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Pham 1 Andrew Pham Chenchen Shen BI213-072 3/1/12 The Effect of Fertilizers on Duckweed Duckweed also known as Lemnoideae,

they are tiny water plants that grow in mainly pond water. They are high protein plant that grows very rapidly and is used in many types of research. My group is interested in what are the effects of All-Purpose Fertilizer and Complete Organic Fertilizer on duckweed. From research, I found out that increasing levels of N fertilizer in the pond increased biomass yield and crude protein content of the duckweed. (Lampheuy, Preston, Thy 2004) With this resource, I can hypothesize that with the help of fertilizers, duckweed will be able to flourish. With that, knowing only so little about duckweed and its potential, will duckweed actually take advantage of the fertilizer in our experiment? Our method was to obtain an organic fertilizer, and all-purpose fertilizers. With it we diluted 5ml of each fertilizer into 200ml of DI water. We obtained 180 pieces of duckweed and placed 20 into 9 petri dishes. 3 was labeled control and 40 ml of water was placed in. 3 more petri dished was labeled organic fertilizers and placed 40ml of the diluted solution into the dish. The last 3 was done accordingly so. We have a trial of 3 weeks and the results were recorded each week by counting the duckweed each week.

Pham 2 Based on the data we recorded, we had some interesting results. The best treatment on our experiments was the control group. Based on Figure 1 the population of the control group flourished over
Figure 1. This chart shows the relationship between the populations of the Lemnoideae,duckweed of all three experiments (control, complete organic and all purpose fertilizers). The control group flourishes where as the complete organic fertilizers killed the duckweed after the first week. As for the all purpose fertilizers, it grew after the first week but then died.

time. The worst treatment was the complete organic because due to the increase of pH its population was decreased to

zero. Figure 2 shows the standard deviations for all the treatment and how the numbers were distributed. The significance of the results is that the duckweed was able to grow without the presence of fertilizers, and therefore my hypothesis was incorrect because in this case the duckweed did not benefit from the fertilizers. My results did not support my hypothesis. I believe the reason why our duckweed in the organic fertilizer died is because the concentration in the petri dish is high and that we over fertilized our duckweed. Our organic fertilizer had a 6-7-7 ratio of nitrogenphosphorous-potassium. Due to the fact that its being over fertilize of phosphorous, more phosphorous increase pH levels in the soil and could kill plants (Mitchell and Adams 2000). Plants wants to be around the 6-7 pH and so conclude that the fertilizers increased the pH level in the water, which resulted in reductions of duckweed. These result are important because it could help future consumers who would used fertilizers could use

Pham 3 my results and not make the same mistake when they are using fertilizer and not over fertilizing their plants. In conclusion, this experiment would have worked if we didnt have to work with such small petri dishes therefore my hypothesis was not supported. The presence of fertilizers inhibits growth of duckweed based on my experiment. In future experiments, I would have used a larger container and used fewer fertilizers to prevent the pH level from increasing and killing the duckweed.

Pham 4

Figure 2. This graph shows the standard deviation of all the treatments and how the numbers were distributed.

Pham 5 Works Citation Lampheuy Kaensombath, Thy San and Preston T R 2004: Manure or biodigester effluent as fertilizer for duckweed. Livestock Research for Rural Development, Vol. 16, Art. #17. Retrieved February 8, 112, from

Mitchell, Charles, and James Adams. "Lowering Soil PH." Clemson University, 17 Jan. 2000. Web. 27 Feb. 2012. <>.