Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Environmental studies online

Environmental problems article

An increase in fertilizers on the farm are causing increasing amounts of algae in the lake nearby, thus causing a decrease in the number of fish in the lake.
If fertilizers are added directly to the lake, there will be a significant increase of algae in the lake. The increase of algae in the lake will cause a decrease in fish.
English: Algae harvester Made in San Jose, Cal...
English: Algae harvester Made in San Jose, California, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A simple experiment would be to directly add the fertilizer (cow manure) found on the farm into the lake water. By monitoring the lake water, the farmer would be able to see if there is a significant amount of algae increased as a result. This would help determine whether or not this is the cause. The suspected cause is the runoff fertilizer from the farms into the lake. The increase in algae is resulting in a decrease of the number of fish in the lake. If the farmer was able to regulate the runoff of cow manure and redirect where it went, it is feasible to think that the algae in the lake has the potential to decrease, therefore providing a more healthy environment for the fish to thrive in. By manipulating the dependent variable, the fertilizer/cow manure, the farmer would be able to observe its impact on the independent variable, the algae, with any changes that may be implemented through this experiment.
One question I have is whether or not the algae have killed off all potential fish to thrive in the lake. If between the farmer and the algae all of the fish have been exterminated then the lake will no longer have fish in it without another source being introduced.
Withgott, Jay & Scott Brennan. Essential Environment: 3rd Ed. Pearson Custom