Siena's Watershed Blog Page

How phosphorus affects plant growth

In our class, we are doing an experiment to see how phosphorus effects plants. (duckweed)We read an article about our watershed that shows where the phosphorus in our watershed comes from. It showed that most of the phosphorus that goes into lake champlain comes from farming or agriculture. It puts so much phosphorus in the lake, that it almost puts in half. Logging is also a big problem with putting phosphorus in the water. It puts abouts 17 percent of phosphorus in the lake. When you put phosphorus in the water, it makes the plants grow faster. It can start out as a good thing, but after a while it becomes a problem. Some plants will grow to fast on the phosphorus, that other ones will die. This will put the watershed so it is unbalanced. This goes with our project because we are seeing how much phosphorus is a healthy amount, and if the watershed around us is healthy.
Our Procedure

In our class, we are doing a science experiment to see how phosphorus affects plant growth. The question we are answering is How does fertilizer concentration effect the growth of duckweed? My prediction is that the more phosphorus you add will make the duckweed grow faster until a certain point. This is the procedure I used to check my prediction.

Step 1: get four test tubes. Make sure they are the same size

Step 2: fill each the test tube with 20ml of DISTILLED water

Step 3: Put duckweed into the test tubes. Make sure you have between 7 and 15 fronds. (fronds are the duckweeds’ leaves or petals.)

Step 4: Put in about .5 ml of liquid fertilizer in each test tube.

Step 5: Put the test tubes somewhere where it can stand upright and will not spill. Make sure it is under the sun or under a light. (you can do both!)

Step 6: Check to see how many fronds are in each test tube for five or more days.

Testing our watershed's dissolved oxygen level
In science this week we took 2 samples to test dissolved oxygen levels. One was from Cedar Lake (Monkton Pond), and one was from our guppyś tank. We took the sample from Cedar Lake and added iodide-azide. Adding this turned it murky. Next we added manganous sulfate to the Cedar Lake sample and it turned it a rusty color. It also flocked (tuned chunky). While we waited for the Cedar Lake sample to settle, we added iodide-azide to the guppy sample and it turned a yellow-rustyish color. Next we added sulfamic acid to the sample from Cedar lake. This made the sample turn a maple syrup color. After that we added sodium thiosulfate to the sample from Cedar Lake and it took 15 drops to make the water clear. This means that the water in Cedar lake has 3 milligrams per square leader (mg/l). In vermont a healthy amount of dissolved oxygen (DO) per mg/l is 7 mg/l. I can conclude that the water in Cedar lake does not have a healthy amount of DO in it. After we analyzed our data for the Cedar lake sample, we added the sodium thiosulfate to the guppy sample and it took 10 drops to turn clear. This means that the guppy sample has 2mg/l. This means that the guppy water does not have a healthy amount of DO per square foot.

Point and Nonpoint Source Pollution

We were assigned to look around while we were driving and try and see some point and nonpoint pollution and think about how it might pollute the bodies of water around it. Here are some of the ways I saw and how they pollute the watershed around us. The very first thing I saw was a garbage truck. That garbage truck goes around and picks up people’s trash. Then it heads to the landfill, where it dumps the trash and lets it rot for a long time. This is bad because when the groundwater goes into the trash it will pick up dangerous chemicals and bring them to the river. The second thing I saw were sailboats. There are a couple ways they are bad. One way they are bad is they could be leaking oil or gas into the water. Another way they are bad is that they have chemical toilets that they will dump into the water, which is really bad for the water. I saw someone who was putting out lawn fertilizer. The groundwater and runoff will pick up the fertilizer and will carry the fertilizer to the river or other body of water. I also saw fishermen. They can pollute the river by leaving fishing hooks and lines in the lake/river. The last way I am going to tell you about is animal waste. It can have harmful chemicals in it. The rainwater will bring the chemicals into the water. These are just a few ways that land and water interact around us.

How Land And Water Interact

Land and water interact by by trucks, factories and other human activities. The activities pollute the ground then the runoff picks up the chemicals and takes them to the river. This pollutes the river or other body of water. One way land gets polluted is by fertilizer.The fertilizer will eventually get into the runoff and groundwater and pollute the river (overtime) . Another way is drain dumping.if you dump polluted water or any other liquid (that is not non-polluted water) down the rain water drain, then it will go through many underground tubes, eventually the polluted water will come out into a body of water and pollute that body of water. My last way is smokestacks. Smokestacks can put dangerous chemicals into the air. They will fall on the ground. Overtime the runoff will carry the chemicals into a body of water and pollute it. So now that you know some of the ways we pollute land, you can see how we pollute the water to.

#HowWeAffectTheWorld #Siena

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