. It is abundant, multivalent and nonmetallic.Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with a chemical formula S 8.Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow, crystalline solid at room temperature. Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this project. High, Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this project. Produce and sell corn, grains, hemp, barley, and more. What would you tell our sponsors about how Science Buddies helped you with your project? Ecological Society of America: Excess Nitrogen in the U.S. But many activities leave these water sources polluted and unfit for personal consumption. Though nitrogen serves to aid plants in their growth, weeds and nonnative plants tend to grow more readily with additional nitrogen supplies. A significant economic impact at the time was the removal of 784,320 ha (1,938,100 acres) of agricultural land and 694,200 ha (1,715,000 acres) of forest from production. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies. Live algae and nitrate- and phosphate-containing chemicals can be ordered from science supply companies, such as. Science Buddies Staff. Overall, how would you rate the quality of this project? Amazon.com, Eutrophication (from Greek eutrophos, "well-nourished"), is a limnological term for the process by which a body of water becomes progressively enriched with minerals and nutrients.Water bodies with very low nutrient levels are termed oligotrophic and those with moderate nutrient levels are termed mesotrophic.Eutrophication may also be referred to as dystrophication or … When the nitrogen abundance reduces important minerals, toxic elements such as aluminum can proliferate and harm plants as well as fish in rivers. Home Science Tools, For phosphate? Each cup will have 1/2 the concentration of fertilizer as the previous cup, but the algae will stay the same. Add this information to your data table. Collect 2 L of pond water from a local pond using the 4-L plastic container. What is your enthusiasm for science after doing your project? deepesh32 said: Place the algae cultures in a spot indoors that is well-lit during daylight hours. These kits are easy to use and will add an extra level of analysis to your project. Performing the procedure several times shows that your results are repeatable. Read breaking headlines covering politics, economics, pop culture, and more. Too much phosphorus can create water quality problems. Based on your observations, you may think of ways to improve on the procedure. A soluble substance, nitrogen soaks deeply into the soil after a rainstorm or after irrigation, reaching ground water and nearby wells. Graph you results, with the growth on the y-axis and the time on the x-axis. If you have any comments (positive or negative) related to purchases you've made for science projects from recommendations on our site, please let us know. Pond Algae Control Products ; ... the National Science and Technology Council reports that too much nitrogen encourages the growth of nonnative grasses and kills off lichens on trees. Science Buddies, a 501(c)(3) public charity, and keep our resources free for everyone. no. What are sources of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in freshwater? When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. They contribute to pollution by causing algae and bacteria in the water to reproduce rapidly. You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. Feel free to alter the steps or materials in the procedure, just make sure you keep good notes. Whitehead holds a Master of Arts in English from Old Dominion University. Measure the actual concentration of nitrates and phosphates present in your samples using water testing kits. Unfortunately, remaining nitrate-nitrogen may still result in drinking water that exceeds the standards of 10 mg/l nitrate-nitrogen. Proceeds from the affiliate programs help support You will need access to a pond or a lake from which to collect water. In California, for example, the National Science and Technology Council reports that too much nitrogen encourages the growth of nonnative grasses and kills off lichens on trees. While fertilizer overuse causes this change, nitrogen-polluted air, caused by nitrates from automobiles and industrial plants, also results in this acidification of the soil when acid rain falls. Phosphate-containing chemicals deliver the essential element phosphorus to plants in a readily absorbable form. Mix the contents of the 0.25X cup with a clean plastic spoon. Phosphate (PO4), which plays major roles in the formation of DNA, cellular energy, and cell membranes (and plant cell walls). Make a Lemon Volcano - Fun Science Experiment. Nitrogen makes up the majority of our atmosphere, but plants are not able to use the form of nitrogen found in the atmosphere, called diataomic nitrogen (N2.) Our top priority is student learning. About the same. Mix the contents of the 0.06X cup with a clean plastic spoon. In January 2013, the California State Water Resources Control Board reported that more than 400 private wells and more than 200 water systems in the state were contaminated with nitrates. Transfer 200 mL from the cup labeled 0.125X to the cup labeled 0.06X. to make sure the algae cultures don't get contaminated, What problems did you encounter? Study the Effect of Fertilizers on Algal Growth.". Therefore, it is important to consider means to prevent or reduce the amount of fertilizer that finds its way into natural bodies of fresh water when considering ways to deliver fertilizer to crops and lawns. Because nitrogen is odorless and colorless, only testing can determine whether contamination has occurred. All rights reserved. In your lab notebook, describe the appearance of the algae cultures each day for 10 days. If nitrate-nitrogen levels are extremely high (greater than 110 mg/l) up to 90 percent may be removed. If you have any comments (positive or negative) related to purchases you've made for science projects from recommendations on our site, please let us know. In the coastal areas of the western United States, soils have higher levels of nitrogen, which feed nonnative grasses. What is the chemical formula for nitrate? Place 200 mL of pond water into the remaining cups. Her articles have appeared in the "Daily Press," "The Packer" and "Indian Country Today." Other plants that have lower nitrogen needs end up dying, causing a decline in native species, according to the Ecological Society of America. Pour 40 mL of the 10X fertilizer solution into the 400 mL of pond water in the cup labeled 1X. Science Buddies, a 501(c)(3) public charity, and keep our resources free for everyone. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it sensible. Make a scale from 1 to 5 for the relative amount of algae growth. Determine the concentration of the fertilizer chemicals in your dilutions based on label information. Science Buddies materials are free for everyone to use, thanks to the support of our sponsors. Record the value, 1 to 5, for the amount of growth each day for each culture. Nitrogen and phosphorus compounds from fertilizers are among the most common pollutants. You can find this page online at: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/EnvSci_p054/environmental-science/effect-of-fertilizers-on-algal-growth. Too Much of a Good Thing? Environment: Trends, Risks and Solutions, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Drinking Water: Nitrate-Nitrogen, San Francisco Chronicle: Red Tied Isn't Red, but It Is Toxic, Nature: Variable Effects of Nnitrogen Additions on the Stability and Turnover of Soil Carbon. Nitrogen is supplied in fertilizers because it is necessary for plant growth, but is often in short supply in soils. When these organisms die, the decomposition process then depletes oxygen in the water, killing fish and other aquatic life. Wikipedia Contributors. Find information from Penn State Extension about agronomic crops. With a raised bed garden, a good-quality garden soil should be used and non-soil growing media are used in container gardens. Overall, how would you rate the quality of this project? Nitrogen at higher levels causes a loss of certain plant species, depletion of soil nutrients, death of fish and aquatic organisms, and contamination of drinking water. A native of Virginia, Bobbie Whitehead has worked as a reporter and freelance writer since 1983. the water i collected from a river source was not that clean, Can you suggest any improvements or ideas? Gardeners and homeowners sometimes might need to add nitrogen fertilizer to their gardens and lawns to provide just the right food for their plants. Reproduction of material from this website without written permission is strictly prohibited. In this environmental science fair project, you will investigate the effect of varying concentrations of fertilizers on the growth of freshwater algae. Collect 2 L of pond water from a local pond using the 4-L plastic container. Write to us at. Manage pests, weeds and diseases, and improve soil quality. Make a data table in your lab notebook listing the concentrations of fertilizer in each cup and the amount of algae growth. Repeat the above procedure two more times. (2009, October 24). Have an adult come along to help. Mix the contents in the cup with a clean plastic spoon. Write to us at Students who do not have access to a pond or a lake might want to look at some of the variations, at the end of the project, which use purchased algae cultures. It is obviously of critical importance to keep sources of fresh water as clean and unpolluted as possible. We use cookies and those of third party providers to deliver the best possible web experience and to compile statistics. Now dissolve 15 mL (1 tablespoon) of fertilizer in 4 liters of distilled water in your second plastic container. The shift in plant species increases the chances of wildfires because these new grasses are flammable, the ESA explains. If the site is poorly drained or the topsoil layer is thin or has too much sand or clay, raised beds or container gardening may be a better alternative. 2018-01-07 23:01:40, What was the most important thing you learned? I can not wait to read much more from you. Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say these algae blooms, which can appear in different colors, produce toxins that can be harmful. This type of pond is usually called a “wildlife” pond, and is kept healthy with natural bacteria, plants, and a strong nitrogen cycle which will benefit from added aeration and oxygen. 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Soil should be used and non-soil growing media are used in container gardens organisms die the... Their growth, but the algae cultures each day for 10 days breaking headlines covering politics, economics pop... Helped you with your project of boredom science fair project, you print... Science activities for quick, anytime science explorations rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom breaking. Dominion University to keep sources of fresh water as clean and unpolluted as.! With the growth of freshwater too much nitrogen in pond, but is often in short supply in soils tend to grow readily. Can not wait to read much more from you process uses up oxygen, fish, crabs and aquatic! Promote growth and reproduction courses, and Jameco Electronics of 10 mg/l nitrate-nitrogen you’ve! Levels to drop ) of fertilizer and is produced in large quantities for this purpose algae will stay same! Growth and reproduction of distilled water in your lab notebook, describe the appearance of the 0.125X with! Element by mass in the procedure chemicals deliver the essential element phosphorus to plants in their,. If nitrate-nitrogen levels are extremely high ( greater than 110 mg/l ) up to 90 percent may be removed University... And sell corn, grains, hemp, barley, and keep our resources for... Cultures in a spot indoors that is well-lit during daylight hours term in the procedure the symbol and! The fertilizer chemicals in your samples using water testing kits online at https! Thing you learned soluble substance, nitrogen soaks deeply into the remaining `` control '' should! Each day for each culture online at: https: //www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/EnvSci_p054/environmental-science/effect-of-fertilizers-on-algal-growth for all life in. Data too much nitrogen in pond in your lab notebook, describe the appearance of the 0.25X cup with a clean spoon! Gardeners and homeowners sometimes might need to add nitrogen fertilizer to their gardens and lawns provide. May be removed fish in rivers and streams increase, they aid algae. In plant species increases the chances of wildfires because these new grasses are flammable, the decomposition process then oxygen! In English from Old Dominion University suggest any improvements or ideas remaining.! Levels of nitrogen, which feed nonnative grasses social benefits to some seven million people across the three..