Presentation Title

Effects of Water Quality on Phytoplankton Growth

Faculty Mentor

Diane Kim, Adrianne Jones

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 11:30 AM

Location

76

Session

poster 4

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Tetraselmis sp and Thalassiosira sp. are two microalgae found on the California coast. These microalgae play an important role in the microbial food web and reproduce quickly, which makes them ideal organisms for research. These algae require nitrate and certain temperatures to maintain their growth rate. Location plays a significant role in the amount of nutrients available to these microalgae, for example nitrate metabolism of Thalassiosira pseudonana relies on the climate parameters of the diatom’s environment (Berges et al. 2002). Coastal environments can often be polluted, and have high levels of nutrients or heavy metals, therefore, the water quality of a microalgae’s environment can affect its growth rate. This experiment tested the growth of two competing algae, Tetraselmis sp and Thalassiosira sp grown in water collected from the port of Los Angeles (polluted) and water from Catalina Island (unpolluted). We hypothesized that both algae would grow best in the unpolluted water. We found that in both conditions Tetraselmis sp grew best and outcompeted Thalassiosira sp. The results also show that Tetraselmis sp grew equally well in both water treatments, suggesting that maybe the port of Los Angeles is not as polluted as we first considered, or that Tetraselmis may be a very robust genus. This research can help predict which species might dominate in polluted environments which could lead to disruptions in marine food webs.

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Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM Nov 23rd, 11:30 AM

Effects of Water Quality on Phytoplankton Growth

76

Tetraselmis sp and Thalassiosira sp. are two microalgae found on the California coast. These microalgae play an important role in the microbial food web and reproduce quickly, which makes them ideal organisms for research. These algae require nitrate and certain temperatures to maintain their growth rate. Location plays a significant role in the amount of nutrients available to these microalgae, for example nitrate metabolism of Thalassiosira pseudonana relies on the climate parameters of the diatom’s environment (Berges et al. 2002). Coastal environments can often be polluted, and have high levels of nutrients or heavy metals, therefore, the water quality of a microalgae’s environment can affect its growth rate. This experiment tested the growth of two competing algae, Tetraselmis sp and Thalassiosira sp grown in water collected from the port of Los Angeles (polluted) and water from Catalina Island (unpolluted). We hypothesized that both algae would grow best in the unpolluted water. We found that in both conditions Tetraselmis sp grew best and outcompeted Thalassiosira sp. The results also show that Tetraselmis sp grew equally well in both water treatments, suggesting that maybe the port of Los Angeles is not as polluted as we first considered, or that Tetraselmis may be a very robust genus. This research can help predict which species might dominate in polluted environments which could lead to disruptions in marine food webs.