Loughberry Lake Lab Report

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This experiment was designed to test what the limiting nutrient was in Loughberry Lake, as well as examine the trophic state of the lake. In order to find out what the limiting nutrient was, we performed a few different tests. We began with a secchi disk test to see the transparency of the water. Then, we took water samples that we later used to test the turbidity levels of the water after adding varying amounts of phosphorous and nitrogen.
Phosphorous was the limiting nutrient in the lake, because it had the most growth even when it was paired with nitrogen. Our data was proven to be statistically significant. The nutrient levels also categorized Loughberry Lake as mesotrophic, and we found that historically, the lake had been oligotrophic in the 80’s and eutrophic in the early 2000’s. This change in trophic states shows the effect that cultural eutrophication can have, and that within a few decades an aquatic ecosystem can be changed rapidly. It is important to recognize the limiting nutrient in the system, but even more importantly, we must recognize our own roles in how we affect our water resources.

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We wanted to find out if there was a limiting nutrient to algal growth, and if so, what it was. A limiting nutrient is a nutrient that controls or ‘limits’ the growth of algae in an aquatic system (Mahaney, Wendy. September 22). Usually, aquatic systems are limited by either phosphorous in freshwater systems, or nitrogen in estuarine systems (Mahaney, Wendy. September 22). Finding out what the limiting nutrient is, is important especially when looking at drinking water supplies. This is due to a few

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