How Does Phosphate Affect the Growth of Aquatic Plants?

Topics: Phosphate, Phosphorus, Water Pages: 5 (1439 words) Published: September 24, 2012
High School Department
General Science

How Does Phosphate Affect the Growth of Aquatic Plants?
(A Problem Proposal)

I. Introduction
Aquatic plants are an important component of lake systems. These plants may be totally submerged beneath the lake surface, floating, or growing along the shoreline. They provide food and shelter for bugs, fish and other organisms, prevent shoreline erosion, filter pollutants from adjacent shoreline activities, and provide oxygen to the surrounding environment. Any conditions that harm such a balanced environment can potentially destroy thousands of organisms that live there. Since phosphates are common pollutants of lakes, in this project I investigate the effect of phosphates on the growth of aquatic plants.

a. Objectives
My objectives are to determine the effects of different amount of phosphate on the growth of aquatic plants, to know if it can damage the growth of aquatic plants to the ecosystem and to identify whether using different amount of phosphate will help in the growth of aquatic plants. The information gained from this experiment will educate people about how the phosphates that are in detergents, soaps and other materials that run into the streams, lakes, rivers, etc. will affect the growth of aquatic plant life and the food chain.

b. Hypothesis

Stated Problem: How Does Phosphate Affect the Growth of Aquatic Plants?


There is a significant difference between the different amount of phosphate to the effects on the growth of aquatic plants on the following variables: the growth of the aquatic plant after applying the different amount of phosphate and in what kind of ecosystem the aquatic plant grows.

II. Review of Related Literature
A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in agriculture and industry. At elevated temperatures in the solid state, phosphates can condense to form pyrophosphates.

Aquatic plants (hydrophytes) are plants that have adapted to living in or on aquatic environments. They live in freshwater habitats around the world: at the bottom of shallow lakes and ponds; in the flowing water of streams and rivers; rooted in waterlogged soils; and along any other natural or human-produced drainage system. Aquatic plants can only grow in water or permanently saturated soil, because living on or under the water surface requires numerous special adaptations. Aquatic vascular plants can be ferns or angiosperms (from a variety of families, including among the monocots and dicots). Hydrophytes do not have a problem in retaining water due to the abundance of water in its environment, because the plant has less need to regulate transpiration. Many species of aquatic plant are invasive species in different parts of the world. Aquatic plants make particularly good weeds because they reproduce vegetatively from fragments.

The discovery of phosphorus is credited to the German alchemist Hennig Brand in 1669, although other chemists might have discovered phosphorus around the same time. Brand experimented with urine, which contains considerable quantities of dissolved phosphates from normal metabolism. Working in Hamburg, Brand attempted to create the fabled philosopher's stone through the distillation of some salts by evaporating urine, and in the process produced a white material that glowed in the dark and burned brilliantly. His process originally involved letting urine stand for days until it gave off a terrible smell. Then he boiled it down to a paste, heated this paste to a high...
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