Grow algae in several concentrations of fertilizer and observe its effect on algal growth. 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. "Too Much of a Good Thing? A soluble substance, nitrogen soaks deeply into the soil after a rainstorm or after irrigation, reaching ground water and nearby wells. 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. Proceeds from the affiliate programs help support Science Buddies participates in affiliate programs with Science Buddies, a 501(c)(3) public charity, and keep our resources free for everyone. Our top priority is student learning. What is the chemical formula for nitrate? Using your graduated cylinder, place 400 mL of pond water into the cup labeled. Home Science Tools, If nitrate-nitrogen levels are extremely high (greater than 110 mg/l) up to 90 percent may be removed. Now dissolve 15 mL (1 tablespoon) of fertilizer in 4 liters of distilled water in your second plastic container. Find information from Penn State Extension about agronomic crops. Have an adult come along to help. What is your enthusiasm for science after doing your project? In the coastal areas of the western United States, soils have higher levels of nitrogen, which feed nonnative grasses. the water i collected from a river source was not that clean, Can you suggest any improvements or ideas? Make a data table in your lab notebook listing the concentrations of fertilizer in each cup and the amount of algae growth. I can not wait to read much more from you. Transfer 200 mL from the cup labeled 0.25X to the cup labeled 0.125X. to make sure the algae cultures don't get contaminated, What problems did you encounter? When these organisms die, the decomposition process then depletes oxygen in the water, killing fish and other aquatic life. 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. These kits can be ordered from science supply stores such as. Other plants that have lower nitrogen needs end up dying, causing a decline in native species, according to the Ecological Society of America. Based on your observations, you may think of ways to improve on the procedure. 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. Transfer 200 mL from the cup labeled 1X to the cup labeled 0.5X. Jameco Electronics. Naturally, knowing the original nitrate concentration in the water is important. Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this project. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it sensible. Nitrogen is supplied in fertilizers because it is necessary for plant growth, but is often in short supply in soils. When nitrogen levels in rivers and streams increase, they aid in algae overgrowth. But many activities leave these water sources polluted and unfit for personal consumption. Overall, how would you rate the quality of this project? 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 … Study the Effect of Fertilizers on Algal Growth.". Phosphates. 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. You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. Manage pests, weeds and diseases, and improve soil quality. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. 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. Write to us at Produce and sell corn, grains, hemp, barley, and more. Call this the. Mix the contents of the 0.5X cup with a clean plastic spoon. Repeat the above procedure two more times. Reproduction of material from this website without written permission is strictly prohibited. 2018-01-07 23:01:40, What was the most important thing you learned? Feel free to alter the steps or materials in the procedure, just make sure you keep good notes. Science Buddies materials are free for everyone to use, thanks to the support of our sponsors. Without the oxygen, fish, crabs and other aquatic life die. Mix the contents in the cup with a clean plastic spoon. Collect 2 L of pond water from a local pond using the 4-L plastic container. For phosphate? It is obviously of critical importance to keep sources of fresh water as clean and unpolluted as possible. Based on your research, what organisms produce nitrates as part of the. Live algae and nitrate- and phosphate-containing chemicals can be ordered from science supply companies, such as. Wikipedia Contributors. Mix the contents of the 0.125X cup with a clean plastic spoon. Gardeners and homeowners sometimes might need to add nitrogen fertilizer to their gardens and lawns to provide just the right food for their plants. Too Much of a Good Thing? Write to us at. Copyright © 2002-2021 Science Buddies. About the same. 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. Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say these algae blooms, which can appear in different colors, produce toxins that can be harmful. Each cup will have 1/2 the concentration of fertilizer as the previous cup, but the algae will stay the same. What are sources of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in freshwater? Please enter a search term in the text box. High, Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this 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. Phosphate-containing chemicals deliver the essential element phosphorus to plants in a readily absorbable form. Transfer 200 mL from the cup labeled 0.5X to the cup labeled 0.25X. just too great. What would you tell our sponsors about how Science Buddies helped you with your project? 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.) Phosphorus is also often present in fertilizers in the form of phosphate. Her articles have appeared in the "Daily Press," "The Packer" and "Indian Country Today." 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. Transfer 200 mL from the cup labeled 0.06X to a sink or other disposal area. 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. This is actually a tremendous website. 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. Mix the contents of the 0.06X cup with a clean plastic spoon. (2009, October 24). no. 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. 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. With a raised bed garden, a good-quality garden soil should be used and non-soil growing media are used in container gardens. Carolina Biological, and Nitrogen in the form of nitrates works very well as a plant fertilizer and is produced in large quantities for this purpose. Collect water that appears relatively clear, without sediment or large amounts of algae. Determine the concentration of the fertilizer chemicals in your dilutions based on label information. ... Nitrogen and phosphorus compounds from fertilizers are among the most common pollutants. 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. (2020, November 20). Measure the actual concentration of nitrates and phosphates present in your samples using water testing kits. Nitrate. Sulfur is the tenth most common element by mass in the universe, … 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. 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. 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. deepesh32 said: They contribute to pollution by causing algae and bacteria in the water to reproduce rapidly. 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. Pour 40 mL of the 10X fertilizer solution into the 400 mL of pond water in the cup labeled 1X. This process uses up oxygen, causing levels to drop. In your lab notebook, describe the appearance of the algae cultures each day for 10 days. Find the latest U.S. news stories, photos, and videos on NBCNews.com. 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. 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). Our top priority is student learning. The remaining "control" cup should not have any fertilizer. Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. Phosphate (PO4), which plays major roles in the formation of DNA, cellular energy, and cell membranes (and plant cell walls). Much of the current cost relates to the payment of Chernobyl-related social benefits to some seven million people across the three countries. Make a scale from 1 to 5 for the relative amount of algae growth. scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org. (2009, October 28). In this environmental science fair project, you will investigate the effect of varying concentrations of fertilizers on the growth of freshwater algae. 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