Presentation Title

Salinity Increase in Water Bodies and its Controversial effect on Diatoms

Faculty Mentor

Russell DiFiori

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:30 AM

Location

CREVELING 69

Session

POSTER 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Diatoms are single-celled algae found in natural sources of water. They are vital because they are responsible for around 40% of aquatic productivity and carry out around 25% of the Earth’s photosynthesis. Diatoms provide substantial basis in the marine food chain to various species. When diatoms die, they increase silica levels in oceans, contributing to natural fuel reserves. Although this can be resourceful, diatoms bloom extremely rarely - conserving them should be our priority.

Urban salinity occurs when salt (mainly NaCl) accumulates in water bodies due to urbanization (NSW), and threatens flora and fauna. This directly threatens diatoms and results in their shrinkage and ultimate death (Lancelot). This creates a food chain imbalance and when fish die, it affects the overall health of water or the ecosystem as a whole, including humans.

For the study, diatom species from various areas are tested under different salinity conditions to explore how salinity affects their size. Diatoms from two urban and two mountainous locations, show how increase of salinity makes the cell of the diatom decrease commensurately.

The water samples were collected by scraping rocks in water, which were made into nine 25 mL samples whose salinity was increased up to 3.2% (sea water salinity). After one week, they were examined and sizes were compared to record shrinkage. Acquiring scientific evidence to prove diatom death in hypertonic water can be used to spread awareness and bring change in heavily polluted cities.

Summary of research results to be presented

Our research results will consist of our findings on how increased salinity can affect diatoms in bodies of water. The water samples were collected by scraping rocks in lakes/ponds or the brown coating on stones and sticks, which were used to make nine 25 mL samples that were incremented by increasing salinity.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 10:30 AM

Salinity Increase in Water Bodies and its Controversial effect on Diatoms

CREVELING 69

Diatoms are single-celled algae found in natural sources of water. They are vital because they are responsible for around 40% of aquatic productivity and carry out around 25% of the Earth’s photosynthesis. Diatoms provide substantial basis in the marine food chain to various species. When diatoms die, they increase silica levels in oceans, contributing to natural fuel reserves. Although this can be resourceful, diatoms bloom extremely rarely - conserving them should be our priority.

Urban salinity occurs when salt (mainly NaCl) accumulates in water bodies due to urbanization (NSW), and threatens flora and fauna. This directly threatens diatoms and results in their shrinkage and ultimate death (Lancelot). This creates a food chain imbalance and when fish die, it affects the overall health of water or the ecosystem as a whole, including humans.

For the study, diatom species from various areas are tested under different salinity conditions to explore how salinity affects their size. Diatoms from two urban and two mountainous locations, show how increase of salinity makes the cell of the diatom decrease commensurately.

The water samples were collected by scraping rocks in water, which were made into nine 25 mL samples whose salinity was increased up to 3.2% (sea water salinity). After one week, they were examined and sizes were compared to record shrinkage. Acquiring scientific evidence to prove diatom death in hypertonic water can be used to spread awareness and bring change in heavily polluted cities.