The Effect of Algaecides on Eutrophication


2012 Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair

The abstract below was written by the student. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District made no editorial changes.

The Effect of Algaecides on Eutrophication

Camila Moscoso, Stuart High School

Abstract

Eutrophication is a major issue that can be found in some of the most important ecosystems in the United States. For example, the Chesapeake Bay, which is the source of approximately 500 million pounds of food per year, has increasingly been experiencing “dead zones?? where there is virtually no dissolved oxygen. Water is easily susceptible to the pollution caused by fertilizer and sewage, which feeds nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates into aquatic ecosystems. As a result, excessive algal blooms block sunlight from submerged aquatic vegetation which depletes the level of dissolved oxygen. Besides the negative effects algal blooms have on ecosystems, many home owners search for solutions to remove algae from privately owned pools or ponds. The purpose of this experiment was to find the most effective algaecide between Salicylic acid, copper sulfate and Total Pond algaecide. Over the course of five weeks, Pediastrum boryanum has been cultured in twenty separate tanks. Concentration of algael cells was measured using a hemocytometer. The three algaecides were separately added to sets of five trails with a concentration of 0.005%, and the fourth group was set aside to use as a comparison to regular algae growth. After 24hours, the amount of algae was calculated using a cover slip with a counting chamber. The algaecide with the greatest reduction of algae then indicates the most efficient and effective algaecide within 24 hours.


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