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Knights of Science online

Journal 2014

Table of Contents

Authors:
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ABSTRACT
The objective of this experiment was to determine if Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), or the
concentration of dissolved material in water, correlates to the level of the turbidity, or the murkiness of
the water. At Drumlin Farms in Lincoln, MA, three ponds were selected to gather and test samples from:
Bathtub, Ice, and Poultry. Water was collected and tested for turbidity and TDS, then these
measurements were used to determine if there was a signifigant correlation between the two variables. It
was expected that the higher the turbidity, the more turbid the water would be because water with many
particles dissolved in it allow for many microorganisms to grow, clouding the water. The results showed
that there was a trend that supported the hypothesis. Between each of the ponds, the TDS and turbidity
conclusively increased or decreased respectively, supporting the correlation. However, because the r
2
value was about 0.53, the data was not entirely conclusive.

I NTRODUCTI ON
Turbidity is the measurement oI water`s clarity, and it is determined through measuring the
intensity of light scattered at 90 degrees as a beam of light passes through a sample of water.
Turbidity is mainly affected by the amount of total suspended solids in water, such as phytoplankton,
sediment from erosion, waste discharge, algae growth, runoff from construction, mining, agriculture,
and urban runoff. Because turbidity is a result of substances entering a body of water, it is considered
to be an effective way of determining water quality (www.lenntech.com). As a result, water turbidity
is important in a manufacturing sense, especially when producing drinking water. As well as being
aesthetically unappealing, excessive turbidity in drinking water may be a health concern. Turbidity
can promote the regrowth of pathogens by providing food and shelter for them, leading to outbreaks
of waterborne diseases. Although turbidity is not a direct cause for health concerns, there is ample
evidence supporting a strong correlation between the reduction of turbidity and the removal of
protozoa. Data collected in many studies in the past has also suggested that controlling turbidity in
drinking water is a safeguard against pathogens and diseases (EPA, www.epa.gov). In response, The
World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended turbidity levels under 1 Nephelometric
Turbidity Unit (NTU) and no higher than 5 NTU for human consumption (www.lenntech.com). A
higher measurement in NTU correlates to a lower measurement in centimeters less than 10 NTU is
equivalent to greater than 54.7 cm.
A turbidity measurement that is too high can be harmful to aquatic life and organisms as well
as humans. The suspended particles in the water absorb heat and scatter light, making the water
warmer. This reduces its concentration of dissolved oxygen, decreases the amount of light that
reaches farther down in water, and hinders the growth of aquatic plants (www.lenntech.com). Species
that may rely on these plants, such as fish and shellfish, are then harmed as well. As aforementioned,
high turbidity also may suggest that deadly bacteria is in water, which can hurt the organisms living
there. In general, an excessively high turbidity measurement is harmful to most aquatic organisms,
but turbidity can also indicate that essential nutrients are in the water, increasing the productivity and
prosperity of life (Boyd, Water Quality: An Introduction). In some mangrove areas, high turbidity
measurements are necessary in supporting certain species. For example, it can protect juvenile fish
from larger predators (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Decline of Submerged Plants in Chesapeake
Bay). In addition, some species, such as the Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp, can tolerate and even
flourish in muddy, highly turbid waters (Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp (Lepidurus Packardi)). This is
because life may prosper as more essential nutrients are made available due to healthy soil and
materials being washed into water by rain (www.snh.org.uk).
Finding the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) in a body of water will indicate the
amount of inorganic and organic materials dissolved in the water. The right amount of TDS will help
organisms maintain a proper density and contribute beneficial nutrients into water, which will
increase aquatic life (www.tdsmeter.com). Through an increase of life, such as algae and
phytoplankton, turbidity will also increase (www.snh.org.uk). In this case, a higher turbidity
measurements would indicate a healthy ecosystem. However, if anything harmful found its way into
the water, or algae growth got to the point of depriving other life forms of oxygen, the entire
ecosystem could become unhealthy as a result of the high turbidity.
In a similar experiment that was conducted at these ponds (Evenchik and Yuen, The effect of
water turbidity (cm) on water conductivity ), some of the results indicated that there was a
correlation between water conductivity and water turbidity. Water conductivity is caused by and
related closely to TDS. When the conductivity was 247 S, the turbidity was 34.90 cm; when the
conductivity was 494 S, the turbidity was 51.2 cm; when the conductivity was 550 , the turbidity
was 75.0 cm. Although these points cannot accurately represent all of the data, there does seem to be
a trend. When there was an increase of the conductivity, meaning that the TDS was also higher, the
turbidity was higher as well.
The objective of this experiment is to determine the correlation between TDS (ppm) and
turbidity (cm). The independent variable is the TDS (ppm), and the dependent variable is the
turbidity of the water (cm). Eight points along each pond will be randomly selected using a TI Nspire
calculator, and water will be collected from each point. The turbidity will be measured using a Water
Testing Equipment and Supplies turbidity tube, and the TDS of that sample will be measured using a
Hanna Instruments TDS meter. Some important controlled variables include: the distance from the
shore the sample is taken from (cm), the depth the sample was taken from (cm), the person doing the
testing (eyesight may vary), the measuring tools used, and the data collection tools used. The
hypothesis in this experiment is: If the TDS is higher, then the turbidity will also be higher, because
higher TDS contributes more nutrients into the water, allowing for an increase in organism growth,
which will increase turbidity (EPA, www.uri.edu). The more nutrients in the water, the more
opportunity for growth there is. Organisms, such as algae, are main contributors to the turbidity, and
a higher TDS promotes their survival and growth (www.lenntech.com).
The experiment will take place at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Three of the five
ponds at Drumlin Farm Bathtub Pond, Ice Pond, and Poultry Pond will be testing sites for this
experiment. Poultry Pond is downhill of animal pastures, Ice Pond is surrounded by a small forest,
and Bathtub Pond has dense thicket surrounding its perimeters and is located in a field. It is
hypothesized that Poultry Pond will have the highest TDS and turbidity because it will most likely
have the greatest amount of runoff entering its waters. The lowest measurements are hypothesized to
come from Bathtub Pond, because the surrounding thicket will prevent erosion and runoff. Ice Pond
is located near only a fair amount of trees, and the moderate amount of erosion this results in would
cause some materials to enter the pond. Therefore, its data should fall in the middle.
Once the data is collected, Drumlin Farm can have a better understanding of how the human
activities that take place on the Farm affect their aquatic life. The Farm will be able to realize the best
way to control what enters their ponds in order to create the optimal living conditions for the
organisms that live there. Since a higher turbidity measurement may prevent the sterilization of water
using chlorine or ultraviolet rays, this makes it harder for water to be sanitized. Human activities like
construction, mining, and agriculture can cause sediment to get in water through runoff during a
rainstorm, and storm water can carry pollution from bridges, roads, and sidewalks (EPA, National
Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Urban Areas). If how the TDS
specifically affects turbidity is discovered, then efforts can be made to decrease the amount of runoff
and pollution that enters the water, causing the higher TDS. Ultimately, the spreading of disease will
be prevented, and organisms living in bodies of water will have healthier living conditions.




MAT ERI ALS AND ME T HODS
The effect of total dissolved solids (TDS) on turbidity of water (cm) was tested at three separate
locations at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA: Bathtub Pond, Poultry Pond, and Ice Pond. To determine the
exact point of sample collection along the perimeter of the pond, the center of the pond was
determined. Eight numbers -one for each trial- from zero to three hundred and sixty were randomly
generated on a TI Nspire cx calculator from Texas Instruments. Each of those numbers represented
where the sample would be taken from in relation to the aforementioned center of the pond. The compass
was used to determine the specific points at which those angles intersected with the shore. The angles for
Bathtub Pond were: 16, 53, 72, 122, 146, 185, 264, and 358 degrees; for Ice Pond the angles were: 2, 3,
39, 80, 113, 287, 337, and 343 degrees; and for Poultry Pond, the angles for the sample collection were:
19, 44, 99, 100, 198, 260, 308, and 352 degrees. Those locations, 50 centimeters from the edge of the
pond, were where the water samples were collected.
To test the turbidity, which was tested first, the open end of the turbidity tube was placed at the sample
point. The tube was filled to the top with the sample water. The turbidity (cm) was
then measured by looking down from the top of the tube while the tube was slowly
emptied from the valve at the bottom. A small portion of the water sample was then
poured into a 50 mL beaker to measure the TDS. With the Hanna Instruments TDS
meter (Figure 1), all of the instructions accompanying the device were followed to
produce the most accurate response, which entailed placing one end of the meter in
the water and waiting for the measurement to stabilize. Both of these
measurements were recorded in the field notebooks of the scientists involved,
and each of the steps were repeated first for the individual trial, and then for
the separate sites.


Figure 1: Hanna Instruments HI
98311 EC/TDS/Temperature
Tester (www.hydrogalaxy.com)

RESUL TS
Table 1: The effect of TDS (ppm) on turbidity (cm) all three ponds.


TDS (ppm) Turbidity (cm)
BP Trial 1 0 107.1
BP Trial 2 14 121.0
BP Trial 3 20 85.0
BP Trial 4 14 69.8
BP Trial 5 16 60.1
BP Trial 6 14 97.8
BP Trial 7 21 53.2
BP Trial 8 14 97.2
IP Trial 1 212 121*
IP Trial 2 239 26.0
IP Trial 3 148 13.2
IP Trial 4 182 40.0
IP Trial 5 217 14.0
IP Trial 6 214 69.1
IP Trial 7 154 60.0
IP Trial 8 157 52.1
PP Trial 1 339 16.4
PP Trial 2 395 42.6


Table 2: The effect of TDS (ppm) on turbidity (cm) averages and standard deviation at each pond.


TDS (ppm)
Averages
TDS (ppm) Standard
Deviation
Turbidity (cm)
Averages
Turbidity (cm) Standard
Deviation
Bathtub 14 3.2 86.4 23.7
Ice 190 36.2 49.4 22.3
Poultry 337 68 27.7 7.6

Graph 1: The effect of TDS (ppm) on turbidity (cm) at all three ponds.

PP Trial 3 258 28.8
PP Trial 4 250 24.3
PP Trial 5 349 24.7
PP Trial 6 346 29.5
PP Trial 7 301 24.1
PP Trial 8 454 31.2
BP = Bathtub Pond
IP = Ice Pond
PP = Poultry Pond
*error

Graph 2: The effect of TDS (ppm) on turbidity (cm) at all three ponds.


Graph 1 shows the combined data collected from all the pond locations: Bathtub Pond, Ice Pond,
and Poultry Pond. With an r
2
value of about .53, the trend line exhibits an increase in the turbidity (cm)
where there was an increase in the TDS (ppm). The r
2
value indicates that there was a relatively low
correlation between the two variables. In the case of turbidity, a lower measurement in centimeters means
that it the overall turbidity is higher. Although the turbidity measurement decreased, causing the line to
slope downwards on Graph 1, this still indicated an upward trend in the turbidity. In Graph 2, the turbidity
error bars of Bathtub Pond and Ice Pond, and of Ice Pond and Poultry Pond both overlap slightly, but their
averages indicate a downward trend. For TDS, no error bars overlap, and there is a clear upward trend.
Bathtub Pond, which had the lowest average TDS and turbidity (14 ppm, 86.4 cm), was
surrounded by highly concentrated thorn bushes, trees, and thicket. The surrounding land was mostly flat
and muddy, except for the occasionally drier, elevated Southwest and South sides of the partially frozen
over pond. Poultry Pond had the highest average TDS and turbidity measurements (337 ppm, 27.7 cm). It
was downhill of a busy road on its Southwest side, and it was situated closely by a farmyard that housed
animals and was most likely fertilized. Ice Pond had the average TDS and turbidity levels (395 ppm, 42.6
cm) that were in the middle of the three ponds, and it was seen to be was bordered by slightly elevated
ground with evenly spaced out trees.
The three outliers that affected Graph 1 were mostly caused by malfunctioning equipment. In an
attempt to make the graph more accurately represent the data collected, an outlier of 121.0 cm in Trial 1
from Ice Pond was removed from the final graph. Removing this data point ultimately brought the r
2
up
from .44, improving the two variables correlation in this experiment. In Trial 1, a malfunctioning turbidity
tube resulted in a measurement of 121.0 cm, and in Trial 2, a malfunctioning TDS meter resulted in a
measurement of 0 ppm. The two other errors from Trial 1 and 2 were not removed from the data, because
doing so would have decreased the r
2
value.
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When the outliers were disregarded, the highest TDS recorded was 454 ppm from Trial 8 from
Poultry Pond. The lowest recorded TDS was 14 ppm, shared by three trials: Trial 3 from Bathtub Pond,
Trial 6 from Bathtub Pond, and Trial 8 from Bathtub Pond. The highest turbidity belonged to Trial 3 from
Ice Pond with the measurement of 13.2 cm. The lowest turbidity recorded was from Trial 6 with 97.8 cm.
DISCUSSI ON
This experiment was conducted to determine the correlation between total dissolved solids (TDS) and
turbidity in the water of Bathtub Pond, Ice Pond, and Poultry Pond at Drumlin Farms. The hypothesis for
this experiment was: If the TDS is higher, then the turbidity will also be higher, because higher TDS
contributes more nutrients into the water, allowing for an increase in organism growth, which will
increase turbidity (EPA, www.uri.edu). This hypothesis was supported, because as the measurement of
TDS (ppm) increased the measurement of turbidity (cm) increased. The decrease in turbidity (cm)
indicates a higher turbidity, because it is harder to see through the water.
As the level of TDS in the water rises, the turbidity levels will also increase because of the
organisms in the water (Maczulak, www.fofweb.com). As the concentrations of inorganic and organic
particles in the water increased, which causes the TDS to increase, the amount of microorganisms that
could grow also increased (Maczulak, www.fofweb.com). The more surface area of particles floating in
the water there were, the more plant life could grow. The TDS of the ponds ranged from 0 ppm to 454
ppm, and none of the error bars overlapped for each pond. This shows that each of the ponds had a
conclusively different level of TDS. This significant difference in TDS level was caused by many
factors. In Poultry Pond, a fairly large road moved close to the pond, and runoff from roads and road salts
caused higher TDS (www.safewater.org). The runoff from the chicken pens that were nearby, and uphill
of, the pond also contributed to the high TDS levels (www.safewater.org). Ice Pond was not as close to a
main road nor a chicken pen and Bathtub Pond was even further from both, so the TDS levels were
significantly lower at both locations.
The r
2
value for this experiment was 0.528. This shows a correlation, but it is not
conclusive. Although a trend was visually represented, the r
2
value does not suggest a strong
correlation. The measurements of TDS from one of the ponds all clustered around 15 ppm, which may
have disrupted the r
2
value, making the data less conclusive. In the bar graph, the TDS levels from each
of the ponds were was conclusively different, increasing from Bathtub, to Ice, to Poultry Pond. The
turbidity levels also decreased in the same order, showing the trend continues.
Sufficient data was not collected at Drumlin farm. There were gaps in the data between the ponds,
which provided uncertainty in the trend. A wider range of data, perhaps from ponds with an even greater
range of TDS and turbidity, would close those gaps. Taking more samples from each site, and therefore
having more data points, would eliminate errors and outliers from reducing the r
2
value.
Changes to the procedure may yield more accurate results. Removing the opportunity for human
error would make this data more reliable, if not more conclusive. Using a meter that automatically
measured the turbidity, instead of relying on the eyes of the scientist, could improve the accuracy of the
turbidity readings. Also, taking the measurements in a more controlled environment, instead of trying to
do so while avoiding getting caught in brambles would make the experiment more reliable.
There were a few errors that may have impacted the outcome of the experiment. The turbidity tube
was subject to human error and interpretation. There was some confusion over when the flow of water
from the bottom of the tube should be stopped, leading to turbidity reading that may have been slightly
higher or lower than they would have been otherwise. The TDS meter was also slightly faulty. When the
measurement for the first trial was taken from Bathtub Pond, the turbidity meter would not move from
zero, even though the level of TDS was obviously higher. This could have been caused by an error on the
part of the scientists, such as not setting the meter properly, but it was more likely the result of a
mechanical malfunction, because a similar error occurred during the preliminary tests. For two trials, the
turbidity tube was not tall enough to measure accurately. The measurements for those trial were recorded
as 121 cm, and noted that there was an error. This error occurred in trial 2 at Bathtub Pond and trial 1 at
Ice Pond.
Performing this experiment raised many questions. The variation in the TDS between the ponds led to
the question: What factors caused these locations to be so thoroughly different? The trees around each
pond were of differing species. Does that have anything to do with the TDS or turbidity? The differences
in algae growth appeared to correlate with the turbidity being higher, but an experiment could be designed
and completed to prove or disprove that.

AC K NOWL EDGE MENTS
I, Addie Millman Bevis, would like, first and foremost, to thank my partner, Rachel Avram, for all her
hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I`d also like to thanks Mr. Ewins, Ior guiding us throughout the
entire process, and being able to magically repair our TDS meter. I`d like to thank Carol, Alex, and
Catherine, our three teacher naturalists at Drumlin Farms, for guiding us through the stressful day of
collecting samples. Finally, I`d like to thanks everyone who helped us to edit, and make this the best it
can be.

I, Rachel Alexandra Avram, would like to thank my lab partner, Addie Millman Bevis, for being
extremely helpful, reliable, and flexible throughout this entire process. I also appreciate Mr. Ewins for
helping us out whenever we had a question or needed advice, as it was essential to our success. I want to
thank him for editing our work during the project as well. I also want to thank all of the teachers who
went on the Drumlin Farm field trip and worked hard to make it run smoothly. In particular, I thank Ms.
Jamison, Mr. Dwyer, and Ms. Brooks, who all were at our different testing stations. Thank you to Ms.
BomIim and Ms. Schultheis Ior assisting our class when Mr. Ewins couldn`t be there. I also thank the
naturalists at Drumlin Farm for aiding us in the navigation around the farm and making sure that we all
could collect data in the most efficient way possible. Another huge thank you to everyone at Drumlin
Farm for allowing our class to experiment on their farm we couldn`t have gotten anywhere without their
assistance and willingness to have us there.


WORKS CI T ED
Author 1:

Daphne, Low Hui Xiang, Handojo Djati Utomo, and Lim Zhi Hao Kenneth. "Correlation
between Turbidity and Total Suspended Solids in Singapore Rivers." Journal of Water
Sustainability 1.3 (2011): n. pag. JWSP Online. Division of Civil Engineering, School of
Architecture and the Built Environment, Singapore Polytechnic, Dec. 2011. Web. 28 Feb.
2014.<http://www.jwsponline.com/uploadpic/Magazine/pp%20313-322%20JWS-
A013%20New.pdf>.
Hydro Galaxy. "Hanna Instruments DiST 5 Waterproof EC/TDS Temperature
Tester HI 98311 716825." Hydro Galaxy. Hydro Galaxy, 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.hydrogalaxy.com/meters-testing-ph/combination-meters/hanna-dist-5-waterproof-
ec-tds-temperature-tester-hi-98311/>.
Maczulak, Anne. "water quality." Science Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE40&SID=5&iPin=EMBIO0187&SingleRe
cord=True>.
Safe Drinking Water Foundation. "TDS AND PH." Safewater.org. Safe Drinking Water
Foundation, n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
<www.safewater.org/PDFS/resourcesknowthefacts/TDS_AND%20_pH.pdf>.
United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Why Test Your Well Water For Turbidity?
N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print. <http://www.uri.edu/ce/wq/has/PDFs/Turbidity%20sum.pdf>
"Water Pollution." The New Book of Popular Science. 16th ed. Vol. 3. Danbury, CT: Grolier,
2006. 85. Print.

Author 2:

Boyd, Claude E. (1999). Water Quality: An Introduction. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Group.
"Fathead Minnow (Pimephales Promelas)." RSS. Texas Parks and Wildlife, N.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
"Rivers and Their Catchments: Causes and Effects of Turbid Water." Rivers and Their Catchments:
Causes and Effects of Turbid Water. Scottish Natural Heritage, N.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.snh.org.uk/publications/on-line/advisorynotes/22/22.htm>.
"Turbidity." Turbidity. Lenntech, N.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014. <http://www.lenntech.com/turbidity.htm>.
United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Why Test Your Well Water For Turbidity?N.p.: N.p.,
N.d. Print. <http://www.uri.edu/ce/wq/has/PDFs/Turbidity%20sum.pdf>.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Washington, D.C. "National Management Measures to
Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Urban Areas." Chapters 7 and 8. Document No. EPA
841-B-05-004. November 2005.
"Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp (Lepidurus Packardi)." Beacham's Guide to the Endangered Species of
North America. Ed. Walton Beacham, Frank V. Castronova, and Suzanne Sessine. Vol. 3.
Detroit: Gale, 2001. Science in Context. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
"What Is TDS?" - HM Digital. HM Digital, N.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <http://www.tdsmeter.com/what-
is/>.

APPENDI X



TDS (ppm) Turbidity (cm)
Trial 1 212 error 121 error
Trial 2 239 26.0
Trial 3 148 13.2
Trial 4 182 40.0
Trial 5 217 14.0
Trial 6 214 69.1
Trial 7 154 60.0
Trial 8 157 52.1
Average 190 49.4
St. Deviation 36.2 22.3

TDS (ppm) Turbidity (cm)
Trial 1 0 error 107.1 error
Trial 2 14 error 121 error
Trial 3 20 85.0
Trial 4 14 69.8
Trial 5 16 60.1
Trial 6 14 97.8
Trial 7 21 53.2
Trial 8 14 97.2
Average 14 86.4
St.
Deviation 3.2 23.7

Graph 3: The effect of TDS (ppm) on turbidity (cm) at Ice Pond
Graph 4: The effect of TDS (ppm) on turbidity (cm) at Bathtub Pond
Pond



TDS (ppm) Turbidity (cm)
Trial 1 339 16.4
Trial 2 395 42.6
Trial 3 258 28.8
Trial 4 250 24.3
Trial 5 349 24.7
Trial 6 346 29.5
Trial 7 301 24.1
Trial 8 454 31.2
Average 337 27.7
St. Deviation 68.0 7.6
Table 3: The effect of TDS (ppm) on turbidity (cm) at Ice Pond





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Table 4: The effect of TDS (ppm) on turbidity (cm) at Bathtub Pond


Table 5: The effect of TDS (ppm) on turbidity (cm) at Poultry Pond








The Effect of Type of Animal Manure on Soil Conductivity
By Ezra Berg and Avi Madsen
















1
Table of Contents

Section Author Page
Abstract Berg 2
Introduction Madsen 2
Materials and Methods Berg 3
Results Madsen 7
Discussion Berg 8
Acknowledgements Berg & Madsen 10
Works Cited Berg 10
Works Cited Madsen 11





























2
ABSTRACT
Soil in different habitats contains various levels of soil conductivity. This experiment was
conducted in order to discover whether animal manure has an effect on soil conductivity, and
which animals manure effects it the most. The procedure for this experiment was to
determine and compare the soil conductivity between the cow, goat, chicken and a non
inhabited field. These locations were at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA. The names of the
locations are Farmyard, and Overlook Field. It was expected that the manure would increase
the soil conductivity at each habitat because manure makes the soil more acidic. The results of
the experiment showed that only the chicken habitat had a conclusively higher soil
conductivity from the non inhabited field, however, the soil conductivity increased in areas
where the most manure was excreted. It was discovered that chickens have a different diet
than cows and goats. Chickens are fed corn, oats, weeds, vegetables, and any bugs they can
find, whereas goats and cows are fed grains and hay. Hay was found on the non inhabited
field, which could be the cause for the similar soil conductivity. Vegetables are more acidic
than grains, and acid increases soil conductivity, therefore, vegetables increase soil
conductivity.


INTRODUCTION
Soil conductivity is the measure of how well soil conducts electricity and this has an effect on
plant growth and health. It also correlates with particle size and soil texture because of the
relationship between high soil conductivity and clay soils. (Barbosa, www.lsuagcenter.com/)
Soil conductivity is measured in micro Siemens per centimeter (!S/cm) and comes from a
variety of sources. The main source of conductivity is rainwater or pond and ocean water.
However, it can also be increased with the addition of manure to the soil. The manure
mineralizes and releases salts into the soil, therefore increasing the soil conductivity.
Therefore, the correlation between types of animal manure and the soil conductivity was
investigated.


Prior research found a correlation was found between animal manure and soil conductivity.
Taylor and Francis (http://dx.doi.org/) conducted where these researchers compared the soil
conductivity of four fields that were exposed to different types animal manure. The experiment
showed that fields that had been exposed to animal manure had a higher soil conductivity than
those that did not. These findings support the hypothesis of this experiment as the scientists
here at BBN believe that the exposure of any type of animal manure will result in higher soil
conductivity than the control field, (http://dx.doi.org/) which did not have any manure based
fertilizer for about a year. (Stone, Martha. Personal interview. 7 Apr. 2014.)

This experiment was conducted at the fields in Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA, specifically,
fields that are the residence of cows, chickens, goats, and no animals. These fields were
3
Farmyard field, which houses cows, goats and chickens, and Overlook field which does not
have any animals making it the control field. These fields will be tested to find whether there is
a correlation between animal manure and soil conductivity.

The hypothesis for this experiment is: If animal manure is present on a field then the soil
conductivity of that field will increase because when an animal defecates, the salt that was
in its feed stays in the manure and therefore increases the soil conductivity because the
measure of soil conductivity is the measure of salts in a soil sample. (http://dx.doi.org/)
(http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/) The independent variable in this experiment was the presence
of animal manure and the type of animal manure. The dependent variable was the soil
conductivity in all the manure and non-manure habitats. The variables that were controlled on
the day of collection of data, procedure for collection, the type of probe, and the amount of soil
collected. The data were collected from the fields at Drumlin Farm

This experiment can potentially help farmers buy the most effective manure to encourage crop
growth. This information can also help manure producers produce the most effective manure
for healthy plants and help those farmers choose the correct amount of manure to reach a
desired level of soil conductivity. These data could potentially aid farmers worldwide and take
the mystery out of buying different types of manure based fertilizer.


MATERIALS AND METHODS
Data was collected from different habitats at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln Massachusetts in order
to compare the level of soil conductivity (!S/cm) with different types of manure. The habitats
were Overlook field, the cow habitat at Farmyard, the goat habitat at Farmyard, and the
chicken habitat at Farmyard (see pictures). At each habitat, measurements were taken at 25
different random locations. The random locations were found by laying a 15 by 9 numbered
grid over each habitat, and using a TI-nspire Cx calculator to give 25 random squares on the
grid. Before any data was taken from the habitats, a Drumlin Farm naturalist was asked about
the soil in Overlook field and how often it is fertilized because that was presumed to be the
field that is manure free. The soil at Overlook was found to be fertilized once a year and had
not been fertilized since last spring so the data was not affected by that factor.









4
Figure 1: Map of Drumlin Farm
Data was collected from Sandpit (2), and different habitats within Farmyard (6).

Figure 2: Map of Overlook Field
This is a map of randomized areas to collect data at Overlook field.


5
Figure 3: Map of Farmyard cow habitat
This is a map of randomized areas to collect data at the cow habitat at Farmyard.


Figure 4: Map of Farmyard goat and chicken habitat
This is a map of randomized areas to collect data at the goat and chicken habitat at Farmyard.


To begin the test, a Hanna HI 98331 soil conductivity probe was put together (see figure 5),
and then placed approximately 4 centimeters into the soil at one of the 25 random locations
given from the TI-nspire Cx calculator. Once the Hanna HI 98331 soil conductivity probe
6
received a measurement of the soil conductivity (!S/cm), the measurement of soil conductivity
(!S/cm) was then read, and recorded. Once the measurement had been read, the Hanna HI
98331 soil conductivity probe was taken out of the soil. The HI 98331 soil conductivity probe
was then rinsed off with distilled water so it could be used at the next location. After the last
sample was taken at the habitat, a soil smudge was put into a field notebook to later observe
and compare with soil smudges at other habitats. These steps were repeated for all 100 trials
(25 at each habitat).

Figure 5: Hanna HI 98331 conductivity probe
This is a picture of the Hanna HI 98331 conductivity probe.













7
RESULTS

Table 1: The Effect of Animal Manure Type on Soil Conductivity


Graph 1: The Effect of Type of Animal Manure on Soil Conductivity



Graph #1 and Table #1 shows the data that was collected at Drumlin Farm. There are several
trend that can easily be seen by looking at the graph. The chicken manure location had much
higher soil conductivity (!S/cm) than any other location. The goat manure location was much
less precise than the rest of the locations. The chicken had the highest average (0.44 ms/cm)
8
and the goat field the lowest average (0.05 ms/cm). The goat habitat was very large and spread
out compared to other habitats even the area that the goats mostly grazed around in (and
defecated in) was very small. The chicken field at Drumlin Farm had housed the chickens all
winter long and compared to other habitats was tiny. None of the sites were very precise and
the cow and control had almost the exact same average and standard deviation.


DISCUSSION
This experiment was conducted to test the effect that manure has on soil conductivity, and also
to find out if one animal species manure makes soil more conductive than other animal
manure. The hypothesis for this experiment was: If animal manure is on a field then the soil
conductivity of that field will increase because when an animal excretes, the salt that was in its
feed stays in the manure and therefore increases the soil conductivity (http://dx.doi.org/). This
hypothesis was supported because two of the three fields with manure on it (cow and goat
habitat at Farmyard), had close to the same conductivity levels as the field with no manure on
it (Overlook), but there appeared to be an increase in soil conductivity when closer to where
the animals spend most of their time, which is where more manure was found, therefore it can
be concluded that manure increases soil conductivity.

The manure that the chickens produced caused the soil conductivity to increase to an average
of 0.44 mS/cm. When measuring the conductivity around the chicken house, it was extremely
high, versus when measuring the soil conductivity from further away from the chicken pen, it
decreased. This was presumably due to the fact that the chickens spend a lot more time around
their pen, and therefore produced more manure in that area which raised the conductivity. The
chickens diet also had something to do with the increase in soil conductivity. Chickens are
fed corn, oats, weeds, vegetables, and any bugs they can find (Martha Stone, personal
communication). This is a different diet from the cows and goats at Farmyard. The diet of the
chickens also is more acidic than the other animals, and higher levels of acid increases the soil
conductivity (Rail, http://www.livestrong.com).

The cows diet of hay and grains is the same as the goats diet. The soil conductivity is very
similar in the two habitats with the cow habitat at an average of 0.07 mS/cm, and the goat
habitat at an average 0.05 mS/cm, which were both much less conductive than the chicken
habitat. The goat habitat had an increase in soil conductivity when closer to the barn, where
the goats live and seemed to spend more time at than the rest of the habitat. This means that
goat manure increases the soil conductivity. The cows, however, had a much more equal level
of soil conductivity throughout the habitat, except along the edge near the forest. Taking away
the data taken near the Red Pine forest because it is assumed that it affected the measurement
of soil conductivity (Zoltak, http://depts.alverno.edu), the whole cow habitat had fairly equal
levels of soil conductivity. The cows spend a lot more time all over the habitat, and do not stay
in a single area as much (Martha Stone, personal communication), which means that more
9
equal amounts of manure was spread out across the field, which explains the similar levels of
conductivity within the cow habitat.

The hay and grains that are fed to the goats and cows, which is then excreted onto the soil, is
similar to the hay found at Overlook field (Debby, personal communication). This is the
reason for the similarity in the cow, goat, and Overlook habitat. The similar hay is on all three
of those fields. The chickens different diet is the reason for such high levels of conductivity.
They excrete bugs, vegetables, and weeds which then goes into the soil and increases the soil
conductivity. When food is digested, the stomach acid breaks down the food and causes the
manure to be acidic. Vegetables, something that the cows and goats are not fed, are higher in
acidity than grains. Acid increases the level of soil conductivity because when ions are added
to soil, the conductivity increases, and acids add ions to the soil (Benoit,
http://environmentalet.hypermart.net/), which is why the chicken habitat has higher soil
conductivity than the other habitats.

The similarity in the cow, goat, and Overlook field are shown on the bar graph as well. The
error bars are all overlapping, which means that the data is similar and inconclusive. However,
the chicken habitat on the graph has no overlaps and is above all the other habitats, which
means that the soil conductivity is conclusively higher in the chicken habitat than the other
three locations. The most precise data was collected at the cow habitat. The next most precise
data was collected at Overlook and then the chicken habitat. The data collected at the goat
habitat was the least precise.

The only error that occurred during the testing was that there was a rock at one of the points for
testing. This was easily solved by testing right next to the rock, which was about 2 feet away
from the correct testing location. The field study could be improved by testing habitats that are
inhabited by animals with different diets. Only one habitat stood out in the experiment, and it
was the only habitat with a species that had a different diet. More conclusions could be drawn
if testing soil conductivity in animal enclosures with different diets. The data collected was
sufficient because the amount of trials taken at each habitat was enough to be able to accurately
compare the soil conductivity of each habitat. The chicken habitat and the increase in soil
conductivity when near areas with more manure is proof that the animals diet affects the soil
conductivity. Data collection could be improved by staying away from the borders of the
habitats because the data around the edges could be affected by surrounding variables, as was
the cow habitat. The tests taken around the borders of the cow habitat at Farmyard could not
provide data about the effect manure has on soil conductivity because the Red Pine forests soil
was too close, and possibly was affecting the trial. For future experiments, the diet of the
animals should be figured out before collecting data, and it would be interesting to test a wider
variety of diets.


10

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Avi Madsen
I would like to thank my parents for helping with ideas for the experiment and editing the
drafts. I would also like to thank the helpful naturalists at Drumlin Farm, especially Martha
Stone and Debbie. Last of all my science teacher Ms. Svatek who helped with ideas,
conducting the experiment, writing, formatting, and presenting this experiment.

Ezra Berg
I would like to thank my parents for going out to buy materials to make this possible and help
with ideas for the experiment. I would also like to thank the naturalists at Drumlin Farm,
especially Debby and Martha Stone for giving us information to use for testing, and allowing
us to use their farm habitats. My science teacher Ms. Svatek is the one who made this all
possible. I would like to thank her for walking us through the steps to successfully doing an
experiment and also giving us permission to use materials from the science lab. We could not
have done our experiment without her.


WORKS CITED
Ezra Berg:
Benoit, Anthony. "PH and Conductivity." PH and Conductivity. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://environmentalet.hypermart.net/env1221/phcondtds.htm>.
"Dynamics of Soil PH and Electrical Conductivity with the Application of Three Animal
Manures." Taylor and Francis. Department of Crop Sciences , Tshwane University of
Technology , Pretoria , South Africa, 27 Mar. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00103624.2012.653022#preview>.
Pein, David V. Hannah Soil EC & Temp Probe. Digital image. Soil PH and Conductivity
Meter Range. 2002-2014 David Von Pein, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.themeterman.com.au/images/hanna-soil-ec-temperature-meter-ol-13.jpg>.
Rail, Kevin. "High Acidic Foods List." LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 21 Oct.
2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/23346-high-acidic-foods-
list/>.
11
xx, Debby. Plants in soil at overlook. Personal interview. 07 Apr. 2014.
xx, Stone Martha. "Chicken Feeding Habits." Personal interview. 07 Apr. 2014.
Zoltak, Wendy. "Comparisons of PH and Phosphorus Levels in Pine and Deciduous Soils."
Http://depts.alverno.edu/. Alverno College. Web. 5 Apr. 2014.
<http://depts.alverno.edu/nsmt/archive/zolt.htm>.


WORKS CITED
Avi Madsen:

Barabosa, Roberto N. What Is Soil Electrical Conductivity? Lsuagcenter. Lsuagcenter, n.d.
Web. 17 Apr. 2014. <https://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres/E57E82A0-3B99-
4DEE-99B5-
CF2AD7C43AEF/77101/pub3185whatissoilelectricalconductivityHIGHRES.pdf>.
Eignberg, R.A,. Electrical Conductivity Monitoring of Soil Condition and Available N with
Animal Manure and a Cover Crop. Digitalcommons. Digitalcommons, n.d. Web. 17 Apr.
2014.
<http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1191&context=usdaarsfacp
ub>.
Spaulding, A.D. "The VALUE of SOIL ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY and
TOPOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION for VARIABLE RATE NITROGEN APPLICATION:
FIRST ASSESSMENT." (n.d.): n. pag. Castonline. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.castonline.ilstu.edu/spaulding/EC-YIELD.pdf>.
Stone, Martha. Personal interview. 7 Apr. 2014.
TABLE OF CONTENTS


Section Author Page


Abstract Bernier 2

Introduction Steinberg 2

Materials and Methods Bernier 3

Results Steinberg 5

Discussion Bernier 9

Acknowledgments Steinberg & Bernier 10

Works Cited Bernier 12

Works Cited Steinberg 13

























ABSTRACT
This experiment was conducted to determine iI there was any correlation between the acidity
level and the aquatic organism diversity. The procedure Ior this experiment was to Iirst calculate the
eight random sections oI the pond and then wave the strainer through the water once, as close to the
bottom as possible (but without gathering leaves). Then, the strainer was brought back and the back
side oI it was Ilushed with one quart oI pond water. From there, the pH was calculated and the
organisms were identiIied. This was repeated at each oI the three pond locations: Bathtub, Boyce, and
Poultry, located at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts. It was expected that iI the water was more
acidic, then there would be less organism diversity, because with a higher level oI acidity harmIul species
begin to invade the water. It was assumed that Poultry Pond would have a lower pH level due to the
runoII oI possibly acidic snow and ice Irom the nearby road. The results showed that Bathtub pond had
a signiIicantly lower amount oI organisms than the other two locations, however, this pond had the best
Iit trend line Ior the data collected. Boyce and Poultry Pond had inconclusive data due to the
overlapping oI their error bars. Despite the diIIerences oI the diversity oI the organisms, all oI the ponds
had similar pH levels.

INTRODUCTION
Ecosystems rely on healthy pH levels in order to maintain a healthy habitat. Acidity, or pH, is
the measure oI hydrogen ions. An ion is a charged atom or molecule, thereIore, a hydrogen ion is a
charged hydrogen atom. The more hydrogen ions in a substance, the more acidic it is. To measure pH,
scientists use a scale oI numbers Irom 0 to 14. Numbers 0 through 6 means a substance is an acid,
number 7 means the substance is neither an acid nor a base; it is neutral, and numbers 8 through 14
means a substance is a base. So when the pH level is low, it is more acidic, and when the pH level is
high, it is more basic. Not only can pH determine how acidic a substance is, but it can also determine
the solubility and biological availability oI certain chemical components such as nutrients (i.e.
phosphorus, nitrogen, carbon) and heavy metals (i.e. lead, copper, cadmium). Biological availability is
the amount oI a substance that can be used by aquatic liIe (U.S. Geological Survey,
http://www.water.usgs.gov). For example, not only can pH determine the abundance oI phosphates in
water, it can also determine the ways that aquatic liIe can exploit it.
This experiment will be conducted at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Drumlin Farm is
a wildliIe sanctuary, and has an area oI approximately 232 acres. The three ponds that will be used to
conduct the experiment are Bathtub Pond, Boyce Pond, and Poultry Pond. Bathtub Pond is surrounded
by a Iorest, and is south oI the Drumlin. Boyce Pond is surrounded by trees on one side and is east oI a
compost. Poultry Pond is next to a chicken coop, and is south oI the MAS Forest. It is possible that
since the ponds are in diIIerent locations, the pH levels will vary. For instance, Bathtub pond is the
Iurthest away Irom human liIe. ThereIore, the pH oI the water in Bathtub Pond might be lower since it is
not close to a busy road, like Poultry Pond is.
Most Ireshwater ponds, lakes, and streams have a pH range oI about 6-8. However, acidity
can negatively aIIect the water and it`s aquatic organisms in many diIIerent ways. In Ireshwater, when
the pH oI the water drops to around 5, species oI harmIul plankton and moss start to invade, causing
Iish and other organisms to die. The bottom oI the pond or lake gets covered with undecayed material,
preventing the organisms Irom using the bottom Ior resources such as Iood and shelter. When the pH
goes below 4.5, the water is almost devoid oI all Iish species. II the pH is extremely basic, it can strip
the Iish oI it`s nourishing slime and dry out the skin. It can damage the gills, eyes, and skin oI the Iish, as
well as cause death. The main reason Ior high levels oI pH is highly acidic rainwater, also called acid


rain. Acid rain is Iormed by both natural causes, such as gas Irom decaying vegetation, and man-made
causes, such as emissions oI sulIur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. (U.S. Geological Survey,
http://www.water.usgs.gov). When rain is more acidic than it`s usual 5.5, it can drastically change the
pH in Ireshwater ponds, lakes, and streams. Another Iactor oI high levels oI pH is Irom acid shock,
which can harm and kill aquatic organisms. (Lenntech, http://www.lenntech.com). Acid shock happens
usually during springtime when snow is just beginning to melt. The runoII oI water oIten drains into
ponds, lakes, and streams, causing a huge increase in the pH. However, it is only harmIul when the
snow is more acidic than the water it drains into. This is why acid shock has less oI an impact on pH
levels than acid rain.
The proposed experiment is the eIIect oI pH on aquatic organism diversity. The purpose oI this
experiment is to test whether or not the pH oI the water aIIects the number oI diIIerent species oI
aquatic organisms. This will be tested by collecting samples Irom three diIIerent ponds at Drumlin Farm.
Eight samples will be taken Irom each pond, and immediately aIter, the pH will be tested and the
organisms will be identiIied. The independent variable is the pH oI the water, and the dependent variable
is the number oI diIIerent aquatic organism species. Important controlled variables are: the amount oI
water taken Ior each sample, the depth oI which the samples are taken, the number oI samples at each
pond, and the materials and methods used Ior testing. The hypothesis Ior this experiment is: iI there is
increased acidity in Ireshwater ponds, then there will be less organism diversity because harmIul species
oI plankton and moss begin to invade the water, causing the number oI diIIerent types oI organisms to
drastically decrease (Lenntech, http://www.lenntech.com), it is expected that Poultry Pond will have a
lower pH due to runoII oI possibly acidic snow Irom the nearby road.
This experiment hopes to explore how pH is aIIecting aquatic organisms at Drumlin Farm. It
could be helpIul Ior the staII and Iarmers at Drumlin Farm to know what is aIIecting the wildliIe within
their ponds, because the more they know about aquatic organisms, the more they can help keep the
ponds thriving and healthy. However, the inIormation about pH and it`s eIIects on organisms is not
limited to Drumlin Farm workers. Knowledge oI the eIIect that pH has on the diversity oI aquatic
organisms can help Iarmers and scientists outside oI Drumlin Farm. II there are specially preserved
lakes, they can make sure that those lakes have healthy pH levels Ior the organisms within them.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
In order to successIully execute this experiment, a Vernier pH Sensor Probe was required to
test the exact pH on each water sample. Also, one T-Nspire calculator was needed to randomize
(rand(8)*(24)) the speciIic locations at each pond along with one Easylink connector, which allowed the
probe and calculator to compute the pH level. 'Rand(8)*(24) is the exact Iormula that was plugged
into the calculator Ior randomizing. The '8 stands Ior the number oI locations needed at each pond,
and the '24 stands Ior the the total amount oI trials. This experiment was conducted at Drumlin Farm,
located in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Poultry Pond is located south oI MAS Iorest, and near the chicken
coop and Farm LiIe Center. Bathtub Pond is surrounded by a Iorest, and south oI the Drumlin, and
Boyce Pond is east oI the compost area.



Diagram 1: Map oI Drumlin Farm, Lincoln, Massachusetts.

In preparation Ior this experiment, a strainer was attached and Iirmly duct taped to the end oI a
broom stick. The bristles oI the broom were removed, and replaced by a cooking strainer. This was the
tool used to catch organisms through the water. Each pond was divided into twelve sections, similar to a
clock, and using the randomize command on the calculator, eight spots were randomly chosen (see
Diagram 2). Using this method, the sample locations were determined at each oI the ponds. The
calculator identiIied the general area, and the student would stand at the corresponding location
according to the diagram.


Figure 2: Pond Diagram showing method used Ior randomizing water samples.



At each oI the eight randomized locations oI the pond, the strainer was gently waved through
the water once, as close to the bottom oI the pond as possible, but without collecting leaves. By doing
this, any organisms within the water were caught. Then, the pole was brought back and the organisms
were Ilushed over the backside oI the strainer with one quart oI water collected Irom the same location,
while it was held over the rectangular tupperware container. The Iallen water in the container was tested
using the Vernier probe. To use the 'Vernier pH sensor probe a sample oI water to test was required,
along with one bottle oI distilled water Ior rinsing any excess material aIter use. Inside the box contains a
pH 'ampliIier and within the handle is a circuit. This circuit allows the regular combination pH
'electrode to be viewed. The cable in the pH ampliIier ends in a 'BTA plug. This sensor is
constructed to read measurements between 0-14, the pH scale. BeIore using the pH Sensor, the
storage bottle was removed Irom the electrode by unscrewing the lid, and then the bottom section oI the
probe (mostly the tip) was thoroughly rinsed. Then the pH sensor was connected to the calculator.
The organisms were also viewed and identiIied within the tupperware container using the key
provided by a Drumlin Farm naturalist. Lastly, the pH and aquatic organism diversity were recorded
onto the data tables and analyzed at the science lab (http://www.Ii.edu.html). Twenty-Iour trials took
place, thereIore, eight trials occurred at each oI the three pond locations.


Table 1: The eIIect oI habitat on pH

Table 2: The eIIect oI habitat location on total types oI organisms

Table 3: The eIIect oI pH on total types oI organisms
Graph 1: The eIIect oI habitat location on average pH




Graph 2: The eIIect oI habitat location on total types oI organisms


Graph 3: The eIIect oI pH on total types oI organisms at each habitat



















Graph 4: The eIIect oI pH on average number oI organisms at each habitat




Graph 1 shows that oI the three sites that were tested, there was a very small diIIerence
between the average pH levels. Bathtub Pond had the highest average (6.38) and Boyce Pond had the
lowest (6.27). Although the average oI Poultry Pond (6.32) was 0.05 more than Boyce Pond`s
average, Poultry Pond had a standard deviation oI 0.15 and Boyce Pond had a standard deviation oI
0.14. In comparison oI the diIIerence oI standard deviation between Bathtub Pond and Poultry Pond
(SD0.14), the diIIerence oI averages was extremely small (0.06). The error bars oI all the ponds
overlap with one another.
Graph 2 shows the total types oI organisms Iound at each oI the three sites that were tested. At
Bathtub Pond, only one type oI aquatic organism was Iound (Midge Fly Larvae). The Water Boatman
and the Copepod were the two types oI organisms that were Iound at Boyce Pond. Poultry Pond had
the highest number oI total types oI organisms. It had 4 types oI organisms, which included Midge Fly
Larvae, Mosquito Larvae, a snail, and a Copepod.
Graph 3 shows the relationship between the average pH and the total number oI diIIerent
organisms species at each oI the three sites that were tested. Bathtub Pond had the highest average pH
(6.38) and had the least types oI organisms Iound (1). Poultry Pond had a less oI an average pH (6.32)
than Bathtub Pond, but it had the most types oI organisms (4). Boyce Pond had the smallest average
pH (6.27) and two types oI organisms were Iound.
Graph 4 shows the relationship between the average pH and the average number oI organisms
Ior the three sites that were tested. While the experiment was not testing the total number oI organisms,
this graph helps to Iurther explain the hypothesis. The R
2
value measures how close the data is to the


trendline. A higher R
2
value indicates data close to the trendline, while a lower R
2
value indicates data
that is not close to the trendline. Bathtub Pond had an R
2
value oI 0.53, Boyce Pond had an R
2
value oI
0.04, and Poultry Pond hand an R
2
value oI 0.02. This is why there are no points oI data Ior Bathtub
Pond that are outliers, but there are three Ior Boyce Pond and two Ior Poultry Pond.


The purpose oI this experiment was to research and determine the possible correlation between
water pH and aquatic organism diversity. The hypothesis set Iorth was: iI there is increased acidity in
Ireshwater ponds, then there will be less organism diversity because harmIul species oI plankton and
moss begin to invade the water, causing the number oI diIIerent types oI organisms to drastically
decrease (Lenntech, http://www.lenntech.com), it is expected that Poultry Pond will have a lower pH
due to runoII oI possibly acidic snow Irom the nearby road. The results indicated that the hypothesis
was not supported, because the pH oI Poultry Pond was lower than the pH at Bathtub Pond. However,
Poultry Pond had the most organism diversity, yet the data was inconclusive.
Most Ireshwater sources have a pH ranging Irom 6-8, and iI the pH level decreases any Iurther,
it can potentially harm organisms within the water and cause other species to quickly invade the
ecosystem (Lenntech, www.lenntech.com). Acidity also indicates the 'biological availability, which
essentially is the calculation oI how much oI a given solution containing nutrients and metals can be
utilized by aquatic organisms (U.S. Geological Survey, http://water.usgs.gov). The data collected on
average was opposite oI what was expected. Poultry Pond, the pond that was expected to have the
largest pH ended up having a medium pH level (6.32), yet the most organism diversity. There is no
strong correlation between the data due to low r
2
values. However, on the Iourth graph, showing the
eIIect oI pH on average number oI organisms at each location, Bathtub Pond had the lowest number oI
organisms and diversity oI organisms. Bathtub Pond has a clear trend line and the highest r
2
value out oI
the three pond locations. This means that the relationship between the pH and organism diversity is
somewhat stronger, yet relatively low. Even though the original experiment tested the eIIect on water pH
on aquatic organism diversity, it was also taken into consideration to record the total number oI
organisms. Graph one, showing the eIIect oI habitat on average pH, indicates very low data set
precision, given the overlapping error bars. Overall, there was a minimal distinction between the data.
The conIidence oI the data is very low because the error bars overlapped with each other.
Other existing Iactors, not including pH, could also aIIect the diversity oI organisms at each
pond location. SpeciIically in Bathtub Pond, almost halI oI the waters surIace was covered with a layer
oI snow and ice. A very important Iactor oI a healthy water ecosystem is the temperature oI the water.
Water temperature also aIIects the dissolved oxygen content, which is a strong component needed by
many aquatic organisms. Water temperatures rely on the climate oI the location. Most aquatic organisms
depend on minimal changes in water temperatures to survive, and because the growth oI many
organisms are 'seasonal, the species can quickly adjust to a temperature alteration
(http://www.cees.iupui.edu). So when the temperature oI the water changes rapidly, it could aIIect the
amount oI dissolved oxygen, preventing the organisms Irom using it. Another possible eIIect could be
Phosphorus or Nitrate levels, a limiting nutrients, which are Iound in most Iresh bodies oI water. Excess
amounts oI Phosphorus or Nitrates in streams and surIace waters can increase plant growth and algae
blooms which can later lead to 'rapid oxygen depletion within the water. The resulting product is water
with low dissolved oxygen levels, which can possibly destroy aquatic ecosystems and species including:
Iish, invertebrates, and other animals (http:www.cees.iupui.edu).


There are many things that could be changed in order to improve upon the experiment tested
and possibly have an eIIect on the Iinal results. The Iirst one would be to change the depth oI where the
organisms and water samples were collected Irom. By doing this, the experiment could test and
determine which species live at diIIerent depths oI the water. Another modiIication would be to
determine the temperature oI the water and test whether that had an eIIect on the organism diversity.
A Iew errors occurred while conducting the experiment that may have caused the results to
diIIer Irom what was originally expected. The Iirst was that the method oI gathering the water sample
had to be altered, due to time pressure. The original procedure stated that aIter the strainer was waved
through the water, water would be collected into a three liter jug and would be used to Ilush the
organisms into the large white bucket underneath. However, instead, a one quart yogurt container was
used to gather the water and then poured over the back side oI the strainer. This allowed the organisms
to Iall directly into a rectangular tupperware container, rather than the bucket. This may have aIIected
the experiment because the amount oI water collected was a much smaller amount than originally
planned. From there, the pH was tested. In addition, at Boyce Pond, the experiment began by testing
the salinity oI the water rather than the pH, but this mistake was quickly corrected aIter the Iirst two
trials took place and the correct probe was used Ior the duration oI the experiment. For Iuture
investigation and research on this study, it may be helpIul to test turbidity or salinity on the eIIect oI
aquatic organisms to determine iI there is a possible correlation with acidity.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
1enny Steinberg
I would like to thank many people who have guided me during the past Iew months. I would
like to thank my science teacher, Ms. Schultheis. She has been such a huge help, showing us how to
design our experiment, use the materials that we didn`t understand, and explaining how to write a
Iantastic lab report. One oI the things that she did that really helped me was showing me how to create
the correct data tables in excel. I couldn`t have done it without her. I would like to thank my partner
Lauren Bernier. Throughout the Knights oI Science project, she has always been right by my side. She
brought in most oI the materials and has given me great Ieedback on my lab report. I would next like to
thank Mr. Dwire Ior being a helpIul chaperone on the Drumlin Farm Iield trip. When one oI our
materials was misplaced, he called our teacher to try and bring it to us. Finally, I would like to thank the
Drumlin Farm instructors that helped us Iind the correct materials and showed us the way to the the
habitats when we got lost. Without them, we wouldn`t have collected our data.

Lauren Bernier
I would like to thank the many people that supported and guided us throughout the on going
preparation and production oI our experiment. Firstly, I would like to thank my science teacher, Ms.
Schultheis, who helped us construct a valid experiment, organize all oI our materials, and periodically
checked in on us to assure that everything was going smoothly. I would also like to thank my partner,
Jenny Steinberg, who has put so much eIIort and time into this project, helping to contribute constructive
criticism towards our writing assignments, as well as helping to collect all the data necessary Ior this
experiment. My mother has also been a major help with organizing all materials needed, and also helping
to prooIread my writing pieces. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the staII at Drumlin Farm, and the
teachers who chaperoned the eighth grade students on the trip. They were incredibly helpIul, and were
able to answer any questions or concerns that came up during the process.








































WORKS CITED (Bernier)
"Acids & Alkalis in Freshwater." Effects of Acids and Alkalis on Aquatic Life. Lenntech, 1998.
Web. 10 Mar. 2014. http://www.lenntech.com/aquatic/acids-alkalis.htm~.



"A Water Resource Ior the Community Science Action Guide." A Water Resource for the
Communitv Science Action Guide. Online Museum Educators, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
http://www.Ii.edu/guide/bond/phtesting.html~.

"Water Properties: PH." , from USGS Water-Science School. U.S. Department oI the Interior, 17
Mar. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. http://water.usgs.gov/edu/phdiagram.html~.

"Water Quality." Water Qualitv. Indiana University, Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
http://www.cees.iupui.edu/education/Workshops/ProjectSeam/waterquality.html




















WORKS CITED (Steinberg)
"Acids & Alkalis in Freshwater." Effects of Acids and Alkalis on Aquatic Life. Lenntech, 1998.
Web. 10 Mar. 2014. http://www.lenntech.com/aquatic/acids-alkalis.htm~.



"Acid Rain: Do You Need to Start Wearing a Rainhat?" Usgs.gov. U.S. Geological Survey, 09
Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. www.water.usgs.gov/edu/acidrain.html~.

Britannica. The New Encvclopedia Britannica. Jolume 9. 15 vols. Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia
Britannica, 2005. Print. Volume 9.

"EIIects oI Acid Rain - SurIace Waters and Aquatic Animals." EPA. Environmental Protection
Agency, 1998. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.
http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/eIIects/surIacewater.html~.

"PH." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/pH~.

"Water Properties: PH." Usgs.gov. U.S. Geological Survey, 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
www.water.usgs.gov/edu/phdiagram.html~.

























The Effect of Tree Species on soil pH in the
pHorest



By: Benjamin Blackburn & Brendan Donovan
















!




TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section Author Page(s)
Abstract Blackburn 3

Introduction Blackburn 3-4

Materials & Methods Blackburn 4

Results Donovan 5-6

Discussion Donovan 6-7

Acknowledgements Blackburn & Donovan 8

Works Cited Blackburn 9

Works Cited Donovan 10-11

Appendix: Pictures Blackburn & Donovan 11-14























!




ABSTRACT
Soil pH is the measurement of active hydrogen ions collected within the soil. The
more hydrogen ions the more acidic the soil will be. This experiment was conducted to
discover whether or not certain types of trees affect the pH of the soil and also potentially
affect the growth of other surrounding plants. To conduct this experiment a soil sample
was taken from under a tree with a soil auger and then tested with a Rapitest pH testing
kit. The original hypothesis was: If a Red Pine tree is tested, then the soil pH will be the
lowest, because in the northern forest region Red Pines need a 4.5 to 6.0 range in order to
absorb enough nutrients (Rudolf, www.na.fs.fed.us). In the end there was no conclusive
data found and it was not possible to determine whether or not the coniferous trees were
more acidic because all of the error bars overlapped, despite the differentiating averages.

INTRODUCTION
Soil pH measures how acidic soil is due to contributing factors from surrounding
sources. The definition of pH is the measurement of active hydrogen (H) ions in any
given substance or the power of hydrogen ions within the soil (Knapp, Brian J., and Mary
Sanders, Acids, Bases, Salts, 182). The pH levels range from 1 to 14 with 14 being the
most basic, 1 being the most acidic and 7 being neutral. Organisms like trees and flowers
contribute hydrogen ions into the soil, making it more acidic. Most soils have a pH in the
3 to 9 range (Londo, Andrew J., John D. Kushla, and Robert C. Carter,
www.lsuagcenter.com). Many scientists believe that more acidic trees tend to live where
levels of pH are lower and often contribute to those conditions. The pH levels can also
affect the amounts of other nutrients that a plant can absorb. The reactions caused by pH
can either allow a plant to uptake more or less nutrients, ultimately leading to better or
worse plant health.
This experiment was conducted at Drumlin Farm, in Lincoln, Massachusetts.
Drumlin Farm is part of the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, a program to keep and protect
natural habitats in Massachusetts. The Drumlin covers 312 acres of land and has 4
different forests from which BB&N has access to. The experiment was conducted at
Hemlock forest located on the Northern part of the drumlin. When conducting the
experiment it was helpful to note what signs the tree might show to signify too high or
too low pH levels. If the pH levels are too high then there will be signs of deficiencies in
nutrients because the pH levels can prevent the tree from receiving enough of a specific
nutrient based on the amount of reaction with the soil (Alvey, Alexis,
www.ccesuffolk.org). If the pH levels are too low then the tree wont be able to grow as
well because of the more acidic soil, resulting in smaller limbs and dying leaves. The pH
in the soil also translates to the health of the animals and organisms around it. If a plant
is consumed by an animal, then all of the nutrients in the plant will go to the animal. If
the soil pH is too high or too low the plant wont have as many essential nutrients and it
will impact the health of the organism that relies on the nutrients from plants.

!
The proposed experiment is to test how the type of tree affects pH levels in the
soil. The objective of the experiment is to find out whether or not the type of tree actually
affects the acidity of the soil that surrounds it leading to the growth or stagnation of the
plant. This question was answered by collecting soil samples from soil found beneath
different trees. Then the soil acidity was determined using a Rapitest pH testing kit and a
chemical reagent mixed with distilled water. These results showed whether or not the
tree does impact the soil. The independent variable is the type of tree that we take the
soil samples from. The dependent variable for this test was the level of pH tested from
the soil. Some variables that were controlled are the climate, the forest from which the
experiment was conduct in, the day in which the experiment is conducted, the way in
which data was collected, and the type of soil. The hypothesis states: If a red pine tree is
tested then the soil pH will be the lowest because in the northern forest region red pines
need a 4.5-6.0 range, in order to absorb enough nutrients (Rudolf,www.na.fs.fed.us).
This research will demonstrate how the type of tree is affecting the acidity of the
soil that surrounds it. The volunteers from the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary program can
use this data to further help preserve the health of their plants. It will help them
understand what plants can tolerate the living conditions of another plant and which can
not. It is important to understand how the levels of pH affect a plant because then it is
easier to help plants grow to become more healthy. This experiment will help contribute
to the understanding of plant life and how each plant can affect one another. This will
allow people to be able to create ideal living spaces for different species of plants and
will help many societies like the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary program preserve the
natural forests.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
The previously proposed experiment was conducted in Hemlock Forest. Hemlock
Forest was selected because it had many different deciduous and coniferous groups of
trees. To select what areas of Hemlock Forest this experiment would be conducted on it
was necessary to run randomization method number 2 to select which areas the soil
samples would be taken from. First and area of Hemlock forest with a dense population
of one species of tree was identified. The type of trees that this experiment was
conducted upon was Spruce, Ash, Oak and Red Pine. There were two areas with
deciduous trees, two cites with coniferous trees and one cite where there were no trees to
affect the soil pH. Then all of the surrounding trees were marked and numbered. Then all
of the numbers of the marked trees were randomized with a calculator to fairly select
which six trees the experiment was going to be conducted upon. After the trees were
selected an auger was used to scoop a two-inch soil sample from under the tree. Then
soil from the B-horizon was put in a pH test kit and mixed with distilled water and a
chemical reagent. Then after a minute of letting the substance sit the substance color was
compared to the acidity chart on the side of the test kit.




!





RESULTS
TABLE 1: The effect of tree species on soil pH
Tree
Species
pH Level
Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5 Trial 6 Average St.Dev.
White
Spruce 6.0 7.0 6.0 4.5 6.5 5.5 5.9 0.9
White Ash 6.0 6.5 6.5 5.5 5.5 6.0 6.0 0.4
Red Pine 6.0 4.5 6.0 6.0 5.5 5.5 5.6 0.6
White Oak 6.6 6.0 6.5 6.0 6.0 6.5 6.3 0.3
Control
Run 5.5 6.5 7.0 6.0 6.5 6.0 6.3 0.5


GRAPH 1: The effect of tree species on soil pH


Graph 1 shows all of the tree species and their corresponding averages, from the
data that was collected at Hemlock Forest. The graphed data shows that the type of tree
species and the surrounding soil pH level did not correspond. The data collected was
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Tree Species

!
unusual; all of the error bars overlap, yet the data was still fairly precise. The only trends
in the data came from the size of the error bars. The Red Pine trees, White Spruce and the
control run had very large error bar sizes; these were the least precise data.
From the data collected at Hemlock Forest, depicted in Graph 1, the highest
average soil pH level was the same with the White Oaks and the control run (6.3). The
lowest average pH level came from the Red Pine trees (5.6). The White Spruce tree was
by far the least precise. The Red Pine trees and the control run error bar sizes were very
similar, but the White Ash and White Oak trees were the most precise. The data as a
whole was largely precise, with one very big outlier. An important observation was: there
were many groves of trees that were occupied by only one species during the testing.

DISCUSSION
This experiment was conducted in order to test the correlation between tree
species and the soil pH. The hypothesis for this experiment states: If a red pine tree is
tested then the soil pH will be the lowest because in the northern forest region red pines
need a 4.5-6.0 range in order to absorb enough nutrients (Rudolf,www.na.fs.fed.us). This
hypothesis was not supported by the results of the experiment because all of the error
bars overlapped.
Based on the averages, the Red Pine trees were the most acidic, followed by the
White Spruce, then White Ash, control run and finally White Oak. All of the trees tested
are native to the Northeast Forest Region. Therefore, they need similar soil conditions in
order to survive. All of these samples were taken from the same forest, where the soil is
very similar. At each spot where data was collected at exactly 6.1 cm. below the surface,
the color and texture of the soil was very similar. The soil was a dark brown and
crumpled easily when touched. Hemlock Forest is located on a hill. As a result, each spot
was elevated and some spots were higher than others. Also, each location was a grove
that was predominantly occupied by the species that was being tested (with a few
outliers). Many sources said that all of these trees have a similar need for pH so the
readings will be alike, because of the similarity in the ranges, within these conditions
(Rudolf,www.na.fs.fed.us).
There is definitely a connection between all of the species because the ranges are
very similar, with a moderately precise range of data. The White Ash and White Oak
trees were extremely precise, the control run and Red Pine trees were moderately precise,
and the White Spruce trees were not precise at all. Although there was a large difference
in error bar size, all of the error bars overlapped. There is no conclusion to be made from
this experiment because the trees in this region need soil that is slightly acidic (4.5-6.0) in
order to survive, especially the winter. Slightly acidic soil allows trees to soak up the
largest amount of nutrients (Harrington, Tree pH Ranges). Although there are no
conclusions to be made, the data is still precise. Confidence in data comes from the size
of the error bars and how much outlying data there is. In this experiment there was not a
lot of outlying data within each species type, therefore there is a lot of confidence.
The field study was well thought out and proved very successful in the field, and
it needed little modifications. This allowed for sufficient data collection. Perhaps, if the
soil was collected deeper at around 25.4 cm., this could have provided a much different
range of pH levels because at this depth there is a horizon that contains much more

!
nutrients that the trees absorb. Although there was confidence in the data, maybe if more
samples were collected other outliers would appear.
Errors occurred very rarely throughout this experiment. The only errors that
occurred were: once dropping the container with the solution, this error could have been
eliminated by being more careful; rushing through the process at the end and not getting
samples deep enough, and this could have been eliminated by better time management.
Future ideas for this experiment are: the correlation between groves of mixed species of
trees and non-mixed species on soil pH, and tree height on soil pH around the tree. This
experiment, if researched again, could be improved by collecting soil samples deeper and
collecting samples from a variety of forests. If this experiment was conducted on a much
larger scale, it could help farmers and arborists plant their trees in prime locations and
maintain them efficiently.


!
Acknowledgements
This project wouldnt have been a success without the help from many different
people throughout the way. I would like to thank Drumlin Farm and all of its volunteers
for giving their time to supervise the testing and helping to make everything run
smoothly. I would also like to thank the teacher chaperones for volunteering their day to
accompany us on the trip to Drumlin Farm and providing us with guidance whenever
possible. And last but certainly not least I would like to thank the BB&N Middle School
science department for organizing and developing the entire trip while helping each and
every person with this extensive project. Without the help of all of these people this
project wouldnt have been nearly as successful and I am very thankful for their support.


Throughout the course of this experiment, from brainstorming to concluding, several
people have helped my partner and I. First, I would like to thank Mrs. Larocca for
teaching us about all of the different topics that we could explore and for helping us
revise our experiment. Mrs. Larocca played a key role in getting the basics down for us
and even guiding us through our experiment. Next, I would like to thank the entire
Drumlin Farm crew for keeping the Farm in such a beautiful condition, and for their great
knowledge on all the outdoor topics that came up in our many questions. Also, I would
like to thank Mr. Rossiter, Ms. Bomfim and Mrs. Brooks for being in our general location
and keeping watch over us and ready to help us in any way possible. Lastly, I would like
to thank my entire class for making science such an amazing experience for me and also
for providing my partner and I with help/advice, especially on the writing pieces. Thank
you so much to everyone involved in our experiment and God Bless.
























!
WORKS CITED:

Benjamin Blackburn:

Alvey, Alexis. "Trees Tolerant of High Soil PH* (pH up to 8.2)." Www.ccesuffolk.org.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, 2011. Web. Apr. 2014.
<http://ccesuffolk.org/assets/galleries/Agriculture/Commercial-Nursery-and-
Landscape-Management/Trees-Tolerant-of-High-Soil-pH-1-11.pdf>.
Knapp, Brian J., and Mary Sanders. Acids, Bases, and Salts. Danbury, CT: Grolier
Educational, 1998. Print.
Londo, Andrew J., John D. Kushla, and Robert C. Carter. Soil pH and Tree Species
Suitability in the South. www.lsuagcenter.com. Southern Regional
Extension Forestry, Jan. 2006. Pdf. 2014 Apr. 2.
<http://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres/3E784F3F-
0B26-44E9-958D-3C31CB911EFD/69963/SoilpH.pdf
Soil pH. nick.mcn.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014
"Soil pH: What It Means." Soil PH: What It Means. State University of New York
College of Environmental Science and Forestry, n.d. Web. Apr. 2014.
<http://www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/soilph/soilph.htm>.
Whiting, David, Carl Wilson, and Jean Reeder, Ph.D. "Soil PH." Soil PH. Colorado State
University Extension, 2013. Web. N.d. Apr. 2014.
<http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/222.html>.







!"

WORKS CITED:

Brendan Donovan:

Blumm, Barton M. "Picea Rubens Sarg." Picea Rubens Sarg. Http://www.na.fs.fed.us/,
n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/Volume_1/picea/rubens.htm>.
Harrington, Harry. "Tree PH Ranges." Www.bonsai4me.com. Harry Harrington, 2004.
Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
<http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bonsai4me.com%2FAdvTech%2FAT%2520tree%2520
ph%2520ranges.htm>.
Innovation! Big Green Cartoon Tree. N.d.
Http://innovation.kpru.ac.th/web17/551121712/innovation/index.php/1-1-5-
0. Innovation.kpru.ac.th. Web. 1 May 2014.
<http://innovation.kpru.ac.th/web17/551121712/innovation/index.php/1-1-5-0>.

Jett, John W. "Horticulture." Www.wvu.edu. Extension Service West Virginia University,
May 2005. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/homegard/pHpref.pdf>.
Rudolf, Paul O. "Red
Pine."Http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/Volume_1/pinus/resinosa.htm.
Www.na.fs.fed.us, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
<http%3A%2F%2Fwww.na.fs.fed.us%2Fpubs%2Fsilvics_manual%2FVolume_1
%2Fpinus%2Fresinosa.htm>.
Sander, Ivan L. "Quercus Muehlenbergii Engelm." Quercus Muehlenbergii Engelm.

!!
Www.na.fs.fed.us, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_2/quercus/muehlenbergii.ht
m>
Schlesinger, Richard C. "White
Ash.http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_2/fraxinus/am
Trails at Drumlin Farm. 2014. Www.massaudubon.org.Www.massaudubon.org. Web. 1
May 2014. <http://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-
sanctuaries/drumlin-farm/about/trails>.

















!"
APPENDIX


Figure 1: Red Pine and White Oak testing sites. Many different types of leaves filled the
forest floor. The soil was damp and very close to Ice Pond.

Figure 2: The White Ash testing site. Ashes, can be identified by their triangular shaped
trunks. Only White Ash leaves covered the ground, the ground was damp and there were
several fallen trees.

!"

Figure 3: The White Spruce testing site. Spruces, can be identified by the several notches
in their bark. This ground was not so damp, but still a lot of fallen trees.

Figure 4: The control run at Hemlock Forest. This was extremely close to Ice Pond, there
were many varieties of leaves on ground and not many trees nearby.

!"












Figure 5: This is a pH Rapitest testing kit with the chemical reagent creating a color to
compare with the color chart (Right).








Figure 6: This is an overview map of Drumlin Farm (left).



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This expeiiment was conuucteu to test the coiielation between soil compactness
anu soil potassium levels. Testing was conuucteu at Biumlin Faim in Lincoln, NA. Soil was
testeu at the faim's Biiu Conseivation Aiea, Sheepgiazing Aiea, anu Faim Life Centei. Soil
compactness was measuieu in teims of soil peicolation (the time neeueu foi the soil to
absoib the watei). At nine ianuom points in each of the pieviously mentioneu habitats, 1uu
milliliteis of watei was pouieu into a fouiteen ounce soup can inseiteu thiee centimeteis
into the soil. The time iequiieu foi the soil to fully absoib the watei was measuieu in
seconus. Auuitionally, nine soil samples weie collecteu at the same points in each habitat
anu weie testeu foi potassium levels in the lab using a veiniei potassium piobe. The
hypothesis pieuicteu that moie compact soils woulu have highei potassium levels, as the
total suiface aiea woulu be gieatei, pioviuing foi moie space foi the soil to ietain nutiients
such as potassium (unknown,www.ctahi.hawaii.euu) (Bozeman,
ecoiestoiation.montana.euu). The iesults foi soil peicolation anu potassium weie
completely inconclusive, with all of the bais having laige eiioi bais that oveilappeu with
one anothei significantly. The i
2
values in the x-y scattei plot showing the coiielation
between the two vaiiables was less than 1, inuicating no significant coiielation.
()$%*+,&$(*)
Potassium is an element that can be founu in many places such as soil, plants, anu
iocks. It was fiist useu to make soap by boiling woou that containeu potassium, anu mixing
the ashes with animal fat. Nowauays, potassium is useu in many ways, fiom healing
wounus, to ieplacing salt (Knapp, 2uu). Potassium is useu by animals anu humans to
foitify theii cell walls anu contiol the neivous system. A healthy potassium intake pei uay
foi auults is about 4.7 giams. Lima beans, iaisins, anu bakeu potatoes contain some of the
highest amounts of potassium in foou. Potassium is also an essential element foi plants,
anu theiefoie is useu in many feitilizeis. Bowevei, too much potassium can be haimful foi
both plants anu humans, as cell walls coulu become so thick that impoitant signals woulu
not be able to be tiansmitteu between cells. (Noiustiom, www.fofweb.com).
The amount of potassium in a soil coulu be affecteu by the compactness of the
soil. Soil compactness is how compact (oi uense) a soil is, anu can be measuieu in teims of
soil peicolation (the time it takes foi a ceitain amount of watei to be absoibeu by soil). Soil
compactness uepenus on both the shape anu size of soil paiticles. Poies, oi the spaces
between soil paiticles, account foi about 4S peicent of a soil if all the paiticles in the soil
aie the same size anu aie peifectly iounu. Natuially, soil paiticles aie not all the same size
anu aie iiiegulaily-shapeu, so poie space vaiies. If the soil paiticles aie laigei, the poies
will be laigei, making the soil less compact, anu theie will be moie space foi watei to be
absoibeu. If the soil paiticles aie smallei, the poies will be smallei, making the soil less
compact, anu theie will be less space foi watei to be absoibeu. Soils that aie moie compact
have a highei iisk of floouing, anu a lowei iisk of uiought, while soils that aie less compact
have a highei iisk of uiought, anu a lowei iisk of floouing (Allaby, www.fofweb.com).
In an expeiiment about soil textuie, the Tifton Soil Testing Laboiatoiy stateu that
sanu paiticles aie biggest, anu least compact, while silt paiticles aie of meuium size anu
moueiately compact. They also stateu that clay paiticles aie the smallest, anu the most
compact (Tifton Soil Testing Laboiatoiy, www.tiftonsoillab.com). Any given mass of clay
"
has moie than 1,uuu times the suiface aiea of the same mass of sanu. This is because each
inuiviuual paiticle of clay is much smallei than each paiticle of sanu, making the poie
spaces smallei, anu the soil moie compact. Because of this, any given mass of clay will have
many moie paiticles than the same mass of sanu, causing it to have a laigei suiface
aiea. Foi example, if one big box was bioken into ten smallei boxes, the smallei boxes'
suiface aieas combineu woulu be much laigei than the oiiginal box's, as bieaking the box
apait woulu have exposeu many moie suifaces. Because clay has much moie suiface aiea
than sanu, soils with high clay content have moie space, anu can stoie moie nutiients, such
as potassium, than soils with a high sanu content. Since clay soils aie moie compact than
sanuy soils, it is likely that soils that aie moie compact have moie potassium, anu soils that
aie less compact have less potassium (unknown, www.ctahi.hawaii.euu). This infoimation
helps explain the expeiiment's hypothesis.
The pioposeu expeiiment will be testeu at thiee habitats at Biumlin Faim in
Lincoln, NA: the Sheep uiazing Aiea, the Faim Life Centei, anu the Biiu Conseivation
Aiea. The Faim Life Centei has the uensest population of faim animals in all of Biumlin
Faim, so the soil has been walkeu anu stoou on by many animals. Because of this, the Faim
Life Centei is expecteu to have the most compact soil. The Sheep uiazing Aiea has fewei
animals than the Faim Life Centei uoes, but moie than the Biiu Conseivation Aiea, so it is
expecteu that the Sheep uiazing Aiea's soil will be less compact than the Faim Life
Centei's, but moie compact than the Biiu Conseivation Aiea's soil.
This expeiiment being testeu at these locations will examine the effect of soil
compactness on potassium levels. The soil compactness will be testeu by cutting off a
can's top anu bottom, then uiiving it into the soil at nine locations in each of the thiee
habitats. Aftei the can has been uiiven into the soil, a ceitain amount of watei will be
pouieu into the can, anu the time neeueu foi the watei to be fully absoibeu will be
iecoiueu. Aftei each sample's peicolation time has been iecoiueu, a soil potassium piobe
will be useu to ueteimine the soil's potassium level. The inuepenuent vaiiable of this
expeiiment is soil compactness, anu the uepenuent vaiiable is potassium levels. Some
impoitant contiolleu vaiiables aie how much watei is pouieu into each soil sample, the
methou useu to test potassium foi each sample, the size of each sample, the methou foi
testing compactness on each sample, anu the numbei of samples collecteu at each
habitat. The hypothesis is that if the soil at the Faim Life Centei is testeu, then potassium
levels will be highest, because the inuiviuual soil paiticles will be smallei. This will iesult in
a laigei suiface aiea, pioviuing foi moie space foi the soil paiticles to ietain nutiients such
as potassium (unknown, www.ctahi.hawaii.euu) (Bozeman, ecoiestoiation.montana.euu).
This ieseaich has the potential to show how faim animals can affect the soil's
quality anu potassium levels, because faim animals walking on soil will make soil moie
compact, anu the expeiiment will ueteimine if the compactness makes a uiffeience in the
soil's nutiients. It coulu also influence people in ueciuing wheie they neeu the most
feitilizei, because they woulu be awaie of which soil hau the least anu most amount of
potassium. The expeiiment woulu uemonstiate which soils aie the most suitable foi
uiffeient kinus of plants baseu off of the soil's potassium level, anu the plant's neeu foi
potassium. With this knowleuge, people will be able to maximize the potential of theii
ciops, anu feeu moie people. This ieseaich coulu also uemonstiate if soil compactness
affects the amount of any type of element oi nutiient in a soil, if not only potassium.

"
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This expeiiment, the effect of soil compactness measuieu in
teims of soil peicolation on
potassium levels in soil, was
conuucteu at Biumlin Faim in
Lincoln, Nassachusetts. Testing
was uone at thiee habitats: the
Faim Life Centei (fig. 1), the
Sheep uiazing Aiea (fig. 2),
anu the Biiu Conseivation
aiea (fig. S).
The fiist pait of the expeiiment involveu testing
soil foi compactness in teims of soil peicolation. Piioi to
testing, a can openei was useu to iemove the top anu
bottom fiom a soup can so that the iesult was an
empty cylinuei. A line thiee centimeteis up fiom
the bottom was uiawn on the insiue anu outsiue of
the can. Anothei line was then
uiawn thiee centimeteis up
fiom the bottom of the can on
the outsiue. 0pon aiiival at
Biumlin Faim, an empty gallon
jug was filleu up completely
with watei. At each of the fielus
a iectangulai section as
ueteimineu anu the uimensions
weie measuieu using paces.
Next, nine ianuom cooiuinate points weie chosen on the fielu using the
ianuomization function on a TI giaphing calculatoi. The can was pusheu
into the soil at the fiist of these points up to the
thiee-centimetei maiking (fig. 4). 1uu milliliteis of
watei fiom the gallon jug was then
measuieu in a Suu-millilitei beakei anu
pouieu onto the soil insiue the can. A
stopwatch was staiteu as soon as the
watei toucheu the giounu to iecoiu the
amount of time that it took foi the soil
to fully absoib the watei. 0nce the
peicolation was complete, the timei was
stoppeu anu the iesult was iecoiueu in a
table. Next, a soil sample was taken fiom a
point twenty centimeteis away fiom the
point testeu foi peicolation anu stoieu in a
Figuie 1: The Faim Life
Centei at Biumlin Faim.
Figuie 2: The
Sheepgiazing Aiea at
Biumlin Faim
Figuie S: The Biiu Conseivation
Aiea anu Biumlin Faim.
Figuie 4: the
soup can
inseiteu into
the soil
Figuie S: A
soil sample
being
Collecteu
Figuie 6: A veiniei
Potassium piobe; this was
useu to test soil potassium
levels.
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In giaph 1, the locations with the highest aveiage peicolation times also hau the
laigest eiioi bais, anu the locations with the lowest aveiage peicolation times also hau the
smallest eiioi bais. The Faim life Centei hau the lowest aveiage peicolation time anu the
smallest eiioi bai, while the Biiu Conseivation Aiea hau the highest aveiage anu the
laigest eiioi bai. Sheepgiazing's aveiage peicolation time anu eiioi bai was in between
the two othei locations. All of the eiioi bais in the giaph oveilappeu. The Biiu
Conseivation Aiea's aveiage peicolation time was Su4s anu it hau a stanuaiu ueviation of
4S6s. The Faim Life Centei's aveiage peicolation time was 96s, anu it hau a stanuaiu
ueviation of 1u4s. Its eiioi bai extenueu below zeio. Sheepgiazing's aveiage peicolation
time was 178s, anu it hau a stanuaiu ueviation of 147s. The oveiall uata set piecision in
the giaph was low.
In giaph 2, the Faim life Centei hau the highest aveiage potassium level anu the
laigest eiioi bai while the Biiu Conseivation Aiea hau the lowest aveiage potassium level,
anu the smallest eiioi bai. The Sheepgiazing Aiea's aveiage potassium level anu eiioi bai
was in between the two othei locations. All thiee of the eiioi bais oveilappeu with each
othei. The Biiu Conseivation's aveiage potassium level was 9 mgL, with a stanuaiu
ueviation of 1u mgL. It also hau eiioi bais that extenueu below zeio. The Biiu
Conseivation Aiea's aveiage potassium level was S mgL, while its stanuaiu ueviation was
only 2 mgL. The Sheepgiazing Aiea's aveiage potassium level was 7 mgL, while its
stanuaiu ueviation was S mgL. In giaph 2, the locations with highei aveiages weie less
piecise, anu the locations with lowei aveiages weie moie piecise. The highest aveiage in
giaph 1 was the lowest in giaph 2, anu the lowest aveiage in giaph 1 was the highest in
giaph 2. The geneial uata set piecision was also low in giaph 2.
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uiaph S shows the effect of soil compactness anu location on potassium levels. The
Biiu Conseivation Aiea's tienu line was hoiizontal, anu hau no veitical slope. It hau an i`
value of u.u2S6. The Faim Life Centei's tienu line hau a negative slope, anu was the
steepest. It hau an i` value of u.u7S7. The Sheepgiazing's tienu line was similai the Faim
Life Centei's, except that it was a little less steep. It also hau a negative slope, anu hau the
highest i` value, at u.2696. The oveiall uata set piecision was low in giaph S.
uiaph 4 shows the effect of soil compactness on potassium levels. Its tienu line has
a negative slope, anu the line almost lies flat. Its i` value was u.uS64. Foi most of the
points, the potassium levels weie between u anu 1S mgL, but theie was one outliei: its
potassium level was SS mgL. Nost of the points' peicolation times weie between u anu
4uu seconus, anu theie weie two outlieis: one point hau a peicolation time of 91S seconus,
anu one point hau a peicolation time of 912 seconus.
Buiing testing, it was obseiveu that some habitats hau moie animals than otheis,
anu hau accumulateu the animals' manuie. The Biiu Conseivation Aiea hau the most
manuie, because it is also known as the 'compost', wheie excess manuie is stoieu. The
Faim Life Centei hau the seconu most amount of manuie, because theie weie sometimes
sheep wheie the soil was collecteu, anu the sheep's waste hau been mixeu with the soil.
The Sheepgiazing aiea hau the least amount of manuie because the soil theie was collecteu
fiom iight outsiue of the fence with animals. Also, uuiing testing it was obseiveu that the
Biiu Conseivation Aiea's soil was much moie wet than the soil of the othei habitats.
!"#$%##"&'
This expeiiment was uesigneu to test the existence anu stiength of the link between
soil compactness, measuieu in teims of soil peicolation anu soil potassium levels. The
hypothesis stateu that if the soil at the Faim Life Centei is testeu, then potassium levels will
be highest, because the inuiviuual soil paiticles will be smallei. This will iesult in a laigei
suiface aiea, pioviuing foi moie space foi the soil paiticles to ietain nutiients such as
potassium (unknown,www.ctahi.hawaii.euu; Bozeman, ecoiestoiation.montana.euu). This
was not suppoiteu by the uata, as none of the habitats hau conclusively uiffeient soil
potassium levels. The Biiu Conseivation aiea conclusively hau the slowest time iequiieu
foi peicolation, inuicating the highest levels of compactness; this is the opposite of what
was pieuicteu. Fuitheimoie, the Faim Life Centei anu the Sheepgiazing Aiea uiu not have
conclusively uiffeient times iequiieu foi peicolation. None of the habitats hau conclusively
uiffeient soil potassium levels.
The iesults in all giaphs weie veiy inconclusive. In giaph 1 (the effect of location on
soil compactness), the Biiu Conseivation Aiea hau the highest aveiage peicolation at Su4
seconus, anu was by fai the least piecise with a stanuaiu ueviation of 4S6 seconus. This is
most likely because the soil in this habitat was unexpecteuly moist, in pait uue to iecent
iainfall. Because the layei of giass coveiing the soil was thickei in some aieas than otheis,
the watei hau not been completely absoibeu in the aieas with a thickei layei of giass,
sticks anu leaves. This meant that the soil hau ieceiveu moie watei than fielu capacity, thus
hinueiing the absoiption of the watei (Namuth, passel.un.euu). Fielu capacity is uefineu as
the amount of watei ietaineu in soil once uiainage has stoppeu aftei ieceiving outsiue
"#
moistuie (http:nicca.cals.coinell.euu). When theie is an excess of watei in auuition to the
fielu capacity, the watei occupies poie space pieviously filleu with aii. Any auuitional
moistuie auueu to the soil theieaftei cannot peicolate, as the poie space in which the
watei woulu pieviously have moveu uownwaiu thiough the soil is now blockeu by
excessive watei (Namuth, passel.un.euu).
The Sheepgiazing Aiea anu the Faim Life Centei hau fully absoibeu any iecently
fallen iainwatei, howevei, piesumably because these aieas weie significantly less giassy.
Theii aveiages weie 178 seconus anu 96 seconus, iespectively, anu theii eiioi bais
oveilappeu significantly. Neithei the Sheepgiazing Aiea noi the Faim Life Centei hau veiy
piecise iesults with stanuaiu ueviations of 147 seconus anu 1u4 seconus, iespectively.
They uiu not have conclusively uiffeient soil peicolation levels because they weie both
only miluly giassy anu aie both steppeu on extensively. When animals oi humans walk
ovei a given aiea extensively, the piessuie fiom theii mass causes the soil to compiess
(Aishau, Loweiy, uiossman, http:soilquality.oig). Fuitheimoie, the giassiei an aiea is,
the longei it takes foi auueu moistuie to peicolate, because the giass paitially piohibits the
watei fiom uiaining uown into the soil (Lake County Watei Quality Committee,
http:www.lakecountysu.com).
None of the thiee habitats hau a soil potassium level that was significantly uiffeient
fiom any of the otheis; all thiee eiioi bais in giaph 2 oveilappeu with one anothei. This is
piobably uue in pait to all of the habitats having similai soil textuies (within the clay loam
family). Soils with laigei paiticles, oi sanuiei soils, have smallei total suiface aieas. This
allows foi less space foi the paiticles to ietain nutiients such as potassium. In contiast,
soils with smallei paiticles, oi soils with highei clay contents, have laigei total suiface
aieas, thus pioviuing foi moie space to ietain nutiients. In essence, the volume of the
inuiviuual soil paiticles coiielates negatively with the total suiface aiea anu the capacity
foi the ietention of nutiients (http:www.ctahi.hawaii.euu). Theiefoie, if theie is no
uiffeience between the soil textuies, theie will be little to no uiffeience in the potassium
levels.
In giaph S (the effect of soil compactness on potassium levels), no conclusions can
be uiawn, as the i
2
was u.S6S9. It is uncleai, howevei, which anu how many uncontiolleu
vaiiables effecteu the iesults anu to what extent. This anu completely inconclusive iesults
contiibute to veiy low confiuence in the uata. This is because theie aie a numbei of
uiffeient vaiiables that coulu potentially affect potassium levels in soil. 0ne such factoi in
the case of the Sheepgiazing Aiea is the potassium fiom the manuie of the goats anu sheep
that giaze in this habitat thioughout the yeai. The potassium fiom theii foou consumption
goes into the soil thiough the animals' manuie, thus incieasing the potassium content
(Nassey, ciops.missouii.euu). Anothei example is the abunuance of giass in the Biiu
Conseivation Aiea. In oiuei to unueigo photosynthesis, plants take in nutiients, such as
potassium, fiom the soil thiough theii ioots. As a iesult of this, the level of nutiients
ietaineu in the soil uecieases (unknown, www.ncagi.gov). In the Biiu Conseivation Aiea,
wheie a laige mass of giass coveieu the giounu (which iooteu in the soil), potassium levels
in the soil woulu most likely have been somewhat uepleteu.
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Ns. Baug, as well as the teachei natuialists at Biumlin Faim in Lincoln, NA who weie
stationeu at the Sheepgiazing Aiea anu the Faim Life Centei. I woulu like to thank libiaiian
Ns. Biooks foi aiuing my lab paitnei anu I uuiing the ieseaich phase of the expeiiment.
Finally, I woulu like to thank my lab paitnei, Elizabeth Bowen, foi shaiing the effoit of the
expeiiment equally anu foi helping me fulfill my inuiviuual iesponsibilities.
!"#$% '()*+ ,-./012
Allaby, Nichael. "peimeability (geology)." !"#$%"$ '%(#%$. Facts 0n File, Inc. Web. 9 Nai.
2u14.
<http:www.fofweb.comactivelink2.asp.ItemIB=WE4u&SIB=S&iPin=EWCRuSS7
&SingleRecoiu=Tiue>.

"Analytical Nethous." )"*+,+-$. /$+-*01-#*%. Ecosystem Restoiation, n.u. Web. 9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:ecoiestoiation.montana.euuminelanuguiueanalyticalphysicalpoiosity.
htm>.

uaines, T. P., anu S. T. uaines. "Soil Textuie Effect on Nitiate Leaching in Soil Peicolates."
2#3-*% 45,+#"1( !*#( 2$+-#%6 718*01-*0,9 :%"; Tifton Physical Soil Testing Laboiatoiy,
Inc., n.u. Web. 1S Nai. 2u14. <http:www.tiftonsoillab.comhtml4.html>.

Balka, Nonica, anu Biian Noiustiom. "potassium." !"#$%"$ '%(#%$. Facts 0n File, Inc. Web. 9
Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.fofweb.comactivelink2.asp.ItemIB=WE4u&SIB=S&iPin=PTAAENuuu
6&SingleRecoiu=Tiue>.

Knapp, Biian. 4*-1++#<. -* =#0"*%#<.. Banbuiy, CT: uioliei Euucational, 2uu2. Piint.

"Soil Textuie anu Soil Stiuctuie." !*#( >1%16$.$%-. 0niveisity of Bawai'i at Nanoa, n.u.
Web. 9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.ctahi.hawaii.euumauisoila_factoi_ts.aspx>.

!"#$% '()*+ ,%31452
Aishau, Loweiy, anu uiossman. "Bulk Bensity." !*#( ?<1(#-,@ :%A#"1-*0+@. NRCS East National
Technology Suppoit Centei, 1996. Web. 1S Api. 2u14.
<http:soilquality.oiginuicatoisbulk_uensity.html>.
Bozeman. "Poiosity." )"*+,+-$. /$+-*01-#*%. Nontana State 0niveisity, 1 Sept. 2uu4. Web.
u9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:ecoiestoiation.montana.euuminelanuguiueanalyticalphysicalpoiosity.
htm>.
"Competency Aiea 2: Soil Byuiology AEN." B$0-#3#$A B0*C DAE#+*0 !-<A, /$+*<0"$+
FG*0-5$1+- /$6#*%H. Coinell 0niveisity, 2u1u. Web. 14 Api. 2u14.
<http:nicca.cals.coinell.euusoilCA2CAu212.1-S.php>.
"#
!"# %&'()*+,,, Bigital image. -.*+/%./%#01*+.1*2+0. Rainy Bay Enteitainment, 2u12. Web.
1S Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.iainyuaymagazine.comRBN2u12BomeNaichWeek2RBNBome
NaiuS12.htm>
Lake County Watei Quality Committee. 3.4+ 5.1#&*+6 .+7 5.1#& 8'.)*1/. Nauison, SB:
BRANT LAKE INPR0vENENT ASS0CIATI0N, EAST BAK0TA WATER
BEvEL0PNENT BISTRICT, CITY 0F NABIS0N, SB, LAKE C00NTY
ENvIR0NNENTAL PR0TECTI0N 0FFICE, LAKE NABIS0N BEvEL0PNENT
ASS0CIATI0N, n.u. PBF.
Nassey, Ray. 9.:12&0 !".1 ;<<#:1 1"# =&*:# 2< >.+'&# .0 . 9#&1*)*?#&. N.p.: 0niveisity of
Nissouii, }une 2u1S. PBF.
Namuth, Beana N. "Soils - Pait 2: Physical Piopeities of Soil anu Soil Watei." =).+1 .+7 @2*)
@:*#+:#0 A3*B&.&/. Nsf, 0SBA, NIFA, 2u14. Web. 9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:passel.unl.euupagesinfoimationmouule.php.iuinfoimationmouule=11Su
447uS9&topicoiuei=7&maxto=1u&minto=1>.
Peteison, Lynsey. "Soil Peimeability." A7':.1*2+,:2(. Euucation.com, Inc., 2uu6-2u14. Web.
1u Nai. 2u14. <http:www.euucation.comscience-faiiaiticlesoil-
peimeability>.
"Plant Nutiients." =).+1 C'1&*#+10. Noith Caiolina Bepaitment of Agiicultuie anu Consumoi
Seivices, n.u. Web. 1S Api. 2u14.
<http:www.ncagi.govcybeikiuswiluplantnutiient.htm>.
=21.00*'( D2+E@#)#:1*F# A)#:1&27#. Beaveiton, 0R: veiniei Softweai & Technology, 17 }an.
2u14. PBF. PBF.
=21.00*'( D2+E@#)#:1*F# A)#:1&27#. Bigital image. G#&+*#&. veiniei Softweai & Technology,
LLC., 2u14. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14. <http:www.veiniei.comimagescachepiouuct.k-
bta._heio.uu1.S9u.SS2.jpg>.
"Soil Textuie anu Soil Stiuctuie." @2*) C'1&*#+1 >.+.6#(#+1 <2& >.'* H2'+1/. 0niveisity of
Bawaii, 2uu7-2u14. Web. 9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.ctahi.hawaii.euumauisoila_factoi_ts.aspx>.
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2
!"#$%!&$
Biumlin Faim in Lincoln, Nassachusetts has vaiious ponus aiounu the faimlanu.
This expeiiment was conuucteu to uiscovei if the pB of ceitain ponus affects the most
uominant class of macioinveitebiates in the ponu. The ponus testeu weie veinal Pool, Ice
Ponu, anu Poultiy Ponu. The classes aie bioken up into the geneial pollution toleiance of
vaiious species of macioinveitebiates. To test the pB, a piobe was placeu in the watei.
Watei was then scoopeu fiom the ponu into a bucket, a uip net was iun thiough the watei,
anu macioinveitebiates weie counteu anu classifieu. It was expecteu that the ponus with
the highei aciuity levels, theiefoie lowei pB, woulu only have the most pollution toleiant
class of macioinveitebiates living in it. The ponus all hau veiy similai pB levels, although
veinal Pool was home to the least oveiall numbei of macioinveitebiates anu also hau a
slightly highei aciuity level than the othei two ponus: Ice Ponu anu Poultiy Ponu. Almost
no conclusions coulu be maue uue to the oveilap of eiioi bais within the uata.

()$%*+,&$(*)
The 0niteu States has a giowing issue with the pollution anu chionic aciuification of
ponus, lakes anu stieams. This aciuification cieates unhealthy enviionments that aie
potentially toxic foi the aquatic life iesiuing in those watei bouies. Aciu iain, causeu by
pollution, falls uiiectly on these habitats anu mostly affects sensitive watei bouies in
wateisheus, wheie the soil has a low buffeiing capacity. This low buffeiing capacity means
it cannot easily neutialize aciuic compounus (epa.gov). These aciuic compounus also take
aluminum, which is toxic to most aquatic oiganisms, fiom the soil into the habitats
(epa.gov). This bieakuown of the ecosystem causes inteiuepenuent anu inuiviuual species
to suffei, eventually alteiing the biouiveisity anu oveiall health of the system (epa.gov).
Nany of these small ponus, susceptible to aciuification, aie founu in Nassachusetts.
Biumlin Faim is a wilulife sanctuaiy anu woiking faim in Lincoln, Nassachusetts,
which is home to many species of aquatic wilulife. Poultiy Ponu, veinal Pool anu Ice Ponu
aie all ielatively small ponus in Biumlin that aie pione to changes in watei level uue to
weathei anu iainfall conuitions. In each of these ponus, small oiganisms calleu
macioinveitebiates aie piesent in the watei. Nacioinveitebiates aie commonly uiviueu
into thiee classes uepenuing on the pB anu pollution toleiance of each species; the fiist
class being the most pollution sensitive, the seconu being moueiately toleiant anu the thiiu
being pollution toleiant (Shaipe et al., ecosystems.psu.euu). Class one macioinveitebiates
incluue pollution sensitive flies, among othei species, such as stoneflies, mayflies, anu
cauuisflies (Shaipe et al., ecosystems.psu.euu). Class two macioinveitebiates incluue
species such as watei pennies, scuus anu hellgiammites moie toleiant to pollution. Lastly,
Class thiee macioinveitebiates such as snails oi flatwoims aie extiemely pollution
toleiant compaieu to the othei classes.
Each of the afoiementioneu ponus at Biumlin is faiily small in size, making them
moie pione to peiiouical aciuification thiough pollution anu nitiogen iunoff. Pollution,
thiough aciu iain, melting snow, anu aluminum iunoff fiom the soil, causes the pB to lowei
anu impact the aquatic oiganisms in the enviionment. Also, nitiogen piouuceu by human
pollutants can leach fiom the atmospheie into the watei bouies thiough piecipitation,
causing eutiophication, oi the auuition of nitiates anu phosphates to watei anu algal
blooms, which can make the ponus toxic. These small ponus at Biumlin, because of theii
size, have a smallei buffeiing capacity, making them sensitive to these uiops in pB. This
S
potentially injuies the ecosystem anu can cause uiastic changes in the biouiveisity of the
ponu (epa.gov).
This expeiiment exploies how the pB of the watei in Poultiy Ponu, veinal Pool oi
Ice Ponu affects the most piominent macioinveitebiate classes in each ponu. The
hypothesis will be testeu thiough taking samples fiom the watei, measuiing the pB,
logging the vaiious species of macioinveitebiates anu counting them by class. The
inuepenuent vaiiable is the pB of each ponu, the uepenuent vaiiable is the most piominent
class of macioinveitebiates in the ponu anu some impoitant contiolleu vaiiables aie the
amount of watei sampleu, the measuiing methous of the pB, anu the season anu weathei
conuitions which the samples aie taken in.
The hypothesis is: If the pB of a ponu is below S, then only Class thiee
macioinveitebiates will be founu because they aie the most pollution anu aciu toleiant
class of macioinveitebiates anu aie able to withstanu moie vaiying pB levels than Class
one anu two macioinveitebiates. veinal Pool is pieuicteu to have below S aciuity because
it is the smallest of the ponus, allowing foi it to have a smallei buffeiing capacity making it
moie pione to aciuification (Shaipe et al.,ecosystems.psu.euu). The size of the ponu anu the
pieuicteu pB iange suppoit the pieuiction that only Class thiee macioinveitebiates will be
founu because Class thiee woulu be most toleiant to this high aciuity. Also the ponus testeu
at Biumlin aie susceptible to changes in pB as well as home to many macioinveitebiate
species.
This expeiiment will pioviue infoimation as to how aciuic the ponus at Biumlin
Faim aie as well as what classes of macioinveitebiates can suivive in these ponus. This
will help Biumlin to monitoi the wilulife sanctuaiies anu ponus to assuie healthy anu clean
ecosystems. Pollution is a huge issue oveiall so unueistanuing how it affects the ponus is
vital to the suivival of aquatic oiganisms.

!"#$%&"'( * !$#+,-(
The expeiiment was conuucteu at Poultiy
Ponu, veinal Pool, anu Ice Ponu at Biumlin Faim in Lincoln,
Nassachusetts !"#$%&'#() $'+$",- #( .%/ 0,"#12. The
veiniei pB sensoi !3'45+, 62 was calibiateu accoiuing to
the manufactuiei's uiiections aheau of time. Each ponu was
uiawn, anu then uiviueu, like a clock, into twelve sections.
Numbeis weie ianuomly geneiateu on a TI-Nspiie
uiaphing !3'45+, 62 Calculatoi anu the numbeis closest to
each tick was the
location on the ponu
useu to test. This
ianuomization
technique was useu on each ponu. A veiniei pB Sensoi
was placeu in the watei of Poultiy Ponu in the
ianuomizeu spot, aiounu 1 metei off the shoie. The pB
was ieau off of a TI-Nspiie uiaphing Calculatoi. Then it
was iecoiueu in a uata table. Next, a uip net was placeu
in Poultiy Ponu. The uip net was swisheu left to iight
five times in the watei. It was taken out anu placeu
4
faceuown ovei a plastic tub. A 1.u4-litei yoguit
containei was useu to scoop watei out of the
ponu two times. This watei was pouieu each
time ovei the uip net anu into the tub.
A Biotic Inuex Caiu (shown iight) was
useu to iuentify the numbei of each species of
macioinveitebiates piesent in the bucket.
These macioinveitebiates weie then counteu by how many of each species of
macioinveitebiates weie in the tub. Then these weie uiviueu up by classes of
macioinveitebiates (Class 1, 2 anu S). Each class numbei was iecoiueu in a uata table anu
a most piominent class was ueteimineu. The tub of watei was then pouieu back into the
ponu. The pB piobe was cleaneu in uistilleu watei anu placeu back into the holuing
solution. This test was iepeateu eight times in total foi Poultiy ponu anu the pB test was
iepeateu each time macioinveitebiates weie sampleu. Then the entiie expeiiment was
uone at veinal Pool anu Ice Ponu.

!"#$%&#
Table 1: Nacioinveitebiate species in Poultiy Ponu










S
Table 2: Nacioinveitebiate species in veinal Pool


Table S: Nacioinveitebiate species in Ice Ponu

Table 4: The effect of ponu pB on macioinveitebiate uiveisity


















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7
uiaph S: The effect of location on ponu pB


uiaph 4: The effect of location on uominant macioinveitebiate class


uiaph 1 plots the total numbei of macioinveitebiates founu on each tiial with its
coiiesponuing pB level. Theie aie sepaiate tienu lines anu i
2
values foi each ponu testeu-
u.u8 foi Poultiy Ponu, u.14 foi Ice Ponu, anu u.uS foi veinal Pool. All the pB levels aie
between about S.S anu 6.S anu the most numbei of macioinveitebiates founu in a single
tiial was 18. Foi veinal Pool, the numbei of macioinveitebiates founu pei tiial is the
closest togethei, anu the pB values aie somewhat close. Foi Poultiy Ponu, the pB values
aie faiily close, but the numbei of macioinveitebiates founu pei tiial vaiies substantially.
Ice Ponu is vaiieu in both pB anu numbei of macioinveitebiates. Foi the thiee tienu lines,
two of them (Poultiy Ponu anu veinal Pool) have the tienu of an incieaseu numbei of
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tempeiatuie anu sampling uepth (Shimabukuio et al., scielo.bi). Nacioinveitebiates aie
eaten by fish, biius anu fiogs (k12.oi.us), to name a few, anu if theie aie an abunuance of
those animals at ceitain ponus, theie will be in tuin less macioinveitebiates. veinal Pool
hau woou fiogs living aiounu it, anu theie weie geneially fewei macioinveitebiates to be
founu than in the othei ponus. In auuition to this, veinal pools aie, by uefinition, seasonal,
so any macioinveitebiates living in this pool woulu have to migiate fiequently, which
woulu affect the count.
As uiaph 4 shows, theie weie some veiy inteiesting tienus in the uata. Fiist of all,
theie weie no Class 1 macioinveitebiates to be founu at Ice Ponu, which may be uue in
pait to the fact that at the time of the uata collection, the ponu was still somewhat fiozen
ovei, which woulu leau to haish conuitions that pollution sensitive macioinveitebiates
may not be able to hanule. Ice Ponu also hau the most numbei of Class S, which might be
explaineu by the fact that Class S macioinveitebiates aie bettei equippeu to hanule moie
extieme enviionments.
Theie was not enough uata collecteu. The pB levels of the ponus weie too close;
theie was no way to cleaily uiffeientiate between the thiee. Theie weie not enough ponus
testeu to give a uefinitive answei to the testeu hypothesis, but even so, theie weie still
seveial eiiois maue. Befoiehanu, points weie ianuomly selecteu aiounu each ponu fiom
which to collect uata without knowing the exact shape of the ponus. At each ponu, seveial
of the pieviously selecteu points weie inaccessible. As each scientist was collecting
uiffeient uata (one was testing pB; the othei, macioinveitebiates), the two weie collecteu
fiom slightly vaiying locations.
If the expeiiment weie to be peifoimeu again, eithei the points woulu have been
ianuomly selecteu fiom accessible aieas, oi a way to maneuvei aiounu the ponu woulu
have been pieviously ueteimineu. In auuition, if allowing, the pB levels of all the Biumlin
ponus woulu also have been ueteimineu befoiehanu, anu the ponus with the most vaiying
levels of pB woulu have been testeu insteau of thiee ianuom ones. Also, since the
macioinveitebiate levels of the thiee ponus vaiieu so uiastically, but the pB baiely
changeu, a possible expeiiment woulu be to see what actually causeu the change,
specifically, what causeu Ice Ponu to have such a massive gap between the classes.
A futuie expeiiment that coulu be conuucteu coulu test othei factois that affect
macioinveitebiate class, such as salinity oi uissolveu oxygen content. Anothei expeiiment
coulu be testeu to ueteimine othei aspects of macioinveitebiate life that aie affecteu by
pB, such as the aveiage size of the inuiviuual macioinveitebiates, oi the uiffeient phases in
its life cycle, foi example, laivae veisus auult macioinveitebiates.

!"#$%&'()*(+($,-
I'u like to thank all the natuialists anu staff at Biumlin Faim as well as the Nass
Auuubon Society foi opening theii lanu foi tiials anu infoiming us about the enviionment
anu animals at Biumlin. Also I'u like to thank Ruth anu Richaiu Biowei foi allowing me to
use mateiials fiom home foi testing anu foi funuing supplies. Also foi Ethan Rossitei foi
instiucting anu watching us at Biumlin. Thank you }eiemy Tang foi aiuing me in the entiie
piocess as well as Kelley Schultheis foi euucating me about my topic anu helping us
thioughout the pioject.
I woulu like to thank all the teacheis anu natuialists at the ponus we visiteu foi
supeivising us anu helping us iuentify macioinveitebiate species that we uiun't iecognize
"#
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11
!"#$% '()*+, -.)/"# 0

Chaffee, Caitlin. !"#$%&'()$*)+$"*), "'. /&%",,),,0)'*1 2,&'3 /&%4%3&#"4 5'.&#"*%$, *%
!)",6$) 7*$)"0 8)"4*9. N.p.: 0RI Coopeiative Extension, 2u12. PPT.
Enviionmental Piotection Agency. "Effects of Aciu Rain - Suiface Wateis anu Aquatic
Animals." :;<. Enviionmental Piotection Agency, 4 Bec. 2u12. Web. u9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.epa.govaciuiaineffectssuiface_watei.html>.
NcCaffeity, W. Patiick. <=6"*&# :'*%0%4%3>1 ?9) @&,9)$0)'A, "'. :#%4%3&,*,A 5446,*$"*).
B6&.) *% 5',)#*, "'. ?9)&$ C)4"*&(),. Boston, NA: Science Inteinational, 1981. Piint.
Shaipe, William E., William u. Kimmel, anu Anthony R. Buua. /&%*&# 5'.)D E"$.. 0niveisity
Paik: Pennsylvania State 0niveisity, 2u12. PBF.

!"#$% '()*+, -.)/"# 1
"Nacio-inveitebiates." Nacio-inveitebiates. Nelbouine Paiks anu Wateiways, 199S. Web.
1S Api.
2u14. <http:www.lagianue.k12.oi.uspeeisstieamwatchswm12.html>.
Neehan, William B. "0PTINAL WATER Q0ALITY STANBARBS F0R AQ0ATIC
EC0SYSTENS." Tsu11S.oig.
Capital Region ESB 11S, 1991. Web. 1S Api. 2u14.
<http:tnl.esu11S.oigcmslibSWAu1uu1u9SCentiicityBomain170ptimal_W
Q_Stanuaius.puf>.
"PB." 2*"9 7*"*) 2'&()$,&*> :D*)',&%'. 0tah State 0niveisity, n.u. Web. 14 Api. 2u14.
<http:extension.usu.euuwateiqualityhtmwhats-in-youi-wateiph>.
Shimabukuio, Eiika Nayumi, anu Beniy Raoul. "Contiolling Factois of Benthic
12
Nacioinveitebiates
Bistiibution in a Small Tiopical Ponu, Lateial to the Paianapanema Rivei (So
Paulo, Biazil)."
!"#$ &'()*+*,'"$ -.$/'+'0)/'$. N.p., 2u11. Web. 1S Api. 2u14.
<http:www.scielo.biscielo.php.sciipt=sci_aittext&piu=S2179-
97SX2u11uuu2uuuu6>.


















AMMONIUM
PANDEMONIUM
THE EFFECT OF AMMONIUM LEVELS ON TURBIDITY LEVELS
By: Claudia Inglessis and Madeline Burns



















"

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section: Author: Page:
________________________________________________________________________

Abstract Madeline Burns 3

Introduction Claudia Inglessis 3

Materials and Methods Madeline Burns 4

Results Claudia Inglessis 6

Discussion Madeline Burns 8

Acknowledgments Claudia Inglessis 10

Acknowledgements Madeline Burns 10

Works Cited Claudia Inglessis 10

Works Cited Madeline Burns 11























"
ABSTRACT
The objective of this experiment was to determine how ammonium levels affect
turbidity and plant growth in bodies of water. The hypothesis was: if the ammonium
levels in pond water increase, then the turbidity levels of the water will decrease, because
ammonium promotes plant life which increases the suspended solids in water (Lumcon,
lumcon.edu). The study was conducted at Drumlin Farm in Vernal Pool, Bathtub Pond,
and Ice Pond. Water samples were collected and tested for ammonium levels using a
Vernier probe. In addition turbidity levels were tested using a turbidity tube. It was clear
in the results that the hypothesis was not supported. Error bars overlapped for each pond,
and low r
2
values showed that there was no correlation among data points. Overall the
data was inconclusive.

INTRODUCTION
Ammonium, or NH4
+
, is a polyatomic ion formed when bacteria joins nitrogen and
hydrogen. It is often used in fertilizers, because it promotes healthy plant growth.
Ammonium can enter water through the nitrogen cycle, where it is created by nitrogen
fixing bacteria, or as runoff from fertilizers (Gastagno, 242). Bodies of water cannot
sustain thriving ecosystems without ammonium to aid algae or plant growth, but toxic
amounts of it can kill aquatic animals and plants. Turbidity is the measure of the amount
of suspended solids, such as silt, sand, bacteria, or chemical precipitates in a liquid
(who.int/).
The data for this experiment will be collected at Drumlin Farm, a Massachusetts
Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, MA. The land covers 312 acres, and contains 5
different ponds. The experiment will be conducted at Ice Pond, Bathtub Pond, and Vernal
Pool. Ice Pond is located next to a footpath, and is surrounded by moderately dense trees.
Bathtub Pond is next to Bathtub Field, which uses natural fertilizers, and is surrounded by
very thick thorn bushes. Vernal Pond is small and close to a few farm buildings.
Ammonium is created through the nitrogen cycle. Nitrogen fixing bacteria
combine nitrogen with hydrogen to make ammonium, which is easier for plants to absorb
than pure nitrogen. The process of plants absorbing ammonium is called nitrogen
assimilation. When animals eat plants that contain ammonium, they return the ion to the
the soil through excrement. Runoff then carries the ammonium into the water, where it
can promote algae growth (Moulton, depts.washington.edu/). An experiment done at
Cambridge University found that ammonium greatly increases the growth of plants
(Widdowson, journals.cambridge.org/). Since turbidity is defined as a measure of
cloudiness or suspended solids, algae in water could increase turbidity (Maczulak,
fofweb.com/).
It is extremely important to measure turbidity in drinking water (who.int/). High
turbidity might indicate high amounts of mud in water, which can clog pipes and filters.
It can also prevent chlorine from effectively killing germs and bacteria in water. When
drastic environmental changes occur (such as floods or high levels of rain) the turbidity in
natural bodies of water can be greatly affected. Depending on the situation, high levels of
rainwater can either increase or decrease cloudiness in water.
This experiment measures the effect of ammonium levels on water turbidity. The
objective is to determine whether there is a strong correlation between ammonium, water
turbidity, and plant growth. The experiment will be conducted by collecting 10 samples
"
from 3 different ponds at Drumlin Farm. The independent variable will be ammonium
levels (mg/L) and the dependent variable will be water turbidity (cm). Controlled
variables will be freshwater, distance of sample location from shore (1 meter), amount of
water used for sample (1 gallon), how long the sample sits before tested, and depth of
sample (1 foot). The hypothesis is: if the ammonium levels in pond water are 22.2
milligrams per liter (higher),then the turbidity levels of the water would be 52.1
centimeters (decrease), because ammonium promotes plant life which increases the
suspended solids in water (www.lumcon.edu).
This experiment will show how runoff affects water bodies through ammonium. It
will also demonstrate possible causes for turbidity in ponds. Drumlin Farm could use
these results to limit the amounts of natural fertilizers they use around ponds. If toxic
amounts of ammonium are recorded, it could be because of high ammonium fertilizer
levels in surrounding soil. The data could also be used to analyze whether or not
increased levels in turbidity are dangerous. The information collected on ammonium and
water turbidity in this experiment could greatly affect the way Drumlin Farm and other
organizations approach fertilization and water examinations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
First, three fresh-water ponds were located on the Drumlin Farm property in
Lincoln, MA. Vernal Pool was located West of the sheep grazing area. West of the
Corner Field was Ice Pond. The third pond, Bathtub, was north of Bathtub Field. To start
off, the circumference of each pond was measured using a tape measure. While one
partner stood on the end of the tape measure, the other partner continued to walk around
the perimeter of the pond, releasing more tape. The measurement was read when the tape
measure wrapped around half of the pond. This number (the circumference) was then
multiplied by two using a Texas Instruments Scientific Calculator, as a way to estimate
the perimeter of the entire pond. This procedure of estimating the perimeter allowed there
to be more time spent measuring the turbidity and ammonium. The location in which
each sample was taken from was marked by stakes (see figure 1). A yellow stake was
placed at a random spot near the shore line for each location. Starting at the first yellow
stake, yellow stakes were placed at intervals of 1/10 the perimeter of the pond. The
intervals were calculated by dividing the estimated perimeter by 10 using a Texas
Instruments Scientific Calculator. After each stake was moved to the appropriate
position, ! of a meter was measured from the shore line into the water. 3.9 liters of water
was then filled at each white flag at a depth of a hundred centimeters, making sure the
sample taken was perpendicular to the flag on the shore. Tall wading boots were worn to
avoid getting wet. A timer was checked throughout this process to make sure time was
being spent effectively.
In the process of preparing for testing at Drumlin Farm, an Ammonium Ion
Selective Electrode (see figure 2) was calibrated. This was done by soaking the tip of the
probe in the Ammonium Chloride Standard (high solution, 1000 ml concentration) for 30
minutes. After arriving at Drumlin and plotting out the location of samples, a T-Inspire
calculator was plugged into an ammonium probe using a USB adaptor. After one sample
was collected, the container holding the water was shaken and the probe was ready to be
used. The tip of the probe was submerged in the sample at a depth in which the white dot
on the side of the probe rested on the meniscus of the sample. Wait time was sixty
seconds, and the number on the T-Inspire calculator was recorded in the data table.
"
Distilled water was used to rinse the tip of the probe after each sample was tested, to
ensure that each reading was accurate. This was repeated for every ten samples at each
pond and the data collected at each pond was averaged using a Texas Instruments
Scientific Calculator.
The final process in the experiment was to test the turbidity of the samples. A
turbidity tube (127 cm) from the Water Monitoring Equipment and Supplies (see figure
3) was used to test the turbidity. One sample was tested at a time. The water sample was
poured slowly in the top of the turbidity tube, making sure the spout at the bottom was
closed. While one partner peered through the top of the tube, the other partner released
water using the spout. A small plastic tub was used to hold the drained water. The spout
was closed when a pattern that sits on the bottom of the tube was just visible to the
partner looking from above. After reading the height of the water in centimeters from the
side of the tube, the measurement was recorded on the data table in the field notebook.
Next the water in the turbidity tube and the plastic tub would be dumped back into the
pond. Each sample was tested at all 30 data points and the data recorded was averaged for
each pond using a Texas Instruments Scientific Calculator.

Figure 1: Plot sampling in ponds



Figure 2: Ammonium Ion Selective Electrode





"

Figure 3: A turbidity tube and the pattern found at the bottom.


RESULTS
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7

uiaph #1: The Effect of Babitat on Ammonium anu Tuibiuity Levels



uiaph #2: The Effect of Ammonium Levels on Tuibiuity Levels





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Graph One plots the effect of the environment on ammonium and turbidity levels.
Bathtub Pond has the highest average turbidity level (63.5 cm) and the largest error bar
for that parameter. Its average ammonium level is in the middle (36.4 mg/L), and it also
has the largest error bar for ammonium levels. Ice Ponds average turbidity level is 46.1
cm and the error bar is moderately large. Its average ammonium level is 29.4 mg/L, and
the error bar is also medium sized. The average turbidity level for the Vernal Pond is 46.6
cm, and its error bar is the smallest. The average ammonium level is 1.27 mg/L, and the
error bar is much smaller than the others. Because the data points for the Vernal Pool are
so different from the others, they are most likely outliers.
Graph Two shows the effect of ammonium levels on turbidity levels. The trend
line indicates that higher ammonium levels result in higher turbidity levels, but the r-
squared value is only about .02. The data is spread out with the exception of a few
clusters. Most of the data is not located near the trend line. The highest turbidity level is
recorded for Bathtub Pond (90 cm), and the highest ammonium level is recorded for Ice
Pond (39.1 mg/L). The lowest turbidity level is recorded in Ice Pond (15 cm), and the
lowest ammonium level is recorded in Bathtub Pond (20.0 mg/L). The data from Vernal
Pool is not used in this graph.
Graph Three displays the effect of ammonium levels on turbidity levels in all
three environments. The trend lines each indicate different trends. The trend line for the
Vernal Pool data shows that a slight increase in ammonium levels results in a large
increase in turbidity levels, and it has an r squared value of .13. The trend line for the Ice
Pond shows that turbidity levels increase when ammonium levels increase; it has an r-
squared value of .45. The trend line for the Bathtub Pond shows that when ammonium
levels increase the turbidity levels decrease; it has an r-squared value of .10.

DISCUSSION
The purpose of the proposed experiment was to study the effect of ammonium on
turbidity levels. The hypothesis states that if the ammonium levels in pond water
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"
increase, then the turbidity levels of the water will decrease, because ammonium
promotes plant life which increases the suspended solids in water (Lumcon, lumcon.edu).
There was no consistent correlation of high ammonium levels and low turbidity levels,
therefore the hypothesis was not supported.
There was no correlation in the graphs that justified the hypothesis. Therefore one
could not be confident in the results of this experiment. The error bars often overlapped
for both ammonium and turbidity levels. This means that among the three sites, the data
was similar. For instance, when it came to turbidity all three ponds had overlapping error
bars, so most of the data points were the same or similar. The same error bar pattern
occurred for the ammonium levels with one exception. Vernal Pools error bar did not
overlap with any other error bars. This is because ammonium levels for Vernal Pool were
significantly lower compared to the other sites. Although most error bars were quite long
for both the ammonium and turbidity levels, the turbidity for Bathtub Pond had the
largest error bar. This shows that the data was not precise, instead there was a large range
of data points. As a result of the long and overlapping error bars, the data was
inconclusive because the data could not be compared. The r
2
value of 0.02 was less than
0.6 meaning that there was not a strong correlation between the ammonium and turbidity
levels in the pond. This shows that the data points did not fit the trend line well, instead
there were multiple outliers.
The confidence in this research is in the amount of data collected. A total of 60
data points were taken, 20 from three different ponds in various locations on Drumlin
Farm, which was a sufficient amount of data. Some of the turbidity data points werent
very accurate because they had a NTU reading below 5. The human eye can only see the
turbidity of 5 NTU and greater (Michigan Technological University, cas.umn.edu). In
addition it is possible that from walking in the water to collect samples, resuspension
occurred. Resuspension occurs when sediments at the bottom of the pond are stirred up
(LUMCON,lumcon.edu) This error is significant because turbidity is mainly affected by
soil particles (Jay Nixon and Sara Parker Pauley, dnr.mo.gov), which would explain why
most data points were similar for turbidity. All three ponds were affected by runoff.
Runoff is made up of rainwater and melted snow, this precipitation can carry ammonium
in manure and fertilizer (John Sawyer, extension.edu). When ammonium is present in
ponds, it can promote algae growth, which affects the turbidity of the pond water. Vernal
Pool is made completely of runoff, the majority of the runoff comes from the farmyard
which may carry a large amount of manure (John Sawyer, extension.iastate.edu). Bathtub
pond is affected by runoff from fertilizer and Ice pond was also in close proximity to
manure runoff. This runoff may have also made data from all three ponds similar. The
main source of ammonium is from runoff and the coinciding amount of runoff from each
location would lead to similar ammonium and turbidity levels. The main explanation for
the greatly lower data for Vernal Pools ammonium level is that an error occurred in the
ammonium probe. The ammonium probe being used was not working and was replaced
by another ammonium probe while the data was being collected for Vernal Pool.
Many changes could be made to improve the results of this experiment. To start
off it would be helpful if the data could be collected in one pond throughout each season.
By testing data for each season it is easier to see in the long run how ammonium and
turbidity is affected. Also it would help if the chosen pond was easy to access in order to
make sure that resuspension did not occur. To make sure there were no errors in
"#
collecting the ammonium levels, 1 ammonium probe would be used as opposed to 2
different probes. It may help in the future if an experiment was conducted to test how
nitrogen, in fertilizer, effects ammonium. This would help give a better explanation for
how runoff affects both ammonium and turbidity. Throughout the nitrogen cycle
ammonium is formed when nitrogen and hydrogen react. This ammonium is used as
fertilizer in the form of manure. When the manure decomposes it turns back into nitrates.
It is possible that this decomposition may occur in pond water after the manure is carried
by runoff. Figuring more about the decomposition of manure would help give more of an
explanation to how runoff affects the turbidity and ammonium of pond water. Figuring
out more about the decomposition of manure would help give more of an explanation to
how runoff affects the turbidity and ammonium of pond water.

ACKNOWLODGEMENTS
Claudia Inglessis:
First, I would like to thank Drumlin Farm for allowing us to collect and test data
in their ponds. I would like to thank Heather Larocca for guiding my partner and me
through our study, as well as the rest of the BB&N Middle School science department for
making this whole project possible. I would like to thank the naturalists at Drumlin Farm
for helping us understand the terrain. Finally, I would like to thank Maddie Burns for all
the work she has done to complete this study.
Madeline Burns:
Without support from others this research would not have been possible. I would
like to thank Ms. LaRocca for always keeping me on track and correcting my papers
throughout the process of writing. I would also like to thank my peers in Lab 8 who gave
me input on how to improve my writing and different views on how to execute certain
assignments. Specifically, my partner Claudia for always giving useful suggestions to add
to my notes and for working with throughout the project to create a successful piece of
writing and research. In addition I would like to thank all of the chaperones and
naturalists at Drumlin Farm that took time out of their day to support us in collecting our
data. Finally I would like to acknowledge the members of the science department that
made this project run as smoothly as possible.

VI. WORKS CITED

Claudia Inglessis:
Brody, Jane E. "Personal Health: On Tap Water." The New York Times [New York City]
18 July 2000: n. pag. Print.
Gastagno, Joseph M. Popular Science. Vol. 3. Philippines: Scholastic, 2004. Print.
Maczulak, Anne. "Water Quality." Science Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 13 Mar.
2014. .
""
Moulton, Orissa. "Nitrogen-Driven Interactions." University of Washington. N.p., n.d.
Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://depts.washington.edu/fhl/enews/autumn2012/moulton.html>.
"Nitrogen Cycle." Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2014.
Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
"Turbidity." Turbidity. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.lumcon.edu/education/Teacher/Resources/Runoff/Pollutant_Pages/T
urbidity.htm>.
Widdowson, F. V., A. Penny, and RJ B. Williams. "Experiments Measuring Effects of
Ammonium and Nitrate Fertilizers, with and without Sodium and Potassium, on
Spring Barley."Cambridge Journals Online - Microscopy and Microanalysis -
Abstract - Animal Models of Lafora Disease. Cambridge University Press, Oct.
1967. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=455
865>.
"The Importance of Measuring Turbididty." Www.who.int. World Health Organization,
2014. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/emergencies/fs2_33.pdf>.

Madeline Burns:
CHM 110. "Elmhurst College: Elmhurst, Illinois." Elmhurst College: Elmhurst,
Illinois. Elmhurst College, 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.elmhurst.edu/>.
"#
Health Orginization, World. "World Immunization Week 2014: Know, Check, Protect."
WHO. WHO, 2014. Web. 3 Apr. 2014. <http://www.who.int/>.
Hudson River Education and Stewardship Program. "Turbidity." Hudson River Education
and Stewardship Program. NYU Hudson, 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http%3A%2F%2Fsteinhardtnapps.es.its.nyu.edu>.
Inc., Xylem. "YSI Ammonia and Ammonium." YSI Ammonia and Ammonium. Xylem
Inc., 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.ysi.com/parametersdetail.php?Ammonia---Ammonium-16>.
Lumcon. "Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) - Home." Louisiana
Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) - Home. Louisiana Universities
Marine Consortium, 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <http://www.lumcon.edu/>.
Michigan Technological University. "Welcome to the Center for Austrian Studies."
Center for Austrian Studies : University of Minnesota. Michigan Technological
University, Apr. 2006. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <http://www.cas.umn.edu/>.
"Missouri Department of Natural Resources." Missouri Department of Natural
Resources. Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.dnr.mo.gov/>.
Sawyer, John. "Surface Waters: Ammonium Is Not Ammonia Part Two." Ammonium
and Ammonia in Drinking Water. Iowa State University, 2 May 2008. Web. 9
Mar. 2014.
<http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2008/0502JohnSawyer.htm>.
Science, Popular. The New Book of Popular Science - Volume 3. Philippines: Scholastic,
2004. Print.
"#
Vernier. "Ammonium Ion-Selective Electrode." Vernier Software & Technology. Vernier,
2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www.vernier.com/products/sensors/ion-
selective-electrodes/nh4-bta/>.










Turrific Turbidity!


The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen (mg/L)

By: India Cabot, Colin Lamphier, and Henry Ross















"
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section Author Page

ABSTRACT Cabot 3



INTRODUCTION Cabot 3



MATERIALS & METHODS Cabot 5



RESULTS Ross 8



DISCUSSION Lamphier 13



WORKS CITED Cabot 14



WORKS CITED Lamphier 14



WORKS CITED Ross 14


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Cabot & Lamphier & Ross 16















"

ABSTRACT
The objective of this experiment was to find the effect of turbidity on dissolved
oxygen levels using three different ponds at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts.
Fifteen water samples were collected at each of the three ponds: Ice, Boyce, and
Bathtub pond. Once the water samples were collected, the turbidity levels were
measured with a Vernier Turbidity Sensor, and the dissolved oxygen levels were
measured with a Vernier Dissolved Oxygen Probe. It was predicted that if the turbidity
was higher, then the dissolved oxygen levels would be lower, because sunlight cannot
shine through the more turbid water to reach the vegetation, so less oxygen is created
resulting in lower dissolved oxygen levels (Heest, Burkhart, Curry). The data collected
showed that there was no significant correlation between turbidity and dissolved
oxygen.

INTRODUCTION
The turbidity level is the amount of suspended particles in water, and is
essentially the clarity of the water. High turbidity levels are dangerous for underwater
organisms because the particulate can clog fish gills, and smother fish eggs. The flow
rates in a body of water, soil erosion, fish, and decomposing organisms all effect
turbidity. The dissolved oxygen level is how much oxygen is dissolved into a body of
water. Low dissolved oxygen levels can kill off underwater creatures from the lack of
oxygen. There are several factors contributing to the ponds dissolved oxygen levels
including sunlight, vegetation, underwater organisms, and precipitation.
Most of the dissolved oxygen enters streams and bodies of water through the
atmosphere. As rain falls onto land, the rain percolates into the soil, and then run
through the soil to a body of water, carrying nutrients, dissolved oxygen molecules, and
sediment (Perlman, http://water.usgs.gov). Underwater vegetation, like phytoplankton,
also effects dissolved oxygen. In the presence of sunlight, underwater vegetation will
release oxygen into the water during photosynthesis. During the period when sunlight is
not present, like night or cloudy days, the vegetation will consume oxygen for
respiration. Fortunately the underwater vegetation produces more oxygen than it
consumes, therefore leaving oxygen for the underwater creatures. Sunlight cannot
easily reach vegetation on the bottom of a body of water when the water is more turbid,
or thick in particles and sediment, therefore the vegetation on the bottom that remains in
the dark, cannot contribute to increasing the dissolve oxygen levels (Causey,
http://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu). Another factor affecting dissolved oxygen levels is a
process called eutrophication. During this process, a body of water acquires a high
concentration of nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates. From these nutrients algae
will thrive, and once decomposed, the organic matter will deplete the water of available
oxygen. Underwater organisms, like fish, rely on a specific amount of dissolved oxygen.
When the level changes, it can affect the organisms habits and or health
(http://water.epa.gov). When dissolved oxygen levels drop, the bottom of ponds and
lakes are the first to go anoxic. Anoxic means that a body of water becomes unhealthily
depleted of oxygen. It is more difficult for sunlight to reach the bottom of the pond, and
therefore deeper vegetation cannot create oxygen to release into the deeper water.
When the dissolved oxygen levels are low, cold-water fish are forced up to warmer, and
"
more oxygenated waters. The fish will become stressed because of the instant climate
change, and they can die (Robinson, http://www.mass.gov). There is typically no more
than ten part per million of oxygen dissolved into water bodies. It is known for moving
water like large rivers, or mountain streams to have higher dissolved oxygen levels than
still waters like ponds.
Turbidity directly affects temperatures in bodies of water. When a pond has a
higher concentration of suspended particles, they absorb heat and this increases the
waters temperature. Due to this, when temperatures are higher it is expected that
dissolved oxygen will be lower (Perlman, http://water.usgs.gov). When the turbidity
levels are lower, the water is capable of holding less specific fish and organisms. In
water with higher turbidity levels there is less range of species because high turbidity is
potentially dangerous.
Flow rate directly affects turbidity in water. When the rate is faster, the water is
capable of holding more particles, and larger sediment. Soil erosion occurs in the
construction of buildings or roads. The eroded sediment can be washed into surface
water like ponds and rivers, therefore increasing turbidity levels. Bottom feeding fish can
stir up particles while searching for food. Decomposing animal life will release
suspended organic particles into the water, thus increasing the turbidity level. When
turbidity levels are high in a body of water, it is more difficult for sunlight to reach the
depths of water. Therefore the vegetation that does not receive the sunlight cannot
create oxygen to release into the water, making an uninhabitable habitat.
The proposed experiment is the effect of turbidity (NTU) on the dissolved oxygen
level (Mg/L). Collecting water samples from different locations at three specific ponds
will conclude whether turbidity and dissolved oxygen have a correlation. A sample will
be held in one 118 mL plastic container, and tested with a dissolved oxygen Vernier
probe. Following the dissolved oxygen test will be the turbidity test. The turbidity will be
tested with a Vernier Turbidity Sensor. The independent variable for this experiment is
the turbidity level (NTU). The dependent variable is the dissolved oxygen level (mg/L).
Important controlled variables include taking samples from same depth, washing off
probes between each test, and taking same number of samples from each pond. The
hypothesis is, if the turbidity is higher, then the dissolved oxygen levels will be lower
because sunlight cannot shine through the more turbid water to reach the vegetation, so
less oxygen is created resulting in lower dissolved oxygen levels (Heest, Burkhart,
Curry).
This experiment will be conducted at Drumlin Farm in Massachusetts. Drumlin
Farm spans 312 across acres of forests, fields, and five ponds and pools. For this
experiment three locations will be tested: Bathtub Pond, Ice Pond, and Boyce Pond.
Bathtub is surrounded by thick vegetation, and is south of the drumlin. Ice Pond is
downhill from the parking lot, and is north of the drumlin. Boyce is placed southeast of
the Drumlin, and is quite small. It is next to Boyce Field in the woods. What is unique
about Boyce Pond is that it is a vernal pool. A vernal pool is a pool of water that only
occurs in the spring, hence vernal which means spring.
What can be learned from this experiment is how turbidity is affecting the
dissolved oxygen levels. The dissolved oxygen levels directly affect the underwater
organisms. Their habits are affected when the dissolved oxygen level is affected, and
turbidity is a main reason why dissolved oxygen can change. This can be an indicator
"
that dissolved oxygen levels is unhealthy when there is minimal fish and aquatic life in
the water. It is important to realize what is affecting our underwater organisms for the
worse, and to find ways to prevent this from happening.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
When collecting samples from the ponds at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln
Massachusetts, it was necessary to execute it without being biased, so a clock method
was used. The clock method was figuratively drawing a clock around a specific pond
that was to be tested. North was 12 o'clock, South was 6 oclock etc. Increments of 2.5
minutes were used, and a flag was marked on the shore of the pond at each point. A
water sample was collected and tested on each mark. To mark every 2.5 minutes, 24
marking flags were necessary. To hold the water sample, a 118 mL plastic container
with water was used. The clock method was used on Ice Pond, Boyce Pond, and
Bathtub Pond (See figure four for location 12, 13, and 15).
To test the water samples dissolved oxygen level and turbidity level, a Vernier
Dissolved Oxygen Probe (see figure two), and Turbidity Sensor were essential (see
figure three). Both testing devices were calibrated according to instructions. Starting
with the turbidity probe, the glass cuvette was filled to the line with the water sample,
and making sure it was dry, it was placed into the open slot of the Vernier Turbidity
Sensor. Making sure the arrow on the cuvette and the arrow on the sensor aligned, the
sensor was plugged into an interface. In this case a Labquest (see figure one) was vital
to the data recording. The NTU of the waters sample was recorded for fifteen seconds,
and averaged to give a final answer. Then the cuvette was emptied, rinsed with distilled
water, and filled with another sample to test.
Following the turbidity test was the dissolved oxygen level test. The probes cable
was connected to the Labquest, and then plunged into 4-6 cm of water. The probe
stirred in the water while the Labquest was recording the dissolved oxygen level for
fiteen seconds. Then, once the data collection finished, the data was averaged to give
the samples dissolved oxygen level in mg/L. The Dissolved Oxygen Probe was then
rinsed, dried off with a lint free cloth, and began testing another sample.
















"
Figure 1: Labquest



Figure 2: Vernier Dissolved Oxygen Probe



Figure 3 Vernier Turbidity Sensor















"
Figure 4: Drumlin Farm Map




















"

RESULTS
Table 1: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Ice Pond

Trial
Turbidity
(NTU)
Dissolved Oxygen
(mg/L)
1 101.1 8.5
2 70.6 9.2
3 51.8 11
4 51.9 9.1
5 66.0 6.2
6 35.7 6.2
7 63.9 6.1
8 53.4 5.4
9 58.7 7.0
10 37.9 10.1
11 50.3 9.8
12 50.8 8.2
13 32.0 7.9
14 60.0 9.2
15 64.1 6.1
Average 56.5 8.0
Standard
Deviation 16.7 1.7




















"
Table 2: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Boyce Pond

Trial
Turbidity
(NTU)
Dissolved
Oxygen (mg/L)
1 44.5 7.2
2 52.5 5.1
3 85.4 7.3
4 33.3 8.6
5 26.3 7.2
6 34.9 7.3
7 31.6 7.2
8 35.1 6.5
9 28.8 5.6
10 42.4 6.2
11 40.2 7.7
12 54.4 5.5
13 34.9 8.7
14 26.6 7.2
15 30.2 7.0
Average 40.1 7.0
Standard
Deviation 15.2 1.0






















"#
Table 3: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Bathtub
Pond

Trial
Turbidity
(NTU)
Dissolved
Oxygen (mg/L)
1 54.2 6.1
2 48.8 7.2
3 36.8 7.5
4 66.9 6.8
5 67.8 5.9
6 68.3 6.4
7 73.1 7.0
8 30.8 7.6
9 55.6 6.4
10 49.3 7.9
11 60.0 7.1
12 60.5 7.2
13 46.1 7.9
14 42.4 7.8
15 50.9 8.1
Average 54.1 7.1
Standard
Deviation 12.2 0.7

Graph 1: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Ice Pond





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Graph 3: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Bathtub
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Graph 4: The overall effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L)



The data shown in graphs 1-4 show the effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved
oxygen levels (mg/L). Graph 4 shows all of the data collected, and indicates that at the
sites tested, the turbidity levels didnt have an effect on dissolved oxygen. Both Ice pond
and Boyce pond had one outlier recorded, but no extreme outliers were recorded at
Bathtub pond. The r
2
values were generally low, with the lowest being recorded at Ice
pond (0.004) and the highest at Bathtub pond (0.38). There were a couple of outliers in
the data that could have affected the accuracy of the data. The most extreme outlier
was recorded at Ice pond, with 8.5 mg/L of dissolved oxygen and 101.1 NTU of
turbidity. The outliers were included in the graphs.
The highest data point recorded at Ice pond was 101.1 NTU and the lowest was
32.0 NTU. The highest data point recorded at Boyce pond was 85.4 NTU and the lowest
was 26.3 NTU. The highest data point recorded at Bathtub pond was 73.0 NTU and the
lowest was 30.6 NTU. Overall the dissolved oxygen levels were very similar at all the
ponds with the average at Ice pond being 8.0 mg/L, at Boyce pond 7.0 mg/L, and at
Bathtub pond 7.1 mg/L. The standard deviations of the dissolved oxygen levels were all
bellow two.
It was observed at Ice and Bathtub pond there was still a layer of ice on the
pond. Bathtub pond had approximately 75% cover and Ice pond had approximately 25%
cover. This could have affected the dissolved oxygen levels because the ice couldve
prevented sunlight from reaching the vegetation on the bottom. It was also observed
that the ponds were all surrounded by lose mud. This could have affected the turbidity
levels because while the samples were being collected the mud could have been
disturbed, increasing the turbidity.
The precision of the data was overall low. Although the precision of the dissolved
oxygen was much higher than that of the turbidity, the dissolved oxygen had a smaller
range in possible levels. The data was the least precise at Ice pond, and the most
precise at Bathtub pond. Overall the r
2
values were low, and the data precision was low.

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DISCUSSION
The experiment studied the relation between turbidity and dissolved oxygen. It
focused on dissolved oxygen and turbidity in three freshwater ponds. It was
hypothesized that if the turbidity is higher, then the dissolved oxygen levels will be lower
because sunlight cannot shine through the water to reach the vegetation, so less
oxygen is created resulting in lower D.O. Levels (Heest, Burkhart, Curry). The
hypothesis of the experiment was not supported according to the results. The r
2
value
was low, so the results indicated that turbidity levels are not related to dissolved oxygen
levels.
Graph 1 shows an extremely weak correlation (R
2
=0.00427) between turbidity
and dissolved oxygen at Ice pond, and there is no specific trend between the two
variables. When turbidity was greater it did not necessarily mean that dissolved oxygen
would be lower or vice versa. For example, at location 1 the turbidity level was 101.1
NTU while the dissolved oxygen was 8.5 mg/L, while location 7 had a turbidity of 63.9
NTU and dissolved oxygen of 6.1 mg/L.
The highest r squared value was .38257. The averages for turbidity and dissolved
oxygen in table 1 were 56.5 NTU for turbidity and 8.0 mg/L for dissolved oxygen. Tables
2s averages are 40.1 NTU and 7.0 mg/L, and 54.1 NTU and 7.1 mg/L for Table 3. The
graph of all locations combined show that the data is not precise, because the r
2
value
.02032.
The samples collected did not have good enough data. Fewer samples were
collected because the short amount of time and insufficient data collection. The
shortage in samples may have been a reason for inconclusive results. With more
samples tested outliers could have been eliminated making data more precise.
The data may not have been accurate because of the cold weather. Dissolved
oxygen is greater in colder weather, while turbidity is lower
(http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms55.cfm). This may have affected the data,
making it less accurate.
The field study came with many difficulties such as inaccessible areas of the
ponds at Drumlin Farm, mud on the shore of the ponds, and many trees and branches
to walk over to collect samples. If the field study could be changed, it would be by being
more prepared for these difficulties. Boots could have been worn to make the water
more accessible. Sufficient data was not collected at all times because less samples
were collected because of short time. Some parts of the ponds that were set for
collecting samples were inaccessible, so collection locations were improvised.
Due to the difficulties in collection, data may have been negatively affected,
leading to weaker correlation. This also caused samples to be taken closer together,
possibly making the data similar. For future research in this topic boots would be worn
to make rough terrain easier to walk on. The ability to go into water would allow easier,
and most likely quicker collection. Many precautions should be made if this topic were
to be put to further experimentation.




"#
WORKS CITED

AUTHOR 1:
Causey. "Dissolved Oxygen AQUAPLANT." Dissolved Oxygen AQUAPLANT.
Agrilifeextension.tamu.edu, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://aquaplant.tamu.edu/faq/dissolved-oxygen/>.

EPA. "5.5 Turbidity." Home. Www.epa.gov, 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms55.cfm>.
Perlman, Howard. "Turbidity." - Water Properties, USGS Water Science School.
Usgs.gov, n.d.
Web. 17 Apr. 2014. <http://water.usgs.gov/edu/turbidity.html>.
Perlman, Howard. "Water Properties: Dissolved Oxygen." Dissolved Oxygen, from
USGS Water Science for Schools: All about Water. Www.usgs.gov, n.d. Web. 11
Mar. 2014. <http://water.usgs.gov/edu/dissolvedoxygen.html>.
United States. Dpt of Conservation and Recreation.Office of Water Resources. The
Massachusetts Lake and Pond Guide. By Michelle Robinson. United States Dpt
of Conservation and Recreation, 2005. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
<Http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dcr/watersuply/lakepond/downl
AUTHOR 2:
"5.5 Turbidity." Home. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
"Dissolved Oxygen." And Water Quality. KY Water Watch, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wcpdo.htm>.
"Measuring Dissolved Oxygen (DO)." Measuring Dissolved Oxygen (DO). VCCS, n.d.
Web. 17 Apr. 2014. <http://water.me.vccs.edu/concepts/domeasure.html>.
Turbidity Measurement. 2.33. N.p.: Who.int, n.d. Print. Fact Sheet.
"#
"Turbidity." Turbidity. Lenntech, 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.lenntech.com/turbidity.htm>.










































"#
ACKNOWLEGEMENTS
Cabot:

I would like to strongly thank my partners Henry Ross, and Colin Lamphier for being
persuasive and consistent scientists by my side. They did a great job pulling through
unexpected obstacles like time, and setting up systems to execute the experiment
efficiently. I would also like to thank these teachers: Ms. Hardy, Ms. Jamison, and Mr.
Sarzana. They looked out for us and answered any questions they could at each of the
ponds we visited. I would also like to thank the Drumlin Naturalists for providing us with
information like short cuts, or wildlife. Finally I would like to thank Ms. Svatek for
conducting the science field trip smartly, and carefully. Ms. Svatek supplied materials
and knowledge, and helped out group come up with an experiment that intrigued all
three of us. If it werent for these people, the experiment would have been much harder
and unpleasant to conduct.

Lamphier:
I would like to thank my group members India Cabot, and Henry Ross for being hard,
consistent, and rational workers. Without them the Experiment would have been a huge
failure. I would also like to thank Drumlin Farm for letting us test at their locations, as
well as the guide that helped point us at the right direction when switching from site to
site. The guide also helped us get to places that we needed to collect samples from.
The teachers who supervised the sites were also very important for not only our safety,
but for giving us ideas on how to compromise our procedure. Lastly I would like to thank
Ms. Svatek for helping to set up our experiment, and providing the materials needed.

Ross:
I would like to thank Ms. Svatek for helping us develop our experiment, learn how to use
our materials, and for helping edit our reports. I would also like to thank my partners for
completing this experiment with me. I would like to thank Mrs. Hardy for administering a
Band-Aid when I cut myself on a thorn. I would like to thank the bus drivers for getting
us to and from Drumlin Farm. Finally I would like to thank the Drumlin Farm teacher
naturalists for giving us directions, and for all the overall help the gave us throughout
our visit there.









The Effect of Turbidity (NTU) on Dissolved
Oxygen (mg/L)


By India Cabot, Colin Lamphier, and Henry Ross







Terrific Turbidity
"
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section Author Page

ABSTRACT Lamphier 3



INTRODUCTION Ross 3



MATERIALS & METHODS Lamphier 4



RESULTS Ross 6



DISCUSSION Lamphier 11



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Cabot & Lamphier & Ross 12



WORKS CITED Cabot 13



WORKS CITED Lamphier 13



WORKS CITED Ross 13





"

ABSTRACT
The objective of the experiment was to find the relationship between turbidity and
dissolved oxygen. The experiment was conducted at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA on Monday,
April 7. The procedure was to test certain spots on the water of three ponds for turbidity and
dissolved oxygen. Each test was recorded into a data table. It was expected that if turbidity was
higher, then dissolved oxygen would be lower because of lack of sunlight getting through to
create dissolved oxygen from plants at the bottom of the ponds. The results showed that the
turbidity had little effect on dissolved oxygen. The average r
2
value was about .003. All three
ponds did not show a strong enough correlation between turbidity and dissolved oxygen to
support our hypothesis.

INTRODUCTION
Turbidity is the amount of suspended particles in water. These particles can be soil
particles, algae, plankton, and/or particles washed into the water. If too high, turbidity can make
water unsafe to drink, and highly turbid water can be dangerous for animal life. If there are too
many suspended particles, dirt can get stuck in the gills of fish (EPA, http://water.epa.gov). Fish
also rely on dissolved oxygen to breathe. Dissolved oxygen is tiny bubbles of oxygen in water.
Dissolved oxygen is created by photosynthesis from vegetation on the bottom of the pond.
Dissolved oxygen can be depleted by eutrophication. Eutrophication is a process where bodies of
water gain to many nutrients, resulting in increased algal growth. The algae then uses up the
dissolved oxygen, killing the body of water. The body of water is dead because it can no
longer sustain animal life (http://toxics.usgs.gov).
The proposed experiment will be conducted at Drumlin Farm, a wildlife sanctuary, in
Lincoln, Massachusetts. Drumlin Farm has five ponds and pools that sustain plant and animal
life. For this experiment three locations will be tested: Bathtub Pond, Ice Pond, and Boyce Pond.
Ice Pond is surrounded by thick bushes and trees and also has a porch and a deck on two sides. It
is just north of the drumlin (S8 Ice Pond poster). Bathtub Pond is surrounded by trees and
covered in duckweed, and it is located just south of the drumlin (S8 Bathtub Pond poster). Boyce
Pond is east of the drumlin right next to Boyce field, separated by trees (S8 Boyce Field poster).
There are many variables in these ponds that could affect both turbidity and dissolved oxygen.
There are several ways that turbidity effects water. Turbidity can vary based on how
close the body of water is to a road or how many animals live in it. Turbidity could also be
affected by rain runoff, or by humans adding stuff to the water. Turbidity can increase the
temperature of water. This happens because the suspended particles in the water absorb heat, so
if there is higher turbidity the water will be warmer (EPA, http://water.epa.gov). A study at Hope
College in Michigan tested the effect of turbidity on dissolved oxygen levels. This study found
that there was a correlation between the turbidity and the dissolved oxygen levels. It was
concluded that water with higher turbidity did in fact have lower dissolved oxygen levels. The
researchers found that the suspended particles in the water were blocking the sunlight from
getting to the lower levels of the lake. Since the majority of the vegetation grows on the lake
floor, the lack of sunlight made it hard for the plants to photosynthesize, thus lowering the
dissolved oxygen levels (Heest, Burkhart, Curry). Along with decreased dissolved oxygen levels
affecting fish, when the suspended particles in the water settle they can smother fish eggs. This
will result in a decrease in fish reproduction (EPA, http://water.epa.gov).
"
The proposed experiment is the effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels
(mg/L). The objective of this experiment is to see what water is suitable for plant and animal life
based on the turbidity levels. 15 turbidity and dissolved oxygen tests will be performed. To find
the point for testing, the pond will be mapped out and north will be found. Next mark out every
2.5 minutes around the map of the pond, as if the pond were a clock, with north being 12. The
independent variable of this experiment is the turbidity level, and the dependent variable will be
the dissolved oxygen level. It will be important to control the depth at which the samples are
collected, the probes used for testing, how far away from the shore the testing is done, how long
the testing is done for, and the methods used. The hypothesis set forth for this experiment is, if
the turbidity is higher, then the dissolved oxygen levels will be lower because sunlight cannot
shine through the water to reach the vegetation, so less oxygen is created resulting in lower
dissolved oxygen levels (Heest, Burkhart, Curry).
This experiment can help people understand what bodies of water are suitable for plant
and animal life in a simpler way. Instead of having to do a dissolved oxygen test with a probe,
people can just do a simple turbidity test. One can then take the findings from the turbidity test to
figure out the approximate dissolved oxygen levels. This could also help Drumlin Farm with
regulating the stuff that gets into their ponds. Something that that could be further regulated is
road salt used on roads next to the ponds. If the farm is able to regulate things that enter the
ponds, the plant and animal life in the ponds can thrive, and make visits to the farm more
interesting. This would not only help the environment, but also could give the farm a chance to
make more money.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
At Drumlin Farm in Lincoln MA, forty five samples of water were collected from three
ponds. The ponds that the water was collected from were Boyce (1), Ice( 13), and Bathtub (12)
(See Figure 1). The samples were collected, and tested with a Vernier turbidity probe (See Figure
2), and a Vernier dissolved oxygen probe (See Figure 3). The probes were calibrated before use,
and cleaned with distilled water after every use. A clock was drawn on the maps of every
pond, and one sample was taken at 2 ! minute increments on the clock with north being twelve.
To test the samples for dissolved oxygen a dissolved oxygen probe was calibrated by
filling the membrane cap with 1 mL of Electrode Filling Solution. Then the probe was placed in
100 mL of distilled water. The probe was warmed up by placing it in the water while connected
to the Labquest for 10 minutes. To begin collecting data the probe was submerged into the water
about 4-6cm. The results were then recorded. To test the samples for turbidity the turbidity probe
was then connected to the Labquest. The test was taken for fifteen seconds and recorded in a data
table.


"

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3


"
RESULTS
Table 1: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Ice Pond

Trial
Turbidity
(NTU)
Dissolved Oxygen
(mg/L)
1 101.1 8.5
2 70.6 9.2
3 51.8 11
4 51.9 9.1
5 66.0 6.2
6 35.7 6.2
7 63.9 6.1
8 53.4 5.4
9 58.7 7.0
10 37.9 10.1
11 50.3 9.8
12 50.8 8.2
13 32.0 7.9
14 60.0 9.2
15 64.1 6.1
Average 56.5 8.0
Standard
Deviation 16.7 1.7





















"
Table 2: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Boyce Pond

Trial
Turbidity
(NTU)
Dissolved
Oxygen (mg/L)
1 44.5 7.2
2 52.5 5.1
3 85.4 7.3
4 33.3 8.6
5 26.3 7.2
6 34.9 7.3
7 31.6 7.2
8 35.1 6.5
9 28.8 5.6
10 42.4 6.2
11 40.2 7.7
12 54.4 5.5
13 34.9 8.7
14 26.6 7.2
15 30.2 7.0
Average 40.1 7.0
Standard
Deviation 15.2 1.0






















"
Table 3: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Bathtub Pond

Trial
Turbidity
(NTU)
Dissolved Oxygen
(mg/L)
1 54.2 6.1
2 48.8 7.2
3 36.8 7.5
4 66.9 6.8
5 67.8 5.9
6 68.3 6.4
7 73.1 7.0
8 30.8 7.6
9 55.6 6.4
10 49.3 7.9
11 60.0 7.1
12 60.5 7.2
13 46.1 7.9
14 42.4 7.8
15 50.9 8.1
Average 54.1 7.1
Standard
Deviation 12.2 0.7

Graph 1: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Ice Pond






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Graph 3: The effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L) at Bathtub Pond











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Graph 4: The overall effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen levels (mg/L)




The data shown in graphs 1-4 show the effect of turbidity (NTU) on dissolved oxygen
levels (mg/L). Graph 4 shows all of the data collected, and indicates that at the sites tested, the
turbidity levels did not have an effect on dissolved oxygen. Both Ice pond and Boyce pond had
one outlier recorded, but no extreme outliers were recorded at Bathtub pond. The r
2
values were
generally low, with the lowest being recorded at Ice pond (0.004) and the highest at Bathtub
pond (0.38). There were a couple of outliers in the data that could have affected the accuracy of
the data. The most extreme outlier was recorded at Ice pond, with 8.5 mg/L of dissolved oxygen
and 101.1 NTU of turbidity. The outliers were included in the graphs.
The highest data point recorded at Ice pond was 101.1 NTU and the lowest was 32.0
NTU. The highest data point recorded at Boyce pond was 85.4 NTU and the lowest was 26.3
NTU. The highest data point recorded at Bathtub pond was 73.0 NTU and the lowest was 30.6
NTU. Overall the dissolved oxygen levels were very similar at all the ponds with the average at
Ice pond being 8.0 mg/L, at Boyce pond 7.0 mg/L, and at Bathtub pond 7.1 mg/L. The standard
deviations of the dissolved oxygen levels were all bellow two.
It was observed at Ice and Bathtub pond there was still a layer of ice on the pond. Bathtub
pond had approximately 75% cover and Ice pond had approximately 25% cover. This could have
affected the dissolved oxygen levels because the ice could have prevented sunlight from reaching
the vegetation on the bottom. It was also observed that the ponds were all surrounded by lose
mud. This could have affected the turbidity levels because while the samples were being
collected the mud could have been disturbed, increasing the turbidity.
The precision of the data was overall low. Although the precision of the dissolved oxygen
was much higher than that of the turbidity, the dissolved oxygen had a smaller range in possible
levels. The data was the least precise at Ice pond, and the most precise at Bathtub pond. Overall
the r
2
values were low, and the data precision was low.

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DISCUSSION
The experiment studied the relation between turbidity and dissolved oxygen. It focused
on dissolved oxygen and turbidity in three freshwater ponds. It was hypothesized that if the
turbidity is higher, then the dissolved oxygen levels will be lower because sunlight cannot shine
through the water to reach the vegetation, so less oxygen is created resulting in lower dissolved
oxygen levels (Heest, Burkhart, Curry). The hypothesis of the experiment was not supported
according to the results. The r
2
value was low, so the results indicated that turbidity levels are not
related to dissolved oxygen levels.
Graph 1 shows an extremely weak correlation (R
2
=0.00427) between turbidity and
dissolved oxygen at Ice pond, and there is no specific trend between the two variables. When
turbidity was greater it did not necessarily mean that dissolved oxygen would be lower or vice
versa. For example, at location 1 the turbidity level was 101.1 NTU while the dissolved oxygen
was 8.5 mg/L, while location 7 had a turbidity of 63.9 NTU and dissolved oxygen of 6.1 mg/L.
The highest r squared value was .38257. The averages for turbidity and dissolved oxygen in table
1 were 56.5 NTU for turbidity and 8.0 mg/L for dissolved oxygen. Table 2s averages are 40.1
NTU and 7.0 mg/L, and 54.1 NTU and 7.1 mg/L for Table 3. The graph of all locations
combined show that the data is not precise, because the r
2
value .02032.
The samples collected did not have good enough data. Fewer samples were collected
because the short amount of time and insufficient data collection. The shortage in samples may
have been a reason for inconclusive results. With more samples tested outliers could have been
eliminated making data more precise.
The data may not have been accurate because of the cold weather. Dissolved oxygen is
greater in colder weather, while turbidity is lower
(http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms55.cfm). This may have affected the data, making it
less accurate.
The field study came with many difficulties such as inaccessible areas of the ponds at
Drumlin Farm, mud on the shore of the ponds, and many trees and branches to walk over to
collect samples. If the field study could be changed, it would be by being more prepared for
these difficulties. Boots could have been worn to make the water more accessible. Sufficient data
was not collected at all times because less samples were collected because of short time. Some
parts of the ponds that were set for collecting samples were inaccessible, so collection locations
were improvised.
Due to the difficulties in collection, data may have been negatively affected, leading to
weaker correlation. This also caused samples to be taken closer together, possibly making the
data similar. For future research in this topic boots would be worn to make rough terrain easier to
walk on. The ability to go into water would allow easier, and most likely quicker
collection. Many precautions should be made if this topic were to be put to further
experimentation.








"#
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Cabot:
I would like to strongly thank my partners Henry Ross, and Colin Lamphier for being
persuasive and consistent scientists by my side. They did a great job pulling through
unexpected obstacles like time, and setting up systems to execute the experiment
efficiently. I would also like to thank these teachers: Ms. Hardy, Ms. Jamison, and Mr.
Sarzana. They looked out for us and answered any questions they could at each of the
ponds we visited. I would also like to thank the Drumlin Naturalists for providing us with
information like short cuts, or wildlife. Finally I would like to thank Ms. Svatek for conducting
the science field trip smartly, and carefully. Ms. Svatek supplied materials and knowledge,
which helped our group come up with an experiment that intrigued all three of us. If it was
not for these people, the experiment would have been much harder and unpleasant to
conduct.

Lamphier:
I would like to thank my group members India Cabot, and Henry Ross for being hard, consistent,
and rational workers. Without them the Experiment would have been a huge failure. I would also
like to thank Drumlin Farm for letting us test at their locations, as well as the guide that helped
point us at the right direction when switching from site to site. The guide also helped us get to
places that we needed to collect samples from. The teachers who supervised the sites were also
very important for not only our safety, but for giving us ideas on how to compromise our
procedure. Lastly I would like to thank Ms. Svatek for helping to set up our experiment, and
providing the materials needed.

Ross:
I would like to thank Ms. Svatek for helping us develop our experiment, learn how to use our
materials, and for helping edit our reports. I would also like to thank my partners for
completing this experiment with me. I would like to thank Mrs. Hardy for administering a
Band-Aid when I cut myself on a thorn. I would like to thank the bus drivers for getting us to
and from Drumlin Farm. Finally I would like to thank the Drumlin Farm teacher naturalists for
giving us directions, and for all the overall help the gave us throughout our visit there.






"#
WORKS CITED Cabot:

EPA. "5.5 Turbidity." Home. Www.epa.gov, 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms55.cfm>.
Perlman, Howard. "Turbidity." - Water Properties, USGS Water Science School. Usgs.gov, n.d.
Web. 17 Apr. 2014. <http://water.usgs.gov/edu/turbidity.html>.
Perlman, Howard. "Water Properties: Dissolved Oxygen." Dissolved Oxygen, from
USGS Water Science for Schools: All about Water. Www.usgs.gov, n.d. Web. 11 Mar.
2014. <http://water.usgs.gov/edu/dissolvedoxygen.html>.
United States. Dpt of Conservation and Recreation.Office of Water Resources. The
Massachusetts Lake and Pond Guide. By Michelle Robinson. United States Dpt of
Conservation and Recreation, 2005. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
<Http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dcr/watersuply/lakepond/downl



WORKS CITED Lamphier:

"5.5 Turbidity." Home. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
"Dissolved Oxygen." And Water Quality. KY Water Watch, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wcpdo.htm>.
"Measuring Dissolved Oxygen (DO)." Measuring Dissolved Oxygen (DO). VCCS, n.d. Web. 17
Apr. 2014. <http://water.me.vccs.edu/concepts/domeasure.html>.
Turbidity Measurement. 2.33. N.p.: Who.int, n.d. Print. Fact Sheet.
"Turbidity." Turbidity. Lenntech, 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.lenntech.com/turbidity.htm>.

WORKS CITED Ross:

Art. "Eutrophication." Definition Page. Www.usgs.gov, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://toxics.usgs.gov/definitions/eutrophication.html>.
Eighth Grade BB&N Students. Bathtub Pond Poster. Rep. Print.
"#
Eighth Grade BB&N Students. Boyce Field Poster. Rep. Print.
Eighth Grade BB&N Students. Ice Pond Poster. Rep. Print.
EPA. "5.5 Turbidity." Home. Www.epa.gov, 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms55.cfm>.
Heest, Peter Van, Rachel Burkhart, and Wyatt Curry. Effect of Turbidity on Dissolved Oxygen in
the Lake Macatawa Watershed. Rep. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Infobase Learning - Login. Hope
College. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.fofweb.com/Science/default.asp>.
Perlman, Howard. "Water Properties: Dissolved Oxygen." Dissolved Oxygen, from USGS Water
Science for Schools: All about Water. Www.usgs.gov, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
<http://water.usgs.gov/edu/dissolvedoxygen.html>.
United States. Dpt of Conservation and Recreation.Office of Water Resources. The
Massachusetts Lake and Pond Guide. By Michelle Robinson. United States Dpt of
Conservation and Recreation, 2005. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
<http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dcr/watersuply/lakepond/downloads/lakebook.pdf.file.



1


The
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Maples
The effect
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on
Glucose
Level
(Bx)
By Mila Camargo Cortes (S86-4) and John Floros (S86-7)

2
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3
Biumlin Faim, a piouucei of maple syiup, taps many of theii maples. The maple
syiup inuustiy is veiy haiu to ciack into, seeing as one gallon of maple syiup iequiies
appioximately 4u gallons of maple sap. Biumlin faim is locateu in Lincoln, NA, anu was
chosen foi the BB&N Knights of Science ieseaich location uue to it's many habitats anu
thus abunuance of possible expeiiments. 0ui specific expeiiment was centeieu aiounu the
locations of Naple Tiees the faim, eventually settling on Sugaibush, Boyce Ponu, anu the
Faim Life Centei.
The inuepenuent vaiiable foi this expeiiment is the uistance, measuieu in meteis (m),
to the neaiest tiee. This shall be measuieu fiom the bottom of the testeu tiee tiunk to the
closest tiee tiunk with a measuiing tape. The uepenuent vaiiable is the glucose levels,
which will be collecteu using a iefiactometei to measuie the sugai concentiation of a
mixtuie of ciusheu buus anu uistilleu watei. Some impoitant contiolleu vaiiables aie: the
tiee type being measuieu, which the scientists plan to keep consistently maple, the
pioceuuie being useu to measuie the uistance, the pioceuuie useu to woik the
iefiactometei, the uate the glucose level is measuieu, anu the piecision of the uata. The
hypothesis foi this expeiiment is that if the uistance (m) to the neaiest tiee is smallei, than
the glucose level (Bx) of the tiee will be highei because a lone maple tiee is moie exposeu
to the enviionment aiounu it, making it moie likely to obtain moie of the nutiients aiounu
it (0nknown, http:maple.uni.coinell.euu).
If it is uiscoveieu that the uistance between maple tiees inueeu uoes affect the glucose
levels of the syiup, it will be a majoi bieak thiough in the maple syiup inuustiy. This woulu
mean that insteau of tapping thiough hunuieus to thousanus of tiees in foiests, the tappeis
woulu be able to plant neat iows of tiees the peifect uistance fiom each othei. They woulu
gain all the necessaiy nutiients in oiuei to piouuce the maple syiup with the highest
glucose level possible. This will also save money thioughout the inuustiy because theie will
be a lowei auueu sugai level neeueu to achieve piime sweetness.

"#$%&'#() #*+ "%$,-+)
Naple tiees fiom New Englanu aie known foi theii syiup, theiefoie having high
glucose levels within the sap it piouuces. No two tiees aie alike, anu the question of
ueciuing if the uistance between two tiees affects the amount of glucose maue in maples
lingeieu. To conuuct this expeiiment, a iefiactometei, the uevice useu to measuie the
peicentage of glucose levels within a liquiu mixtuie, was useu anu shown in Figuie 1. Foi
the given expeiiment, it was specifically useu foi the fluiu within maple tiees locateu at
Biumlin Faim in Lincoln, Nassachusetts.
The thiee uiffeient species of maple tiees that weie testeu weie the Sugai Naple,
Silvei Naple, anu the Noiway Naple. Each species was testeu with two tiees with five leaf
buus being taken anu testeu foi the glucose levels, iesulting in a total of six tiees anu thiity
tiials. Buus weie founu on the enus of the bianches on the maples anu weie iemoveu by
picking off the buus alone without its coiiesponuing bianch. Two specific tiees out of one
of the thiee paiticulai species was selecteu at ianuom by using a Texas Instiument
uiaphing Calculatoi. To use this technique, ten vaiious tiees that weie mappeu weie
numbeieu on a piece of papei anu then the equation "ianu(2)*1u" was useu. That equation
pickeu two uiffeient tiees at ianuom, each one labeleu with a uiffeient numbei. Baving
selecteu tiee #1 to stait with, a metei tape was useu to measuie the uistance to the closest
tiee. That uata was iecoiueu, anu then five buus weie iemoveu fiom tiee #1. Exactly 2.S

4
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Figure 2: Inside of a Refractometer

5

6


Norway Silver Sugar
Tree Species

7
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8
The uata collecteu uoes not show that theie was a highei peicentage of glucose
when neighboiing tiees weie faithei away. That being saiu, it uoes not mean that the
hypothesis was incoiiect because the expeiiment may have been uesigneu incoiiectly.
Weathei affects the amounts of glucose in the maples each yeai; foi example, summeis that
aie coolei anu clouuiei will ueciease the amount of sugai within the sap
(http:www.thatcheissugaihouse.comtiees.htm). In a stuuy conuucteu by Coinell
0niveisity, it was ueteimineu that tiees locateu in the open contain moie sugai than those
that aie closei togethei.. Animals anu feitilizei also impact the piouuction, both eithei
impioving oi woisening the conuitions (http:maple.uni.coinell.euu). The facilities at
Biumlin Faim only tap fiom the Noiway, Sugai, anu Reu maples because they typically
contain the laigest sugai content at 2-4% (Linua C., http:blogs.massauuubon.oig). By
uoing the tests on thiee uiffeient types of maple, it was haiuei to suppoit the hypothesis
because the base glucose level may have been uiffeient foi each species. Even if the
pioceuuie hau been uone coiiectly with only one type of tiee, it still woulu have been haiu
to contiol how much sugai was in each uue to the vaiious weathei conuitions fiom the past
yeai at Biumlin Faim, although each woulu have expeiience similai conuitions.
uiaph 1 uemonstiates the ielationship between the species of maple on the sugai
content within them. It is conclusive that the fiist Noiway tiee hau highei glucose levels
than the silvei tiees anu that the seconu Noiway containeu moie glucose than both the
Silvei anu Sugai maples. This is because the eiioi bais uo not oveilap. That being saiu, it
cannot be concluueu that Noiway tiees contain the highest amount of glucose because the
fiist tiee's eiioi bai oveilap with the seconu, leaving inconclusive anu insufficient uata.
The iest of the uata, ianging fiom the fiist Silvei to the seconu Sugai tiee, is inconclusive
anu has low piecision. This is because of all the eiioi bai oveilap; besiues the seconu
Noiway, which hau veiy high piecision, the iemaining tiees all hau laige eiioi bais that
oveilap with each othei. The seconu giaph, which insteau shows the thiee uiffeient species
of maple on the aveiage glucose level, shows the same uata fiom the fiist. Though it
appeais that Noiway has the most, its laige eiioi bai oveilaps with Sugai, leaving no
answei to which species containeu the most sugai. Bowevei, it can be concluueu that the
two Noiway tiees hau a highei sugai level than the two Silveis, which was also
iepiesenteu in the fiist giaph. Fiom these two plots, it is also not cleai which tiee oi
species of maple actually hau the lowest glucose level uue to the oveilap of eiioi bais
between the Silvei anu Sugai maples.
The thiiu giaph, which iepiesents how the uistance between the neaiest tiee to the
testeu species of maple affects the sugai content, shows low coiielation. All six of teh eiioi
bais oveilaps with at least one othei, theiefoie having low piecision. The coiielation
between the uata is weak. This is not only inuicateu by the lack of tiials that fall within the
iange of the tienu line but also in the R
2
value. Foi the puipose of this expeiiment, which is
mostly in the fielu of chemistiy, the taiget value was between u.6 - u.8. The R
2
value
uepicteu fiom the uata equaleu appioximately u.S6, low in compaiison to the taiget iange
of aiounu u.8. This fuithei shows how the ielationship between all of the tiials anu uata
points weie scatteieu anu inconclusive. Theie was low confiuence in this uata because
sufficient uata was not collecteu uue to the numeious oveilaps between many of the points
in all thiee giaphs.
Seveial eiiois weie maue while conuucting the expeiiment, incluuing foigetting to
stait the timei when staiting to ciush the maple tiee buus anu contiolling whom ciusheu

9
the buus foi eveiy tiee. This affecteu the expeiiment because the buu substance woulu not
always have the same consistency; it was eithei masheu foi too long oi too shoit oi woulu
not be completely ciusheu uue to uiffeiences in stiength pei peison. 0thei laigei eiiois
incluueu issues between the planneu pioceuuie anu what enueu up occuiiing while at
Biumlin Faim. Foi example, using the Texas-Instiument uiaphing Calculatoi to ianuomize
the two tiees testeu at each location was not useu foi testing the Silvei anu Sugai Naples
because of the limiteu supply of each tiee. The most effective mistake, also a flaw in the
pioceuuie, was testing out thiee uiffeient species of maple. This alloweu no conclusions to
be maue because vaiious maple tiees alieauy contain a ceitain quantity of sugai to begin
with, foigetting about the uistance to the neaiest tiee. If the same maple hau been testeu
on, moie conclusions coulu have been maue that uiiectly ielateu back to the hypothesis.
Nost of these eiiois, such as foigetting to use the timei while ciushing, coulu have been
eliminateu by being moie cautious anu awaie of what was going on anu what hau to be
uone. 0theis, howevei, weie maue uue to mistakes within the pioceuuie. Because of these
eiiois, insufficient anu inconclusive uata was collecteu. The only mouification to the
expeiiment woulu be to use one species of maple foi testing because if that hau been a
constant, the only ieason inconclusive uata woulu be collecteu otheiwise woulu have been
uue to caieless eiiois. If moie attention was put into the pioceuuie while in the fielu anu
while it was being uevelopeu, steps such as testing thiee vaiious species insteau of one
woulu not have been oveilookeu anu the chances of having conclusive uata that suppoiteu
the hypothesis woulu have been moie likely.
Expeiimenting with whethei oi not uistance affects the amount of glucose within a
maple tiee has potential foi futuie expeiiments. Faimeis anu syiup companies coulu use
that uata to help tiy to uevelop a bettei maple planting layout so that as much sap as
possible is collecteu. It woulu still be impossible to contiol the weathei conuitions
thioughout the yeai to ensuie high glucose levels foi tapping season, but faimeis woulu
still have the ability to be moie accuiate aheau of time.
Although the inconclusive uata uiu not uiiectly coiielate to that of the hypothesis,
fuithei ieseaich anu stuuies coulu be maue to uevelop moie infoimation about maple's
glucose level, such as testing if altituue helps oi uecieases the piouuction of sugai anu sap
each yeai. Anothei possible expeiiment woulu be testing to see if highei glucose levels aie
cieateu if the maple iesigneu in the city as opposeu to a iuial aiea.


!"#$%&'()*(+($,-
+/01
This pioject has been extiemely fun anu euucational, but it woulu not have been
possible without much inteinal anu exteinal suppoit fiom my peeis, teacheis, anu paitnei,
}ohn Floios. }ohn has pioviueu immense suppoit thioughout entiie pioject. Be was
constantly aiuing me in my ieseaiching anu assisting me whenevei possible. Thioughout
the pioject, he maintaineu a positive attituue, anu always maue suie his woik was
piepaieu anu as piistine as possible. }ohn was a uefinite necessity in the success of this
expeiiment, as was oui science teachei, Ns. Schultheis. Ns. Schultheis helpeu us in
peifecting oui expeiiment anu pioceuuie, always pioviuing new iueas anu impiovements
we coulu make in oiuei to ensuie it was as efficient, contiolleu, anu simple as possible. I
woulu also like to thank Ns. Noon, foi supeivising us at oui fiist location, Sugaibush, Ni.

10
Ewins, foi helping us iuentify oui fiist maples, Ns. Cuiiiei foi walking with us to Boyce
Ponu, anu all of the Biumlin Faim Specialists anu uuiues who weie moie than happy to
help whenevei we neeueu them to. Finally, I woulu like to thank oui classmates foi helping
}ohn anu I in seveial Logbook checks anu peei ieviews. Thioughout the couise of this
assignment, many people have helpeu }ohn anu I, anu I am veiy giateful to all of them.
Without you, oui pioject woulun't have been neaily as successful. Thank you.

!"#$
With this long teim pioject, a lot of time anu effoit was put into it to cieate a final
masteipiece. Bowevei, many people contiibuteu theii skills anu knowleuge to help along
the way. Ny paitnei, Nila Camaigo, not only uisplayeu hei peiseveiance anu
ueteimination eveiy uay in class but also maue the laige pioject feel that much moie
enjoyable, as she nevei sat thiough the houi long peiiou without lightening up the moou
with hei witty humoi. Bei cieativity spaikeu many gieat iueas thioughout the pioject,
incluuing the expeiiment itself, anu uemonstiateu haiu woik to impiove anu push the
pioject to an impioveu state. Anothei majoi contiibutoi to the assignment was oui teachei,
Ns. Schultheis. She was always available foi eveiy stage of the pioject that we neeueu
suppoit with, fiom the eaily stages of caiefully ciafting the expeiiment to guiuing us
thiough collecting the uata anu euiting oui analyses about what we uiscoveieu. Ns.
Schultheis was the backbone of this pioject, as she consistently pioviueu answeis to what
we weie incapable of knowing anu kept us going when we thought we weie stuck. I cannot
come to think of wheie we woulu be without hei guiuance anu suppoit. 0thei people who
helpeu us behinu the scenes weie all of the teacheis at BB&N anu Biumlin Faim staff
membeis, who uuiing the uata collection at Biumlin Faim leu us to specific types of maples
that we weie not able to iuentify anu alloweu us to piomptly move onto oui next iotation.
Those who helpeu us fiom BB&N incluueu Nis. Noon, Nis. Baiuy, Ns. Baug, Nis. Laiocca,
Ns. Cuiiiei, anu Ni. Ewins. The Biumlin Faim staff membeis weie a majoi contiibution as
well, but theii specific names have been foigotten. This final pioject uuiing oui eighth
giaue yeai in science class was laige anu spanneu seveial months, but the help anu suppoit
fiom the many people aiounu me maue it feel much moie manageable to complete anu
maue the jouiney a fun one to take.


11

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12/#"3%2%$4 5#",#-2. N.p., n.u. Web. 1u Nai. 2u14.
<http:maple.uni.coinell.euuExttiee_impitiee%2uimpiovement.htm>.
Eveiett, Paul }. 0#%% 6#-$78. Bigital image. 9&:7;#. N.p., 2u Api. 2uu8. Web. 29 Api. 2u14.
<http:www.flicki.comphotospaul_eveiett822429SSu9S2>.
"Bow To 0se A Refiactometei." <"= 0" >(% ? @%A#-74"2%4%# B C#-/%(4"2/%#(.
uiapestompeis, 2u14. Web. uS Api. 2u14.
<http:www.giapestompeis.comiefiactometei_use.aspx>.
Kiatochvil, Peti. *:$,&% !"&"+#%D .-/&% E%-A "$ F8:4% 6-7;,#"+$DG Bigital image. 5+H&:7
I"2-:$ 12-,%(. N.p., n.u. Web. <http:www.public-uomain-
image.comstuuiosliuessingle-colouieu-maple-leaf-on-white-backgiounu.html>.
"Naple Facts." .-/&% 9-74(. Thatchei's Sugaihouse, 1u Nay 2u1u. Web. 17 Api. 2u14.
<http:www.thatcheissugaihouse.comtiees.htm>.
"Naple Facts." .-/&% 9-74(. Thatchei's Sugaihouse, 1u Nay 2u1u. Web. S1 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.thatcheissugaihouse.comtiees.htm>.
"Naple Bealth." .-/&%1$A"G"#, B .-/&% <%-&48. Bepaitment of Foiests Paiks & Recieation,
2uu2. Web. S1 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.mapleinfo.oightmfoiests_maplehealth.cfm>.
"Photosynthesis in Tiees." <"2%/-,%. Royal Foiestiy Society, 2u14. Web. S1 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.ifs.oig.ukleainingphotosynthesis-in-tiees>.
Tievisan, R., }.P. uaiuin, F.u. Beitei, N. Bacaiin, anu v. veiissimo. "BETERNINATI0N 0F
TBE S0uAR LEvELS IN B0BS ANB BRANCBES 0F PEARS B00S0I ANB NI}ISSEIKI,
B0RINu TBE PBASE TBAT PRECEBES FL0WERINu, IN PEL0TAS-RS ANB S0

13
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2u14. <http:www.actahoit.oigbooksS87S87_48.htm>.
0we Aianas, anu CEphoto. Poitable Refiactometei. Bigital image. 8=>=?@A=B 3C??CDE.
Wikimeuia Commons, 29 0ct. 2u1S. Web. u7 Nai. 2u14.
<http:commons.wikimeuia.oigwikiFile:Poitable-Refiactometei-u8.jpg>.






The Perks of
Percolation
The effect of canopy cover on soil
percolation


By Molly Carney and Athena Chu



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This expeiiment, uone at Biumlin Faim in Lincoln, NA was conuucteu to
investigate whethei theie was a coiielation between canopy covei anu soil
peicolation. Soil peicolation is how fast watei can tiavel thiough soil anu how much
the soil absoibs. It was expecteu that if theie was less canopy covei then the
sunlight woulu be able to uiy out the soil moie easily anu theiefoie the peicolation
woulu be highei. Foi the expeiiment, sixty soil samples weie collecteu fiom twenty
uiffeient tiees in the Reu Pine Foiest. Then, the soil peicolation was testeu by
pouiing in Su mL of watei into each soil sample eveiy Su seconus until 6uu mL of
watei was auueu in total. The fiist uiip time of the watei, how much watei went
thiough the soil, anu how much watei the soil absoibeu weie all iecoiueu. It was
founu that theie was not a stiong coiielation between canopy covei anu soil
peicolation. Bowevei, the uata was impiecise which is uue to the eiiois maue.

()$%*+,&$(*)
Canopy coveiage is uefineu as the peicent of sky that is blockeu by the
bianches anu leaves of tiees anu plants. 0ne type of canopy covei is vegetation
canopy, which can contiol iainuiop amounts anu ieuuces the soil's exposuie to
watei eiosion (0nknown, http:passel.unl.euu). Bepenuing on the peicent canopy
covei, the soil will be exposeu to moie oi less sun, affecting soil textuies anu plant
health (Naloney, http:natuie.beikeley.euu). Soil textuies anu moistuie have an
effect on soil peicolation, which is how fast watei moves thiough soil (0nknown,
http:www.agiiinfo.in). Bowevei, soil peicolation is only one of the many aspects
that help faimeis giow theii ciops. Anothei aspect is fielu capacity, which is the
iange of available watei to plants; peimanent wilting point is the minimum iange.
The expeiiment will be helu at Biumlin Faim, a wilulife sanctuaiy in Lincoln,
NA. This sanctuaiy spans ovei Suu acies anu has a total of foui foiests. Bowevei,
this expeiiment will be conuucteu only at the Reu Pine Foiest. Each of the foui
foiests is exposeu to sunlight moie oi less uue to it's location in Biumlin Faim. 0ne
contiolleu vaiiable is to gathei uata fiom similai locations. By choosing the Reu
Pine Foiest, many vaiiables aie easily contiolleu. This foiest also has a big vaiiety of
tiees compaieu to the othei foiests at Biumlin Faim, fiom pine, to oak tiees. They
aie scatteieu on the westein siue of the uiumlin, noith of the Faimyaiu. 0ne
notewoithy chaiacteiistic of the foiest is that half the tiees on one siue of the Reu
Pine foiest weie planteu.
Canopy coveiage may be affecteu soil by exposuie to sunlight oi eiosion.
Eiosion takes place wheie soil is not coveieu by canopy, anu is then exposeu to
iainuiops anu excess soil watei. In past expeiiments, plants giew healthiei when
canopy coveiage peicentages weie in the high eighties (Naloney,
http:natuie.beikeley.euu). Soil was moie moist unuei the highest canopy
coveiage of the expeiiment. As mentioneu, vegetation canopies can help soil stay
moist anu lessen winu boine seuiments that contaminate the soil (0nknown,
http:passel.unl.euu). An example of vegetation canopy is giass. Keeping the soil
moist is vital foi plant giowth, but so is giving the plant sufficient sunlight.
0n the othei hanu, the moie moist the soil is, the less peicolation theie is in
the soil. Noist soil is compacteu, anu has smallei poies foi watei to flow thiough.
4
The less the soil peicolation, the slowei the watei will tiavel to the ioots of the plant
in the soil. Plants can only access watei neai its ioots. Soil watei is helu into the soil,
eithei coating soil paiticles, oi flowing thiough the poie spaces between the
paiticles. The smallei the poie space, the highei attiaction to watei; hence, soil
watei is helu moie tight, inuicating stiong capillaiy foices. Capillaiy foices aie
measuieu by how much tension theie is in the soil. The moie tension theie is, the
slowei watei moves thiough soil, anu vice veisa (Peilman, http:watei.usgs.gov).
Biffeient soil textuies also have uiffeient ielationships with watei. Sanuy soils have
the least watei but also have moie ieauily available watei compaieu to unavailable
watei; clay soils have moie watei anu aie moie moist, howevei they also have moie
watei that is unavailable then available (0nknown, http:cioptechnology.unl.euu).
This means that the uiiei the soil, the moie available watei theie will be. Biy anu
sanuy soils also have laigei poies.
The pioposeu expeiiment is the effect of peicent canopy covei on soil
peicolation. The objective of this expeiiment is to investigate the ielationship
between canopy covei anu how soil textuies anu moistuie ielate to soil peicolation.
This will be testeu by collecting canopy coveiage uata fiom twenty tiees fiom the
Reu Pine foiest in Biumlin Faim. Thiee soil samples will also be collecteu fiom each
tiee to ueteimine soil peicolation. The inuepenuent vaiiable of this expeiiment is
the peicent canopy covei of each tiee. The uepenuent vaiiable will be the soil
peicolation. Impoitant vaiiables that will be contiolleu incluue the amount of watei
auueu foi testing, the amount of soil, the time foi uiainage, the weathei, anu the
location. The hypothesis set foith foi this expeiiment is if the peicent canopy covei
is lowei, then theie will be highei soil peicolation because lowei canopy coveiage
inuicates highei sun exposuie which uiies out the soil, anu watei tiavels fastei
thiough uiy soil (0nknown, http:www.agiiinfo.in).
The iesults of this expeiiment will give natuialists at Biumlin Faim a bettei
unueistanuing on how canopy coveiage affects the soil. It will allow gaiueneis anu
natuialists to ueciue if moie oi less canopy coveiage will allow plants anu othei
ciops to giow to theii fullest potential. Soil peicolation can also biing bettei
awaieness of soil watei availability to plants anu how often to watei plants. As an
impoitant aspect of soil anu it's affect on plants, unueistanuing the ielationship
between canopy covei anu soil peicolation allows faimeis to assess the placement
of ciops. They will become moie familiai with theii type of gaiuening soil. The
infoimation can be useu to make uecisions of giowing plants neai shaue oi out in
the cleai. Knowing if theie is a ielationship allows people to know wheie to plant
tiees neai gaiuens, anu how much giass is sufficient.

!"#$%&"'( "*+ !$#,-+(
Befoie collecting the soil samples, a map of Reu Pine Foiest at Biumlin Faim
in Lincoln, NA was uiawn (see Figuie 1). It was uiawn as a 4 cm by 1u cm iectangle.
Twenty ianuom points weie founu in the iectangle to iepiesent twenty tiees that
woulu be visiteu anu that soil samples woulu be collecteu fiom. To finu the ianuom
points, a TI-Nspiie calculatoi was useu. The foimula "ianu(2u)1u" was enteieu into
the calculatoi to finu twenty numbeis foi the x axis of the iectangle (the numbeis
weie iounueu to the neaiest tenth). Then the foimula "ianu(2u)4" was enteieu to
S
finu numbeis foi the y axis. These points weie plotteu on the map, anu then the map
was useu to navigate the foiest. Aftei aiiiving at the fiist tiee, a uRS uensitometei
(see Figuie 2) was useu to take an estimateu measuiement of the canopy covei (%).
This was uone by looking thiough the uensitometei up at the tiee, anu then
estimating what peicentage of the giiu the tiee was coveiing. The estimate was
taken fiist by one paitnei, anu then by the othei. These weie then iecoiueu in Table
1 (see iesults). The aveiage peicentage of the two estimates was calculateu anu also
iecoiueu in Table 1. 0sing a metei stick, half a metei was measuieu away fiom the
tiunk of the tiee, anu then a 1S cm long soil augei was pusheu into the giounu anu
then pulleu out to collect soil. The soil fiom the augei was then uumpeu into one
Ziploc containei (12u mL). A shovel was also useu to collect the soil samples to be
moie efficient. The soil augei anu shovel steps weie iepeateu two moie times foi
that same tiee. Each time a new soil sample was being taken, it was put into its own
sepaiate containei. 0sing the map maue eailiei, the next tiee was locateu anu the
uensitometei anu soil augei steps weie iepeateu foi the next 19 tiees.
To begin testing the samples, a coffee filtei was attacheu to the spout of a S9u
mL plastic bottle with a iubbei banu. The bottle was then placeu upsiue uown in a
Bumbolut NFu Co. iing stanu. These steps weie iepeateu foi anothei S9u mL bottle.
0ne soil sample was then pouieu into each bottle. A 4uu mL beakei was placeu
unuei each bottle to catch the watei (see Figuie S foi a pictuie of the testing setup).
Two giauuateu cylinueis weie each filleu with Su mL of watei fiom the watei
bottles. Then, as these giauuateu cylinueis weie pouieu into the S9u mL bottles
holuing the soil samples, two stopwatches weie staiteu simultaneously. Su mL of
watei was pouieu into each soil sample eveiy thiity seconus until a total of Suu mL
was auueu (a total of six times). 0ne stopwatch was useu to time the thiity seconus
foi both soil samples, anu the othei stopwatch was useu to time when the fiist uiip
of watei uioppeu fiom each soil sample into the 4uu mL beakei. Both of these times
weie then iecoiueu in Table 2 foi each sample (see iesults). The amount of watei
left in the 4uu mL beakei was also measuieu anu iecoiueu in Table 2. All of these
steps weie then iepeateu foi the iest of the soil samples. This methou was useu to
test the peicolation of the soil samples anu how canopy covei affecteu it. In total, 6u
uata points weie collecteu: thiee soil samples weie collecteu anu testeu foi 2u tiees.
This same methou was followeu foi all the collecting anu testing.

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11
!"#$%##"&'
This expeiiment was conuucteu to test the coiielation between canopy covei
anu soil peicolation. Soil peicolation is how fast watei moves thiough the soil anu
how much the soil absoibs. The hypothesis foi this expeiiment was if the peicent
canopy covei is lowei, then theie is highei soil peicolation because lowei canopy
coveiage inuicates highei sun exposuie which uiies out the soil, anu watei tiavels
fastei thiough uiy soil (0nknown, http:www.agiiinfo.in). This hypothesis was not
suppoiteu uue to inconclusive anu scatteieu uata; the uata uiu not show a stiong
coiielation between canopy covei anu soil peicolation.
The giaphs weie not conclusive. uiaph 1 showeu the effect of canopy covei
on the fiist uiip time (the time when the fiist uiip of watei came out of the soil). The
i
2
value foi uiaph 1 was u.u771. This value was veiy low because theie weie many
outlieis, anu that means that the uata was not lineai. The tienu line foi this giaph
was an upwaius slope, but it ieally coulun't be concluueu that the highei the canopy
covei the highei the uiip time because of all the outlieis. uiaph 2 showeu the effect
of aveiage canopy covei on aveiage watei collecteu in the beakei. The i
2
value foi
uiaph 2 was u.uu4S. This value was even lowei than the fiist giaph because most of
the uata points weie outlieis anu theiefoie the uata was even less lineai than the
fiist. The tienu line foi this giaph was a slight slope uownwaius, but no conclusion
coulu be maue because of the little piecision. The uata was not veiy piecise anu
some of the stanuaiu ueviations weie high. This takes away fiom the confiuence
behinu the uata because none of it was veiy consistent.
The ieseaich that was uone piioi to conuucting the expeiiment suggesteu
that if theie is less canopy covei, then the sunlight can ieach the soil moie easily anu
theiefoie uiy it up (}ennings, Biown, Sheil, http:foiestiy.oxfoiujouinals.oig).
Also, watei tiavels fastei thiough uiy soil than it uoes thiough moist soil since the
uiy soil has an affinity foi the paiticles of watei anu theiefoie it is absoibeu fastei
(0nknown, http:www.agiiinfo.in) (0nknown, http:soilphysics.okstate.euu). An
expeiiment was uone on the effect of canopy covei anu soil conuitions on giowth
iate of !"#$%$& ($)(*+"(,$& anu -.(#*$& ,(%"/0)*",( in San Fiancisco (Naloney,
http:natuie.beikeley.euu). Biffeient types of plants weie placeu unuei uiffeient
canopy coveis anu theii giowth iates weie tiackeu. It was founu that the plants
giew bettei when the canopy covei was highei, anu this is because the canopy kept
the soil moist. The uata fiom the expeiiment most likely tuineu out the way it uiu
because of the eiiois.
This expeiiment coulu be mouifieu foi impiovement by finuing a fastei
methou of measuiing the soil peicolation because the one that was useu was veiy
time consuming anu a lot of the testing hau to be uone back at the lab. Also, at Reu
Pine Foiest it was noticeu that the whole giounu was coveieu in pine neeules, anu it
was guesseu that the sunlight woulun't be able to ieach the soil as well with a
blanket of neeules coveiing it. Sufficient uata was collecteu, but eiiois got in the
way anu theiefoie the uata was inconclusive. 0sing the soil augei to collect the soil
samples at the beginning was not a goou methou because it took too long. By the
enu of the expeiiment, a shovel fiom anothei gioup was useu foi moie efficient soil
collection. This change in methou coulu have affecteu the iesults because the soil
augei collecteu soil fiom ueepei in the giounu than the shovel. Some eiiois weie
12
that not eveiy soil sample hau the same exact amount of soil in it, anu that woulu
affect the time the watei took to go thiough the soil. This coulu be fixeu by using
containeis that hau measuiements on them so we woulu know exactly how much
soil was in each. Also, a uiffeient foiest coulu have been chosen to collect the soil
samples in so theie woulu be nothing coveiing the soil. Futuie stuuies coulu be uone
on the effect of the type of soil on soil peicolation so the pine neeules woulun't get in
the way. This way moie sufficient uata woulu be collecteu, anu then the hypothesis
woulu have a bettei chance of being suppoiteu.

!"#$%&'()*(+($,-
+/001 "23451
I woulu like to thank Ni. Senabie anu Ns. }amison foi supeivising us uuiing
the uay at Biumlin Faim. I woulu also like to thank all the Biumlin Faim natuie
specialists who helpeu answei oui questions. Aiuan Paik anu }ack Nuiphy weie also
veiy helpful when they lent theii shovel to us when we neeueu it foi oui uata
collection. Back at the lab, }enny Steinbeig was a huge help, assisting us while we
testeu oui uata. Thank you to Ns. Svatek anu the whole Science Bepaitment foi
making oui whole expeiiment possible, anu supplying us with what we neeueu.
Lastly, I woulu like to thank my amazing paitnei, Athena Chu. She woikeu veiy haiu
at eveiything she uiu, anu uiu an outstanuing job. Thank you to eveiyone who
helpeu; we coulu not have uone it without you.

!67542 "78
This pioject woulu not have been successful without my paitnei, Nolly
Cainey. She was always woiking at hei haiuest, anu veiy iesponsible foi hei pait of
the expeiiment. I woulu also like to thank Ni. Senabie anu Ns. }amison foi looking
aftei us when we weie conuucting oui expeiiment. Thanks to the Natuie Specialists
anu all the staff of Biumlin Faim who helpeu answei oui questions. Also, a special
thanks to Aiuan Paik anu }ack Nuiphy foi lenuing theii shovel when my paitnei anu
I weie iunning out of time. Also, thank you }enny Steinbeig foi helping with testing
all samples collecteu aftei getting back fiom Biumlin faim. Last, but not least, thank
you to all of the Science Bepaitment foi all theii help. This expeiiment woulu not be
possible without theii contiibutions.













1S
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Ashman, N. R., anu u. Puii. !""#$%&'( *+&( *,&#$,#- . /(#'0 '$1 /+$,&"# 2$%0+13,%&+$ %+
*+&( *,&#$,#. 0xfoiu: Blackwell Science, 2uu2. Piint.
}ennings, S. B., N. B. Biown, anu B. Sheil. .""#""&$4 5+0#"% /'$+6&#" '$1
7$1#0"%+08
2((39&$'%&+$- /'$+68 /(+"30#: /'$+68 /+;#0 '$1 <%=#0 >#'"30#". Rep. 0xfoiu
Foiestiy Institute, n.u. Web. 17 Api. 2u14.
<http:foiestiy.oxfoiujouinals.oigcontent721S9.full.puf>.
Naloney, Leanne. ?=# !@@#,% +@ /'$+68 /+;#0 '$1 *+&( /+$1&%&+$" +$ A0+B%= C'%# +@
>&93(3" .30'$%&',3" '$1 C='9$3" /'(&@+0$&,' &$ *'$ 50'$,&",+. Science
Repoit. Beikeley, 7 Nay 2uu7. Web. 7 Nai. 2u14.
<http:natuie.beikeley.euuclasseses196piojects2uu7finalNaloney.pu
f>.
"Ny Agiicultuie Infoimation Bank - Absoiption anu Novement of Watei in Soil -
Watei Intake." >8 .40&,3(%30# 2$@+09'%&+$ D'$E F .G"+06%&+$ '$1 >+;#9#$%
+@ H'%#0 &$ *+&( F H'%#0 2$%'E#. N.p., 2u11. Web. 27 Feb. 2u14.
<http:www.agiiinfo.in.page=topic&supeiiu=1&topiciu=S>.
"Watei Novement in Soils." I H#(,+9#. 0klahoma State 0niveisity, n.u. Web. 14
Api. 2u14. http:soilphysics.okstate.euusoftwaiewateiinfil.html
567320 '784

Ashman, N. R., anu u. Puii. !""#$%&'( *+&( *,&#$,#- . /(#'0 '$1 /+$,&"# 2$%0+13,%&+$ %+
*+&( *,&#$,#. 0xfoiu: Blackwell Science, 2uu2. Piint.
14
"Iiiigation Nanagement--oiiginal, Aichival Now." !"#$% #$' ()*" (+*,$+,- ./*01#12.
0SBA National Institute of Foou anu Agiicultuie, National Science
Founuation, 2u14. Web. u7 Nai. 2u14.
<http:cioptechnology.unl.euupagesinfoimationmouule.php.iuinfoimati
onmouule=11Su44712S&topicoiuei=S&maxto=1S&minto=1>.
"}oin Soil Resouices 1SS Fall 2u1S Now." ."*01#12. Plants anu Soil Sciences ELibiaiy,
2u14. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14.
<http:passel.unl.euucommunitiesinuex.php.iuinfoimationmouule=1u86
u2S42S&topicoiuei=1S&maxto=2u&minto=1&iucollectionmouule=11Su274
1SS>.
Naloney, Leanne. 34, .55,+% )5 6#$)72 6)8,1 #$' ()*" 6)$'*%*)$- )$ 91):%4 ;#%, )5
<*=>">- ?>1#$%*#+>- #$' ;4#=$>- 6#"*5)1$*+# *$ (#$ @1#$+*-+). Science
Repoit. Beikeley, 7 Nay 2uu7. Web. 7 Nai. 2u14.
<http:natuie.beikeley.euuclasseses196piojects2uu7finalNaloney.pu
f>.
"Ny Agiicultuie Infoimation Bank - Absoiption anu Novement of Watei in Soil -
Watei Intake." <2 ?A1*+>"%>1, B$5)1=#%*)$ C#$D E ?0-)17%*)$ #$' <)8,=,$%
)5 F#%,1 *$ ()*" E F#%,1 B$%#D,. AgiiInfo.in, 2u11. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.agiiinfo.in.page=topic&supeiiu=1&topiciu=S>.
Peilman, Bowaiu. "Capillaiy Action." G(9( F#%,1E(+*,$+, (+4))". 0.S. Bepaitment of
the Inteiioi, 0.S. ueological Suivey, u6 Nai. 2u14. Web. u7 Nai. 2u14.
<http:watei.usgs.goveuucapillaiyaction.html>.
1S
"Soil Stiuctuie." !"#$ !&'()&('*. N.p., n.u. Web. u7 Nai. 2u14.
<http:toolboxes.flexibleleaining.net.auuemositesseiies66uShtmlieso
uicesuepothoit_filesoil_stiuctsoil_stiuct.html>.
The pHun,
Rapid Test!
The Effect of Distance from Summit
(m) on Soil pH
By: Yuji Chan & Sophia Scanlan







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This expeiiment was uesigneu to ueteimine the coiielation between the
uistance fiom the summit on soil pB at Biumlin Faim in Lincoln, NA. To collect the
soil samples at the faim, the fiist step was to measuie Su meteis acioss the
summit. Fiom theie, thiee ianuomizeu points weie plotteu, anu soil samples weie
taken uown the slope at the uesignateu 2u-metei inciements. With each soil
sample, a Rapitest was useu to ueteimine the soil pB value, baseu on the coloi of the
soil solution. The hypothesis set foith in the expeiiment was: If a soil sample fiom
the 6u-metei uistance is collecteu, then it will have the lowest soil pB because the
iain causes the hyuiogen ions to flow fiom the top to the bottom of the slope,
making that aiea the most aciuic (Allaby, www.fofweb.com). This hypothesis was
paitially suppoiteu since the iesults showeu a consistent ueciease in pB levels as
the samples weie taken fuithei fiom the summit. Bowevei, the oveilapping eiioi
bais ievealeu that the uata was somewhat inconclusive as well.

'($%)*+&$')(
Soil pB measuies the concentiation of hyuiogen ions, which uisplays the
aciuity oi alkalinity within a soil substance. Aciuity applies to solutions that have a
soil pB of above seven, anu alkalinity uesciibes the pB value below seven. The
aciuity of soil is an essential factoi in giowing ciops anu plants efficiently
(http:passel.unl.euu). The !" of soil is impoitant infoimation foi faimeis to
unueistanu, as uiffeient plants anu ciops neeu to giow in vaiious ways in oiuei to
flouiish. Some ciops giow bettei with aciuic conuitions iathei than alkaline
conuitions, anu this affects how easily plants can take in nutiients fiom soil
(http:www.oiganicgaiuening.com). In too aciuic oi alkaline conuitions, plants aie
unable to absoib theii necessaiy nutiients, which, theiefoie, stunts theii giowth
(Newton, Chemistiy of Watei Pollution).
Soil pB is measuieu by the pB scale, which ianges fiom u-14, with the most
extieme anu unhealthy acius having a pB below 4.S. Substances that aie stiongly
alkaline aie above 9.1, anu aie not safe foi plants to giow in, eithei.
An expeiiment conuucteu in the 0niteu Kinguom testeu the effect of climate
on soil piopeities. The methou of testing began by cieating a iainfall on plants foi
one houi, anu then this was iepeateu on seveial othei plots going uown a slope. In
the iesults, theie was a cleai coiielation between the pB anu the altituue (Soto,
http:eusoils.jic.ec.euiopa.eu). The pB hau lowei values in the lowei aieas of the
slope because, with the piessuiizeu iainfall closing up holes in the soil, fewei
nutiients coulu be absoibeu (Soto, http:eusoils.jic.ec.euiopa.eu). Soil containing
nutiients can help plants live anu giow quickly because the nutiients woik as a
feitilizei. Rain contains vaiious types of mineials anu nutiients, which iaise pB in
the soil.
This specific expeiiment was conuucteu at Biumlin Faim, a Wilulife
Sanctuaiy, in Lincoln, Nassachusetts. Biumlin Faim has a total aiea of 2u6 acies,
with a wiue vaiiety of uiffeient habitats, consisting of natuial giasslanus, ponus anu
foiests. The habitat with the highest altituue, of appioximately 82 meteis, is The
Biumlin, locateu in the centei of the faim (www.massauuubon.oig). Fiom the
summit of each location, samples weie taken uown the slope in The Biumlin,
Bemlock Foiest, anu 0veilook Fielu.
3
The objective of this expeiiment was to test the effect of uistance fiom
summit on soil pB. The inuepenuent vaiiable in this expeiiment was the uistance
fiom the summit at each location (u meteis, 2u meteis, 4u meteis, 6u meteis), anu
the uepenuent vaiiable was the soil pB. A few contiolleu vaiiables incluueu the
amount of time to shake the Rapitest anu let the solution settle, the amount of
uistilleu watei useu in cieating the solution, the cleanliness of the soil augei, anu the
uepth that the soil augei was inseiteu into the giounu.
The hypothesis set foith in this expeiiment was: If a soil sample fiom the 6u-
metei uistance is collecteu, then it will have the lowest soil pB because the iain
causes the hyuiogen ions to flow fiom the top to the bottom of the slope, making
that aiea the most aciuic (Allaby, www.fofweb.com)
The ieseaich anu iesults fiom this expeiiment will begin to uemonstiate
how the pB levels uiffei baseu on the altituue anu slope. This infoimation can help
natuialists woiking at Biumlin Faim by ueteimining which uistances fiom the
summit aie the most effective aieas to giow vaiious types of ciops. This expeiiment
will also benefit town planneis when they seaich foi aieas to builu. By knowing
that aieas with a lowei altituue can moie successfully piouuce ciops, that aiea will
be pieseiveu, wheieas the top of the slope coulu be useu foi othei constiuction
plans. This infoimation is also ciucial foi faimeis to know so they can piouuce ciops
efficiently. Also, this uata can help pinpoint specific aieas within the faim that neeu
attention with iegaius to the health of the soil. Finally, the iesults of this
expeiiment will fuithei enhance society's unueistanuing of soil pB anu its effects in
uiffeient locations.

!"#$%&"'( "*+ !$#,-+(
This expeiiment was testeu at Biumlin Faim in Lincoln, NA at thiee uiffeient
sites: The Biumlin, 0veilook Fielu, anu Bemlock Foiest. Aftei aiiiving at Biumlin
Faim, the fiist location visiteu was The Biumlin. Fiom the top of The Biumlin, Su
meteis of the giasslanu was measuieu using the metei tape. Bowevei, the location
at which the measuiing tape was placeu, atop the slope, was chosen by the scientists
at the site, baseu on the lack of obstaclessuch as tiees oi iocksin the way. With
that measuiement, thiee uiffeient points in the iange weie iuentifieu ianuomly
using a TI-Nspiie CX calculatoi, with the ianuomizing equation being, "ianu
(Su)*S". Then, fiom these thiee ianuom points, tiansects weie placeu in a line
going uown the slope of The Biumlin. 0sing the Su metei measuiing tape as a
tiansect fiom the summit, soil samples weie taken foi a total uistance of 6u meteis,
each sample 2u meteis apait. To collect the samples, a soil augei was useu to uig S
centimeteis into the giounu.
Foi each soil sample, the pB was testeu with a soil pB Rapitest. To use the
Rapitest, soil fiom the augei was pouieu into the small siue on the Rapitest to the
fiist uotteu line. Then, watei was auueu until the whole solution ieacheu the seconu
line. Aftei that, a capsule was emptieu into the Rapitest, anu the cap was secuieu
tightly onto the containei. With the soil solution cieateu, the Rapitest was then
shaken foi one minute, which was ensuieu by the timei. Next, foi Su seconus, the
solution settleu anu obseivations anu iesults weie iecoiueu into the fielu
notebook. This piocess was iepeateu in the Bemlock Foiest anu 0veilook Fielu foi
4
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by the 2u-metei with 6.S. Finally, the 4u anu 6u-metei measuiements followeu with
6.S anu 6.1 iespectively. This giaph also shows the exactness of the entiie
expeiiment, as no stanuaiu ueviation was above u.S.
Each habitat was uistinctly uiffeient fiom each othei. Fiist, The Biumlin was
a mostly open fielu, with many leaves anu iocks atop the shoit, tan-coloieu giass. Its
soil was ielatively uamp, but not neaily as uamp as 0veilook Fielu, whose soil was
also much uaikei than the otheis. Bemlock Foiest was, by fai, the most uiffeient
site. Coveieu with tiees anu leaves (much moie than at The Biumlin), Bemlock
Foiest hau the steepest slope, which hau a stieam of watei at the bottom. With
iegaius to the soil, it was piobably the uiiest of each location, but was quite similai
to The Biumlin, too.

!"#$%##"&'
This expeiiment was uesigneu to test the coiielation between the uistance
fiom the summit (u meteis, 2u meteis, 4u meteis, 6u meteis) anu soil pB. The
oiiginal hypothesis set foith in this expeiiment was: If a soil sample fiom the 6u-
metei uistance is collecteu, then it will have the lowest soil pB because the iain
causes the hyuiogen ions to flow fiom the top to the bottom of the slope, making
that aiea the most aciuic (Allaby, www.fofweb.com) While the 6u-metei aveiage
was not conclusively lowei than the 2u-metei aveiage, it !"# conclusively lowei
than the two otheis (u meteis anu 4u meteis), theiefoie geneially suppoiting the
hypothesis.
At each location, the aveiage was the highest at the u-metei measuiement,
followeu sequentially by the iemaining uistances (2u, 4u, 6u). The aveiage was the
highest at the peak of the each hill because, as stateu in the hypothesis, the lowest
paits of slopes have a highei aciuity uue to the hyuiogen ions that weie washeu
away fiom the summit uuiing iainfall (Allaby, www.fofweb.com). Also, an
expeiiment testing the coiielation between soil pB anu alkaline iunoff on white oak
tiees suppoiteu these iesults, in that, the highei elevations along the slope weie
highei than those of the lowei heights (Nessengei, www.
tieephys.oxfoiujouinals.oig).
In each giaph (asiue fiom The Aveiages giaph), especially the one fiom
0veilook Fielu, theie was a laige oveilap of eiioi bais, pioving that the uata points
weie, geneially, not conclusively $%&&'(')* fiom each othei. Bowevei, because the
specific uata points in the table uiu coinciue with the hypothesis, it is believeu that,
if the samples weie taken at laigei inciements, theie may have been a gieatei
uistinction between each of the uistances, pioviuing foi conclusively uiffeient
aveiages. In two tests, the u-metei uistance !"# conclusively uiffeient fiom the 2u-
metei aveiage, though it uiu oveilap with the othei aveiages. Those iesults,
howevei, weie most likely uue to human eiioi. While some of the aveiages weie not
conclusively uiffeient fiom each othei, they uiu suppoit the hypothesis, anu showeu
a tienu going uown the mountain, meaning that the iesults weie conclusive, oveiall.
In the giaphs of The Aveiages anu Bemlock Foiest, the stanuaiu ueviation
was unuei u.6, showing the neai impeccable piecision. The giaphs foi The Biumlin
vaiieu a bit moie, along with 0veilook, wheie one stanuaiu ueviation ieacheu 1.u4.
This is piobably because 0veilook was the winuiest location meaning that, at times,
the metei tape woulu blow away fiom its post while the samples weie being
9
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10
foi teaching us about The Biumlin anu giving us helpful auvice. Fouith, I'u like to
thank Sophia's mom, Agnes, foi pioviuing a big, stuiuy bag to holu the mateiials,
which we caiiieu aiounu Biumlin Faim. Lastly, I woulu like to thank Sophia foi
being such a wonueiful peison to woik with! She helpeu me anu gave me beneficial
suggestions foi the sections I wiote anu I woulu also like to thank hei foi
maintaining enthusiasm thioughout the Biumlin Faim fielu tiip.

!"#$%& !(&)*&)
Fiist, I woulu like to thank Ns. Biooks foi assisting Yuji anu me with finuing
the necessaiy souices foi oui ieseaich, anu foi supeivising uuiing oui visit at
Bemlock Foiest. Seconu, I'u like to thank Biumlin fielu specialist, Bebbie, foi
pioviuing us with specific facts about the faim anu its locations. Thiiu, I'u like to
thank Ns. Cuiiiei foi asking so many questions about oui expeiiment, which
alloweu foi us to ieally think about what we weie testing, anu get some iueas foi the
uiscussion. Also, I'u like to thank Ns. Cuiiiei foi actually helping us !"# to The
Biumlin, as it was actually quite tiicky! Fouith, I'u like to thank my paients foi
helping pioofieau my wiiting anu foi uonating some supplies foi the expeiiment.
Fifth, I'u like to give a B0uE thank you to Ni. Ewins foi giving gieat suppoit anu
instiuction foi us in this pioject. Last, anu most impoitant, I'u like to thank Yuji foi
all the woik she put into this pioject, foi assisting me with my wiiting, anu foi being,
oveiall, the iueal peison to woik with.


















11
!"#$% '()*+
,-./ '012

"About Biumlin Faim." !"#$% '($)*+, -.(). N.p., n.u. Web. 1S Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.massauuubon.oigget-outuooiswilulife-sanctuaiiesuiumlin-
faimabout>.
Allaby, Nichael. "Watei Flow anu Biainage." /0+1,01 2,*+,1. Facts on File, n.u. Web.
u7 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.fofweb.comactivelink2.asp.ItemIB=WE4u&SIB=S&iPin=BWF
REuuuS&SingleRecoiu=Tiue>.
"Rapitest PB Soil Testei." 3 4(#50# 678(#9#,+0:. N.p., n.u. Web. u1 Nay 2u14.
<http:4hyuioponics.comiapitest-ph-soil-testei>.
"Rapitest Soil Test Kit." ;.9+%1:% /#+* <1:% =+%. N.p., n.u. Web. 16 Api. 2u14.
<http:www.aibico-oiganics.compiouuctiapitest-soil-test-kitsoil-test-
kits>.
"Soils - Pait 1: The 0iigin anu Bevelopment of Soil (Bow Soil uets a Life anu a
Name)." >*.,% .,8 /#+* /0+1,01: ?@+"(.(7. 0niveisity of Nebiaska-Lincoln, n.u.
Web. u8 Nai. 2u14.
<http:passel.unl.euupagesinfoimationmouule.php.iuinfoimationmouule
=11Su447uS8>.
Soto, Soiiano, Calvo Cases, Boix Fayos, anu A. C. Imeson. ?AA10% #A B*+).%1 #, /#)1
/#+* >(#91(%+1: .,8 ;1*.%18 <C(1:C#*8: B#,%(#**+,D %C1 ?(#:+#,.* ;1:9#,:1 #A
/#+*: +, . @+)1:%#,1 !(1.. uieat Biitain: Elseviei Science Ltu., 199S. PBF.
12
"0nueistanuing PB." !"#$ &' ()*+ ,- #./ !"#$ 0)1' &$ 21#.34 567#.*8 9#6/1.*.7.
N.p., n.u. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14. <http:www.oiganicgaiuening.comleain-anu-
giowunueistanuing-ph>.
!"#$%& !(&)*&)

Allaby, Nichael. "Watei Flow anu Biainage." (8*1.81 5.+*.1. Facts on File, n.u. Web.
u7 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.fofweb.comactivelink2.asp.ItemIB=WE4u&SIB=S&iPin=BWF
REuuuS&SingleRecoiu=Tiue>.
uaiunei, Robeit. "Soil PB." ()*+4 9611. (8*1.81 ,6):18$' ;)6 # (<'$#*.#=+1 ,+#.1$.
Beikeley Beights, N}: Enslow, 2u11. 67-71. Piint. Team uieen Science
Piojects.
Nessengei, Stephen. "Alkaline Runoff, Soil PB anu White 0ak Nanganese
Beficiency." >611 ,"?'*)+)7?. 0xfoiu }ouinal, 1986. Web. 1S Api. 2u14.
<http:tieephys.oxfoiujouinals.oigcontent21-2-
SS17.full.puf.oiigin=publication_uetail>.
"pB anu Soil." (8*1.81 5.+*.1. Facts 0n File, Inc. Web. 17 Api. 2u14.
<http:www.fofweb.comactivelink2.asp.ItemIB=WE4u&SIB=S&iPin=SvRu
2S9&SingleRecoiu=Tiue>.
"Tiee uuiue." (@AB C)6$+#./. S0NY Coitlanu, n.u. Web. Su Api. 2u14.
<http:web.coitlanu.euubioylestiee%2uguiue.html>.

+%,*- .%(,/0-
Fianta. Biit anu Roots. Bigital image. 26D6#.$#E)67. N.p., n.u. Web. 1 Nay 2u14.
<http:mifianta.oig.cat=4>.
13
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1



2
Table of Contents

ABSTRACT 3

INTRODUCTION 4

MATERIALS AND METHODS 6

RESULTS 8

DISCUSSION 11

ACKNOLEDGMENTS 15

WORKS CITED 16


3
ABSTRACT

When studying soil pH and leaves, it was discovered that soil pH is increased by acidic
coniferous leaves. Because of the curiosity about this subject, this study was designated
to discover if the distance from a tree had a correlation with soil pH, knowing that soil
because more acidic due to the leaf pH being absorbed in the soil. The hypothesis was
collected was if the distance from the tree increases, then the soil pH will increase,
because the acidity decreases from the lack of leaves decomposing. The results exhibited
the fact that the pH of the soil was affected by the amount of leaves that were absorbed
into the soil. In each graph there was a large r
2
value for the experiment, meaning a
strong correlation, but when compared with the two other forests graphs, it was seen
that the correlation was not applicable, due to different data point ranges. The data did
not have a steady growth from the first data point at zero meters from the tree trunk to
the end at a 4 meters distance from the tree or vice versa. Though there was no
correlation in the data, both Spruce and Red Pine Forest showed, the soil got more
acidic as the distance from the tree increased.





4

INTRODUCTION

The pH in any substance, including soil and water, is the measurement of the amount of
hydrogen ions within the substance. Depending on the pH, substances could be acidic,
basic, or neutral. When a material has a pH of seven, it is neutral. If the pH is less than
seven, it is acidic, whereas if it is greater than seven, it is basic. PH is measured on a
scale of 0-14. The pH of soil affects plant growth, as some plants are more likely to
survive with either higher or lower pH. Some plants are already very acidic, such as
coniferous pine trees, while others are less so, such as celtis occidentalis (common
hackberry). Since the pH affects plant growth, it is observed that trees get their acidity
from the soil, yet it is known that the acidity from pine needles affects soil. So this whole
process turns into an endless cycle with the tree affecting the soil, and vice versa. Does
the pH of soil affect the pH of a tree, or does the tree actually affect the soil instead?

The data for this experiment will be collected at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA . The
forests within the farm will be Spruce, Hemlock, and Red Pine. Spruces, Hemlocks, and
Red Pines are all coniferous. The data collected cannot be compared with all tree types
because of the lack of deciduous trees in the experiment. Pine tree needles are known for
acidity, so the Red Pine Forest is a good place to conduct the experiment. Above
Hemlock Forest, there is an open pasture, so the soil acidity may be affected by the
leaves from the deciduous trees. The sheep grazing field is next to the Spruce Forest,
across a little stream, which could also affect the soil pH.

Soil pH affects the growth and survival rate of trees as the acidity level could increase,
and the amount of nutrients absorbed will either increase or decrease significantly,
causing the trees health to be unstable and in danger. The pH could decrease as a result
of rainwater leaching out ions, namely calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
When the acidity of the soil is too high, lime can be added to decrease conductivity
(Bickelhaupt, www.esf.edu). Also, when leaves decompose, the nutrients and pH from
the leaf are absorbed into the ground, and dragged down through the layers of soil due
to gravity. As the distance from trees increases, the amount of leaves on the ground also
decreases, ignoring the possibility of wind blowing the leaves around. With less leaves,
the nutrients and acidity are not absorbed by the soil.

For the majority of trees, a soil pH around 6.0-7.0 is preferred, though, coniferous trees
typically prefer to grow in more acidic soils(http://ccesuffolk.org/). When the organic
matter that rests on top of the soil is more acidic, the acidity slowly mixes with the soil,
lowering the pH

(Shinn, www.hortmag.com) . The leaves from coniferous trees are a
greater contributor to increase in soil acidity than deciduous leaves. According to a past
experiment, pine needles are known for making the soil around the tree slightly more


5
acidic than further away from the tree (www.epa.gov). It adds another possibility that it
is the pH of the tree that is affecting the pH of the soil.

The proposed experiment will look into the effect of the distance from a tree in meters
on soil pH, as compared with the pH of a leaf from the tree. The objective of this
experiment is to see if the tree is affecting the acidity of the soil, or if the soil is affecting
the state of the tree. If the soil pH decreases as the distance grows bigger, then it can be
assumed that the pH of the tree is affecting the pH of the soil. However, if the soil pH
increases as the distance from the tree grows, it can be inferred that the pH of the tree is
affect by the soil pH, and leaches the nutrients out of the soil. This experiment will be
conducted by testing the pH of the soil every two meters from the tree, to see whether it
increases or decreases. If the soil pH increases as the distance from the tree grows
bigger, then it can be assumed that soil pH affects the pH of the tree.

Five soil samples and one leaf will be taken from each tree, and there will be three trees
randomly selected from each forest. The independent variable is the distance (m) from
the tested tree. The dependent variable is the soil pH. A contributing factor in this
experiment will be the pH of the leaves from the trees. The controlled variables are the
amount of soil/leaf used, the use and amount of distilled water (mL), the rapid-tester
(pH testing capsules), the distance from the trees (m), the level from which the soil is
collected from, and the type of litmus paper for measuring the pH of the leaves. There
will be no controlled run in this experiment. The hypothesis for this experiment is: If the
distance from the tree increases, then the pH in the soil will increase, because the acidity
decreases from the lack of leaves decomposing (Rabin,
http://njsustainingfarms.rutgers.edu).

This research demonstrates how the pH in soil is affected by the distance from the trees.
Since plants can only survive with certain pH levels in the soil, it will help gardeners,
and people will know which plants could be paired up with other plants, depending on
their acidity level. If more information is shared about the pH levels, and how it affects
and is affected, the research could help for future experiments and plant growth. That
way, less chemicals will be used to enhance the growth of plant species. All plants have
different preferences for growing soil, and when a farmer is attempting to grow food, or
a gardener wants to grow flowers, the soil pH can either make the plants prosper or die.
Unnecessary resources and chemicals will then not be needed for the growth of plants,
destroying the natural nutrients.



6

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The data was tested at three forests of Drumlin farm in Lincoln, MA. The three forests
were Hemlock, Spruce and Red Pine Forest, all of which hold some coniferous trees. The
procedure for this experiment was broken down into two main parts, which was the data
collection and data testing. At each of the forests walk down 5 meters from the initial
path, for non-biased results. To ensure that controlled soil samples were being taken,
randomized locations were identified using the rand function on a TI-nspire calculator,
within a 50 meter by 50 meter of a box shape, in the forest. With the randomization
tests using the rand function on the TI-nspire calculator, two random places were
chosen in each of the three forests. After having arrived 50 meters into the forest at the
area and having found the random tree within the 50 by 50 meter area of measurement,
five samples were taken from each tree using a small soil auger from 6 cm within the soil
next to the tree, facing north with a one meters distance between each soil sample
measured by meter sticks. Six trees will be tested in total from all the forests, two from
each of the three areas, the samples were put into a plastic bag, labeled with the distance
from the tree, which number tree and which forest the tree was from. After finishing
these steps, a leaf was taken from all of the trees analyzed. These steps were repeated for
all of the trees that were analyzed.

1. 2.
Image 1: Rapitest ph Soil Tester (www.amazon.com)
Image 2: Map of Drumlin Farm: blue = Hemlock Forest, red = Spruce forest, purple =
Red Pine forest (www.massaudubon.org)

Take out the Rapitest (pH testing capsules). Fill in the soil to the lowest line of the
rapitest capsule, then fill to the 10 mL line of a 10 mL beaker with distilled water. After
this add one pH Wide Range Test Tab Cap and mix by inverting until the tablet has
disintegrated. Wait for 1 minute. Bits of material may remain in the sample. Compare


7
the color of the sample to the pH color chart. Record the result as a pH measurement.
To test the pH of the leaf, take out a pestle and mortar. Put 5-15 of the trees sampled
needles in the mortar and add 10 mL of distilled water. Grind the leaves with the pestle
for two minutes with force. After that, take out a strip of litmus paper and drop the
liquid from the mortar on to the strip of litmus paper. Compare this to the pH color
strip. Do this for all of the trees leaves from which soil samples were collected.




8
RESULTS

Table 1: The effect of distance from a tree (m) on soil pH, as compared with the pH
of a leaf from the tree (Spruce)
Soil pH in Spruce Forest
Distance (m) Tree A Tree B Average
0 7.250 6.500 6.875
1 6.500 6.250 6.375
2 6.750 6.250 6.500
3 6.300 6.250 6.275
4 6.250 6.500 6.375

Leaf pH = 7.00 Leaf pH = 6.00 Leaf pH = 6.50

Table 2: The effect of distance from a tree (m) on soil pH, as compared with the pH
of a leaf from the tree (Hemlock)

Soil pH in Hemlock Forest
Distance (m) Tree C Tree D Average
0 6.750 6.000 6.375
1 6.500 6.250 6.375
2 6.000 6.500 6.250
3 7.250 5.500 6.750
4 7.500 6.250 6.875

Leaf pH = 5.00 Leaf pH = 5.00 Leaf pH = 5.00


Table 3: The effect of distance from a tree (m) on soil pH, as compared with the pH
of a leaf from the tree (Red Pine)

Soil pH in Red Pine Forest
Distance (m) Tree E Tree F Average
0 6.0 6.0 6.0
1 5.8 6.5 6.1
2 5.5 5.5 5.5
3 6.3 5.0 5.6
4 6.0 5.3 5.6

Leaf pH = 4.5 Leaf pH = 5 Leaf pH = 4.75









9
Graph 1: The effect of distance from a tree (m) on soil pH (Tree A & B)

Graph 2: The effect of distance from a tree (m) on soil pH (Tree C & D)

Graph 3: The effect of distance from a tree (m) on soil pH (Tree E & F)




10
In this project, two trees were tested within each of the three forests. The soil pH was
tested next to the tree up to 4 meters away, with 1-meter increments between each soil
test. A soil pH for one tree was usually similar to the soil pH for the other tree within
that forest. So was the pH of the leaves. However, other than these small similarities,
there was no specific increase in the trends or patterns within the data. It could be
assumed that the r
2
value was so high because of the few data points.

For practically all of the data samples, it became apparent that there originally seemed
to be some pattern with the increase or decrease of the soil pH. Then the last couple of
data points were outliers.

For the data collected at Spruce Forest, the soil pH was on average around 6.5, with one
outlier at 7.25. The outlier greatly affected the trend lines for the graph, as it offset the
whole balance. The r-squared value for the average of the Spruce Forest was 0.55
(rounded). The leaf pH for the first tree in Spruce was neutral, so it affected the soil pH
closer to the tree. In this forest, the averages seemed to follow a trend of increasing, and
then decreasing as the distance to the tree grew.

For Hemlock, the pH ranged from 5.5 to 7.5, not following any pattern. It was more of a
collection of random values. The r-squared value for Hemlock was approximately 0.64.
This is surprising, considering that one data point for pH was noticeably smaller than
the rest. Other than that one data point, the soil pH followed a trend of decreasing, as
the soil samples were slowly taken further away from the trees. The leaf pH remained
consistent.

With the data collected from Red Pine Forest, the pH seemed to follow a trend at first,
but it was disrupted. The r-squared value for Red Pine Forests was about 0.53. Much
like the soil pH of Hemlock Forest, the data eventually seemed like there was no trend.
There were two apparent outliers for this graph (6.1 and 5.5). All of the data points fell
around 5.0-6.0. The samples were the most acidic here.





11

DISCUSSION

This experiment was conducted to test the correlation between the distance from a tree
(m) on soil pH, as compared to the pH of a leaf from the tree. The hypothesis for this
experiment was: If the distance from the tree increases, then the pH in the soil will
increase, because the acidity decreases from the lack of leaves decomposing
(http://sustainable-farming.rutgers.edu). This hypothesis was not supported because
factors such as wind could not be controlled. Therefore leaves shifted to different areas
making the soil more acidic in certain areas and less acidic when there were less leaves
absorbed at another soil data points. Even if this was controlled, the trees proximity to
one another was roughly about 2-3 meters close, and the boundaries of the leaves
overlapped, making some areas much more acidic than others.

The repercussion of data contradicting the original hypothesis was due to variables that
were not controllable. The data that was collected was precise and followed the
procedure for the experiment at all times, for every step. Based on these facts, there was
no experimental error, but simply no correlation in the data between the three forests
that were tested at Drumlin Farm, Lincoln, MA.

The majority of reliable sources answered that there is in fact a correlation between the
distance from tree and soil pH. When leaves of coniferous plants that have acidic leaves
sink into the O layer of the soil, that area where the leaves are absorbed into the soil
becomes more acidic than others. Therefore less or no leaves are absorbed due to the
higher level of acidity from the leaf. Therefore, resources on this subject claim that the
closer the soil sample is to the tree, the more leaves the soil is able to absorb. This is
supported because that leaves fall closer to their trees trunk, and so more acidic leaves
will be absorbed thus creating a more acidic soil layer (lsuagcenter.com). In this
experiment the sampling was also conducted at only coniferous locations, but showed
considerably different results than the topic resources that were viewed for information.

Other applicable causes for there being no correlation between the three forests are
because of variables that were beyond control. Such variables being the wind changing
the ideal landing point of the leaves destination to the ground. If all of the leaves had
landed to the ground without any other applied movements, the original hypothesis
would have had a higher likelihood of being supported. Factoring in these point would
have been beneficial to the hypothesis. Another reason for no correlation was the time of
season that the data collection took place. It was taken on March 7
th
, 2014, when all of
the leaves had been absorbed in the soil for a few months already, and the leaves were
working there way down into the A or B level of the ground. This made data collection
less precise as the leaves were not fresh in the first O level of the ground with acidity.All


12
data samples were taken six cm into the ground, though the soil sample that was put in
the rapitest pH tester was from the top most part of the soil auger within two cm of the
top most layer. Thus the soil sample being taken from the O level of the soil. The final
reason for the inconclusive data was the close proximity from one tree to another. At all
the three forests, the trees were all two to three meters apart. This caused an overlap
between the trees and therefore, if there was no wind there still would have been overlap
in acidity between the trees, thus creating very high acidity areas at points of overlap
and also lower areas (http://www.fao.org). For these reasons the results between the
three forests had no correlation, and is improper to suggest that there is any assurity in
these results.

The r
2
value for the experiment was high, approximating at .6 for the three forests, but
in the experiment there had to be a trend showing that the pH of the soil either got more
acidic as the distance increased or less, in this case the data was to ranged to make any
conclusions. Demonstrated in the graphs there were two major outliers for each one. If
these were taken out then the data would show that there was a steady increase in
acidity in both Spruce and Red Pine Forest. But Hemlock Forests data without the two
outliers would have shown that the more the distance increased the more basic the soil
got. The data was precise though, ranging in data by only .8 in soil pH. Yet due to the
fact that outliers cannot be canceled, and two, not three forests showed similar data, the
forests had no correlation that could be noted.

Though there was no correlation between the distance and soil pH, there was a small
correlation between the acidity of a leaf and the acidity of the soil under the tree. At Red
Pine forest the leaves pH was very low, thus being more acidic. After doing tests in the
soil pH it came to be that the pH was more acidic than the Spruce and Hemlock forest.
This meant that the trees leaf pH had a direct correlation between the soil pH. This
being because the leaves were absorbed by the soil after they fell, and thus collected the
acidity of the leaf after it decomposed. The new hypothesis for this experiment would be
that if the leaves of the tree is acidic then the soil will be more acidic because the leaves
acidity is absorbed by the soil (trees of the world, 121).

There are ways that this experiment could have been modified for better results in the
future. So that there can be a better understanding of this concept of the effects of
distance from tree on soil pH. The most ideal way to conduct the experiment is to get
your own private indoor greenhouse from your money sponsor. Plant six trees, three
different species of trees, with two of each, all ten meters apart. Let all of the plants grow
adding the same amount of fertilizer and water to each of them. Then wait for all of the
leaves to fall and then a month to two months later do the take the soil samples, as the
leaves will be fresh in the O layer. Doing this would prevent any outside disturbance
such as wind, season, and proximity, all of which would have been able to be controlled


13
at this greenhouse (http://www.lsuagcenter.com). Following this process would ensure
no errors and variables that were not able to be controlled, due to outside weather, could
be controlled doing the experiment in this way.

Sufficient data was collected to test the hypothesis in this experiment, with a total of 30
data points in total, five from soil samples from each of the six trees. The new hypothesis
then being: if the leaves of the tree is acidic then the soil will be more acidic because the
leaves acidity is absorbed by the soil (trees of the world, 121). Some other errors in the
testing, in which the samplers did have control over were not rinsing the soil auger after
every sample, which led to errors; such as later soil samples being contaminated by the
previous ones, partially changing its pH. The quantity of soil was not too large to have a
major effect on the pH though future scientists would not want to make this mistake. To
avoid this, soil auger must be washed everytime. During the first six tests with the
rapitest pH testing kit, the inside was thrown into the soil, contaminating the soil with
chemicals, but starting from approximately the seventh test the inside slurry of the kit
was put in a bottle for later chemical disposal. To avoid polluting the environment,
dump the slurry of the rapitest kit into the bottle for every pH test of the experiment.

Questions about this experiment would be how the size of the tree may affect the soil pH
as more leaves would have fallen on the ground. This was not factored in when
conducting the experiment, and when comparing with different trees, the size of the tree
should have been more close. Red Pine Forests tree size was a lot larger than Hemlock
and Spruce Forest, and Red Pine similarly had a higher acidity that may have been due
to the naturally larger size of this species of trees (http://www2.hawaii.edu). Another
question that arose was how fast leaves fully absorbed into the soil. When conducting
the experiment on March 7
th
all the leaves had fallen from the trees approximately five
months ago, yet it was seen that there still were a lot of leaves on the ground, meaning
that all the leaves were not absorbed in the O or deeper layers such as the A, B or even
the deepest, C layer. This process of the leaves deteriorating back into the soil is called
the nutrient cycle. This is where the soil absorbs the leaf and takes in its nutrients such
as high levels of healthy nitrogen, phosphorus and other organic matter. Seasons
primarily have an effect on the decomposition of leaves, and warm weather. With the
winter of 2013-2014 in Massachusetts, factors such as snow, had a large effect on the
soil decomposition. Weather, and the still cold weather were the main reasons for the
slow soil decomposition (http://www.fao.org).

Future scientists should research more in depth on how the pH of a leaf affects the soil
pH, as there was a small correlation in that. This could help to gardeners and farmers as
many plants need more acidic soil to grow and the gardener may want to have a more
acidic tree such as a Red Pine bordering it to provide the acidic soil it needs to thrive.
This research would be beneficial to all farmers and gardeners who are curious as to why


14
some plants grow better in some areas and not others.
(http://njsustainingfarms.rutgers.edu)






15

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I, Irfan Chaudhuri, would like to thank Zetty Cho for being an outstanding lab partner
throughout the Knights of Science project. She was always attentive in taking data,
making sure that the process went smoothly, and providing feedback and topic ideas to
the process of the experiment. I would like to thank Mr. Ewins for teaching us how to
take data to conduct the experiment and providing constructive feedback in our paper.
Thanks goes out to Ms. Bomfim, Ms. Brooks and Ms. Jamison, for being at the three
forests that we went to at Drumlin Farm, and helping with data collection. I would also
like to thank the staff of Drumlin Farm for helping to guide us through the farm, and
safely send us through the farm site. Lastly I would like to thank BB&N for funding this
experiment.

I, Zetty Cho, would like to thank Irfan Chaudhuri for being a spectacular lab partner
throughout the Knights of Science field studies and papers. He was great at getting
sources to help with our research, and stayed calm, composed and on track throughout
data collection, even when there were small distractions and we realized that there
wasnt much correlation within our experiment. I would like to also thank Mr. Ewins for
being our teacher, editing our drafty-drafts, and showing us possible methods we could
use for data collection at Drumlin Farm. Thanks to Ms. Bomfim, Ms. Brooks, and Ms.
Jamison for being the chaperones at the three forest we went to during the testing day.
Also, thank you to the staff at Drumlin Farm for telling us more about the tree species
and locations of each forest. Finally, thank you to BB&N for creating this project, and
supplying us with the necessary equipment needed for the testing.





16

WORKS CITED

Citations Used For Introduction

Bassuk, Nina, Marcia Eames-Sheavly, and Robert Kozlowski. "Gardening Resources,
Cornell University." Gardening Resources, Cornell University. Department of
Horticulture, Cornell University, 14 June 2013. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsheets/ecogardening/mineffortorn.html
>.
Bickelhaupt, Donald. "Soil PH: What It Means." Soil PH: What It Means. ESF, 2014.
Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/soilph/soilph.htm>.
"Effects of Acid Rain - Forests." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 4 Dec. 2012.
Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/effects/forests.html>.
Londo, Andrew J., John D. Kushla, and Robert C. Carter. "Soil PH and Tree Species
Suitability in the South." LSU AgCenter. LSU Ag Center, 13 June 2012. Web. 01
Mar. 2014.
<http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/our_offinces/parishes/bossier/features/forest
ry_wildlife/soil-ph-and-tree-species-suitability-in-the-south.htm>.
Rabin, Jack. "Improving Soils with Leaves and Other Local Organic Wastes." Improving
Soils with Leaf Application. N.p., 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://njsustainingfarms.rutgers.edu/soilcompost.html>.
Shinn, Meghan. "Leaves and Soil PH." Horticulture. N.p., 2 Nov. 2010. Web. 7 Mar.
2014. <http://www.hortmag.com/featured/leaves-and-soil-ph>.




17
Citations Used For Discussion

Bassuk, Nina, Marcia Eames-Sheavly, and Robert Kozlowski. "Gardening Resources,
Cornell University." Gardening Resources, Cornell University. Department of
Horticulture, Cornell University, 14 June 2013. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsheets/ecogardening/mineffortorn.html
>.
Bot, Alexander. "The Importance of Soil Organic Matter." The Importance of Soil Organic
Matter. FAO, 2005. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
Hue, N.V. "Acid Soils in Hawaii: Problems and Management." Soil Acidity. University of
Hawaii, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
(ISSS), International Science of Soil. "World Reference Base for Soil Resources." World
Reference Base for Soil Resources. World Reference Base for Soil Resources, 1998. Web.
17 Apr. 2014.
Londo, Andrew J., John D. Kushla, and Robert C. Carter. "Soil PH and Tree Species
Suitability in the South." LSU AgCenter. LSU Ag Center, 13 June 2012. Web. 01
Mar. 2014.
<http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/our_offinces/parishes/bossier/features/forest
ry_wildlife/soil-ph-and-tree-species-suitability-in-the-south.htm>.
Rabin, Jack. "Improving Soils with Leaves and Other Local Organic Wastes." Improving
Soils with Leaf Application. N.p., 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://njsustainingfarms.rutgers.edu/soilcompost.html>.
Russell, Tony. Trees of the World. London: Anness, 2007. Print. Lorenz Books.


pHreaky Conductivity
The effect of Soil pH on Soil
Conductivity
A Study By:
Daniel Noenickx SIN S82-12
-&-
Tayseer Chowdhury SIN S82-3
Table of Contents
!
Section Author Page
Abstract
Introduction
Materials & Methods
Results
Discussion
Acknowledgements
Works Cited
Appendix
Tayseer Chowdhury
Daniel Noenickx
Tayseer Chowdhury
Daniel Noenickx
Tayseer Chowdhury
Both Authors
Both Authors
Daniel Noenickx
3
3
4
6
10
12
13
14
ABSTRACT
To find whether or not the pH in soil affects the electrical conductivity (EC) in
any way, a group was sent to test the soil pH and conductivity in the sites of Farmyard,
Vernal Pond, and Spruce Forest, at Drumlin Farm, in Lincoln, MA. The original
hypothesis was that: If the pH level is low (acidic), then the conductivity will increase,
because low pH means there is an increase in hydrogen ion concentration, giving more
ions for electrical currents to pass through (Goodarzi, 7). However, after several data
points were collected, a problem was found: Checking the EC consisted of just sticking
the probe into the ground, but the pH was a bit more challenging. It was believed that to
check the pH, a soil sample would be taken, and used to fill a pH Rapitest kit to the
dotted line, before putting in a whole pH test pill into the solution, and allowed to settled.
But it was told that the pill was supposed to be split. The white powder on the inside was
supposed to be put into the mixture, and the color of the mixture was observed. The data
was all collected incorrectly, so new sites were chosen to collect data: the BB&N
Grounds, the Noenickx backyard, and the Chowdhury backyard. However, as the data
was collected and put into graphs and tables, it was discovered that the r
2
value was too
low to show any correlation between the pH and the EC of the soil. This was most likely
because EC is a measurement of all the ions in the soil, not just Hydrogen ions, so the
number of other ions in the soil outweighed the pHs significance as an individual to the
conductivity. However, it is also possible that, because our EC meter measured in
millisiemens per centimeter, which is a less precise unit than microsiemens per
centimeter at this level. Therefore, the data is not as precise as it could have been. When
this experiment is next done, the data should be collected in microsiemens/centimeter, as
it will be more accurate and it would be possible to see a minuscule correlation between
the pH and the EC of the soil.
INTRODUCTION
The Power of Hydrogen (pH) measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in
a solution, and tells how basic or acidic a substance is. A hydrogen ion forms when a
hydrogen atom has a positive charge. Conductivity is the measure of how well a material
can conduct an electrical current, higher conductivity has been found to increase the yield
on farms (Grisso, 3). Crop yield is also best when soil pH is close to neutral, 7 on the pH
scale (Stites). Both pH and conductivity affect the yield of crops, so it suggests that they
may affect one another.
The experiment will be conducted at three different locations in Massachusetts.
The three sites are: behind the BB&N Middle School Science Labs, Cambridge, MA;
Noenickx Backyard, South Boston, MA; and Chowdhury Backyard, Medford, MA.
BB&N has few trees and receives a large amount of sunlight. The Noenickx Backyard
has large amount of grass, trees and plants. The Chowdhury Backyard is weedy, and
receives a large amount of sunlight. There are differences among the sites which may
change the soil pH. It is believed that when the soil pH changes it will affect the
conductivity. The soil at each site is exposed to different amounts of sunlight, have
!
different plants, temperatures, animals, moistness, are cared for differently, and the
texture of the soil varies at each site.
The growth and health of plants is affected by the pH of the soil (esf.edu). The pH
of soil depends on the soil's parent rock, weathering, rainfall received, the structure of
soil, and the overlying vegetation, many of these factors also affect the conductivity of
soil. pH affects the availability of nutrients to plants (fofweb.com). Soil pH can also be
affected by leaching of materials into the soil, or decomposing organisms (esf.edu).
Conductivity measures how well a substance can carry electrical current. Studies have
found that higher conductivity produces a higher yield in crops (Grasso, 3), and neutral
soil results in higher crop yield (Stities). Higher pH would mean there are more ions in
the substance, because there are more hydrogen ions in the substance there would be
more ions to carry the electrical current (Goodarzi, 7).
The proposed experiment is the effect of soil pH on soil conductivity. The objective
of the experiment is to see if there is a correlation between soil pH and soil conductivity.
This will be tested by collecting ten soil samples from each of the three different sites,
and testing the pH level and conductivity of each sample. The independent variable for
the experiment will be soil pH, and will be measured using the pH scale. The dependent
variable for the experiment will be conductivity, which will be measured in siemens per
meter (S/m). Important controlled variables include: tool used to measure conductivity
and pH, day of soil sampling, procedure for measuring conductivity and pH, the amount
of soil per sample, and how deep the soil samples are collected. The hypothesis presented
for this experiment is: If the pH level is low (acidic), then the conductivity will increase,
because low pH means there is an increase in hydrogen ion concentration, giving more
ions for electrical currents to pass through (Goodarzi, 7).
With the information collected from this experiment, farmers will have a better grasp on
how fertilizers change the acidity and conductivity of soil. Using the information
gathered there can be a higher yield of crops from a smaller piece of land by making the
soil pH and conductivity fit the needs of the crops. Farmers can also use the information
gathered from this experiment to use the fertilizers to change the pH, which in return will
alter the conductivity without them having to add chemicals to change the conductivity.
MATERIALS & METHODS
The original method used to find 10 random sites was made using the quadrats-
with-coordinates technique. At each site, a 10-by-10 meter square was created, with each
meter on each line marked with a single flag. Progressing from the bottom-left corner of
the square, each point, chosen by the random function on a calculator, was then where we
could collect our data samples. However, the error caused a need to change the method,
because the new sites did not have enough space for a 10-by-10 meter square.
In order to choose the 10 random soil samples from each site,a 9-meter line was
measured, and at each meter was a data point. The EC was measured using the probe, and
!
a small auger was used to gather the soil. This soil was used to measure the acidity of the
area, using the pH Rapitest kit.
To test the soil pH using the soil pH test kit, about 20 mL of soil was put into a
soil pH test kit. Distilled water was then used to fill the test kit to the top of the dotted
line. The test kit was then shaken for 20 seconds to easily and efficiently stir up the
mixture. The color of the solution was then compared to the key on the face of the test
kit. The number was recorded in the Field Notebook, and the process was repeated with
all the remaining samples.
Figure 1: The pH rapid test kit. This figure shows what the soil pH kit is like, and gives us
a side-by-side comparison of a solution after the pill is added, to the colors on the chart
to show the acidity of the soil.
Conductivity of the soil was tested using the EC probe, and rinse water. At each
point, the EC probe was simply stuck into the ground, gently, so as not to break it, and
allowed to sit for 15 seconds, before the number was recorded in the Field Notebook and
the process was repeated at the remaining data points.
!
Figure 2: The EC meter. The EC
meter was used to find the
electrical conductivity of each
data point, measuring it in
millisiemens per centimeter.
RESULTS
1able 1: 1he eecL of soll pP on soll
conducuvlLy (88&n)
1able 1: 1he eecL of soll pP on soll
conducuvlLy (88&n)
1able 1: 1he eecL of soll pP on soll
conducuvlLy (88&n)
pP
ConducuvlLy
(mS/cm)
0 meLers 7.00 0.01
1 meLer 6.50 0.01
2 meLers 7.00 0.00
3 meLers 6.50 0.00
4 meLers 6.50 0.01
3 meLers 7.00 0.00
6 meLers 6.50 0.00
7 meLers 7.00 0.00
8 meLers 7.00 0.00
9 meLers 7.00 0.00
Average 6.80 0.00
SLandard uevlauon 0.26 0.00
1able 2: 1he eecL of soll pP on soll
conducuvlLy (noenlckx)
1able 2: 1he eecL of soll pP on soll
conducuvlLy (noenlckx)
1able 2: 1he eecL of soll pP on soll
conducuvlLy (noenlckx)
pP
ConducuvlLy
(mS/cm)
0 meLers 6.00 0.05
1 meLer 6.00 0.04
2 meLers 6.50 0.07
3 meLers 6.00 0.04
4 meLers 7.00 0.05
3 meLers 5.50 0.06
6 meLers 6.00 0.06
7 meLers 6.50 0.08
8 meLers 6.00 0.05
9 meLers 6.50 0.08
Average 6.20 0.06
SLandard uevlauon 0.42 0.01
!
1able 3: 1he eecL of soll pP on soll
conducuvlLy (Chowdhury)
1able 3: 1he eecL of soll pP on soll
conducuvlLy (Chowdhury)
1able 3: 1he eecL of soll pP on soll
conducuvlLy (Chowdhury)
pP
ConducuvlLy
(mS/cm)
0 meLers 6.00 0.01
1 meLer 6.00 0.01
2 meLers 6.00 0.01
3 meLers 6.00 0.01
4 meLers 6.50 0.00
3 meLers 6.00 0.01
6 meLers 6.00 0.00
7 meLers 6.00 0.00
8 meLers 6.50 0.01
9 meLers 6.00 0.00
Average 6.10 0.01
SLandard uevlauon 0.21 0.01
Table 4: The effect of soil pH on soil conductivity (All Averages)
pP average
pP SLandard
uevlauon
ConducuvlLy
Average
ConducuvlLy
SLandard
uevlauon
88&n 6.8 0.26 0 0
noenlckx 6.2 0.42 0.06 0.01
Chowdhury 6.1 0.21 0.01 0.01
!
"#$%& () *&+ +,,+-. /, %0 /1 2/134-.565.7 89:: ;$.$<
uiaph 2: The effect of pB on Conuuctivity (Inuiviuual Locations)
uiaph S: The effect of pB on Conuuctivity (Aveiage pB's)
8
uiaph 4: The effect of pB on Conuuctivity (Aveiage Conuuctivities)
uiaph one shows all the uata sepaiateu by location. The blue is BB&N, the
ieu Noenickx Backyaiu, anu the gieen is Chowuhuiy backyaiu. Eveiy uata point
acioss all locations aie in the iange of S.S-8.u foi pB. BB&N's uata points aie
gatheieu aiounu each othei in a squaieu on the 6 anu 7 foi pB, anu u.uu anu u.u1on
the conuuctivity scale. The i squaieu value is u.126 anu the line points to the bottom
iight coinei of the squaie shape. Noenickx backyaiu is still in the iang of S.S to 8.u
on the pB scale. 0nlike both BB&N anu Chowuhuiy it has conuuctivity levels highei
than u.u1. Noenickx has an i squaieu value of u.u11S, anu the lineai iegiession line
points uiagonally up anu to the iight unlike the othei two locations. Chowuhuiy
Backyaiu is similai to BB&N in the sense that it is in a squaie foimation on the u.u1
anu u.uu of conuuctivity. The only uiffeience is it is shifteu to the iight by u.S pB.
Also, the i squaieu value is u.uu1 anu like BB&N it points to the bottom iight of the
squaie foimation.
Graph two is similar to one it the way that it shows all of the data, the difference
is the linear regression line is for the data all together. Here the r squared value is 0.062,
and the line is right between the Noenickx data and the other data. The line diagonally
points down towards BB&N.
Graph 3 shows the average pH of each location. BB&N has an average of 6.8 and
a standard deviation of 0.26. Noenickx has a value of 6.s and a standard deviation of
0.42. Chowdhury has a value of 6.1 with a standard deviation of 0.21. Noenickx has
major error bar overlap with Chowdhury and a slight overlap with BB&N, while BB&N
and Chowdhury clear each other with BB&N higher.
9
Finally, graph 4 shows the average value of conductivity per location. BB&N has
a conductivity value of 0.00, through and a standard deviation of 0.00. At BB&N all data
points had a 0.00 conductivity. Noenickx has a value of 6.0, much higher than both
BB&N and Chowdhury at 0.01. Noenickxs and Chowdhurys standard deviation is 0.01,
and none of the error bars overlap.
DISCUSSION
The hypothesis stated that: If the pH level is low (acidic), then the conductivity
will increase, because low pH means there is an increase in hydrogen ion concentration,
giving more ions for electrical currents to pass through (Goodarzi, 7). The hypothesis was
not supported because the conductivity levels were too low as a group. Almost all of the
points were .01 or 0 millisiemens per centimeter, but the pH varied too much for there to
be any correlation, as the conductivity did not seem to move in correlation with the pH.
A very reliable source had said that the level of pH does affect the electrical
conductivity (EC) in soil (Ouhadi, Shiraz). However, the data from this experiment does
not show any correlation. It is possible that, because the areas tested had a large amount
of leaves covering the top soil, the grass had less light to complete photosynthesis.
Because of this, the plants did not photosynthesize as much, and did not release as much
carbon dioxide (CO2) into the ground, causing the pH to stay acidic
(faculty.clintoncc.suny.edu/). Because EC is simply like a measurement of all nutrients in
the soil, it is possible that there were simply too many other variables in the soil to
accurately get a reading on whether or not the pH affected the EC in a direct and large
way.
However, the data collected may have been slightly inaccurate. For one, the
probes measured in millisiemens per centimeter, which is about 1000 times the size of
microsiemens per centimeter. Since it was not measured in microsiemens per centimeter,
the readings given by the EC probe was not as accurate as possible, which explained why
data like .01 ms/m would come up, rather than 100, or 75, or 22. Because it was a larger
unit, more was left out, so the reading was much less accurate.
Scatter plots were used to compare the data for each individual site, but when
comparing all three sites, a bar graph was used containing the averages for all the data.
One scatter plot with all the data was also created, showing the huge difference in data
from one site to the others. For the BB&N Grounds, the conductivity was, at most, .01
mS/cm. Since much of the data was the same, many of the points overlapped, making
only four points visible. The only four points that the data had, showed that the data
points either had .01 mS/cm with 6.5 pH, 0 mS/cm with 6.5 pH, .01 mS/cm with 7 pH,
and 0 mS/cm with 7 pH.
Graph 2, the graph of the Noenickx backyard, is a bit more exciting. The
Noenickx data, unlike any of the others, reaches heights of .08 mS/cm, with the lowest
being .04 mS/cm. Again, a few of the points were overlapping, but the actual problem
was the pH levels. Even though the Noenickx backyard conductivity was much higher
!"
than the other two sites, its pH levels were ranging from about 5.5 to 7. But, the
conductivity grew larger as the data points pH got higher, instead of lower. The
conductivity had increased with the decrease of Hydrogen ion concentration, which
should have made it more conductive rather than less.
Graph 3, from the Chowdhury backyard, was very similar to the graph of the
BB&N Grounds, most likely because the soil was very similar at both sites. It had all of
the data overlapping on 4 data points, and each pair had different conductivity levels, .01
and 0, but the pH levels were the same, having pH levels like 6 and 6.5. The data was
very similar to what the BB&N Grounds showed us.
The last scatter-plot graph, comparing the data from all three points, showed just
how different the Noenickx backyard is from the BB&N Grounds and the Chowdhury
backyard. In this graph, the data is shown more spread out. However, of the 6 points on
the bottom of the graph, there are actually 20 points shown: 10 from the BB&N Grounds
and 10 from the Chowdhury backyard. The rest of the data, starting with EC levels of .04
and up, are from the Noenickx backyard, showing that there is definitely something
different about how the Noenickx backyard is cared for. The Noenickx soil was very
different from the Chowdhury backyard and BB&N Grounds, which were very similar in
data.. However, all of the points were in the same range of pH, which shows that it may
be something else entirely that is affecting the conductivity.
The two bar graphs were just side-by-side comparisons of the averages of each
areas data. For the pH bar graph, it showed that the BB&N Grounds had the highest pH
average, having a 6.8, while the Noenickx backyard was in second with 6.2, and
Chowdhury in last with 6.1. However, in the conductivity graph, the Noenickx backyard
was largest, with a .06, compared to the .01 from the Chowdhury backyard and the 0
from the BB&N Grounds.
All of the regression bars were showed almost no correlation. A r
2
value of at
least .5 was needed to show there was a large correlation between the IV and DV.
However, none of sites got anywhere near that. The data had almost no trend, proving to
the experiment that there was little to no correlation between the pH and EC of the soil.
The data wasnt accurate enough to find a good reading. While the pH should
affect the EC, it is possible that the areas had large amounts of other nutrients and ions,
which would affect the amount of EC more than just the pH would. The EC was also
measured in millisiemens per centimeter, rather than microsiemens per millimeter.
Because of this, the data was most likely not as accurate as it would have been, because
the microsiemens would have allowed us to find more precise data for the experiment, to
show that there might have been differences between the data points. If it was measured
in microsiemens per centimeter instead, it could have been more precise and conclusive.
However, because it was not as precise as it could have been, I am standing by my 1st
hypothesis: If the pH level is low (acidic), then the conductivity will increase, because
!!
low pH means there is an increase in hydrogen ion concentration, giving more ions for
electrical currents to pass through (Goodarzi, 7).
The experiment was not perfect: it wasnt conclusive enough to find out whether
the hypothesis was correct. But a correlation may have been found if other data was
taken. There was also one very large error at Drumlin Farm: The data had been collected
wrong for the entire trip. We were supposed to split the pills and put the powder on the
inside, rather than the whole pill. This rendered all past data useless, and required that the
procedure be repeated for the experiment in other areas. If we had done all the data
correctly, the experiment would have been over much quicker, and there would have been
different data points. A new, beneficial experiment would be to see how much Hydrogen
there is in the nutrients of the soil, to see if the other nutrients do overweigh the
Hydrogens say in the soil pH.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to thank all the specialist at drumlin farm for helping us in finding
our locations. I would also like to thank Martha at Farmyard for helping us collect data
without being pestered by goats. Ms. Larocca also helped us throughout our paper and
experiment, and Ms. Schultheis for attempting to collect data correctly at the end of the
field trip.
Id like to thank everyone who was with us on each step of our experiment,
whether it was knowingly or unknowingly. For the very first thanks, I would like to thank
the science department, especially Mrs. LaRocca, for leading us throughout the entire
experiment and supplying us with the necessary tools, and Mrs. Schultheis, for pointing
out we had collected nearly all of our data points incorrectly. I would also like to thank
the people of Drumlin farm, for, even though we had incorrectly gathered data there, and
did not use the data at all, the specialists at each site was very helpful, gave whatever data
was needed, and also seemed very interested in everyones experiment. I would also like
to thank the internet and the library, for it provided us with the data that our hypothesis
could be true, and for the large amount of information that it had on the topics we needed.
Of course, I must also thank Easybib, for, without it, how would I cite my sources? So, as
to summarize it, thank you to everyone, for all who helped.
!"
WORKS CITED
Author 1 (Tayseer)
"A Citizen's Guide to Understanding and Monitoring Lakes and Streams."
Www.ecy.wa.gov. Department Of Ecology, State Of Washington, n.d. Web. 8 Mar.
2014. <http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/management/joysmanual/
streamph.html>.
"The Electrical Conductivity of Water." Smart-fertilizer.com. Smart!, n.d. Web. 8 Mar.
2014. <http://www.smart-fertilizer.com/articles/electrical-conductivity>.
Goodarzi, A. R., and V.R. Ouhadi. "FACTORS IMPACTING THE ELECTRO
CONDUCTIVITY VARIATIONS OF CLAYEY SOILS." Www.shirazu.ac.ir.
Shiraz University, Apr. 2007. Web. 7 Mar. 2014. <http://www.shirazu.ac.ir/en/
files/extract_file.php?file_id=724>. PDF
Gregory, Michael. Photosynthesis. Clinton.edu. Clinton Community College, n.d. Web.
14 Apr. 2014. <http://faculty.clintoncc.suny.edu/faculty/michael.gregory/files/bio
%20101/bio%20101%20laboratory/photosynthesis/photosynthesis.htm>.
Hanlon. "Soil PH and Electrical Conductivity: A County Extension Soil Laboratory
Manual." Edis.ifas.ufl.edu. University Of Florida, N.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
<http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/SS/SS11800.pdf>. PDF file
Author 2 (Danny)
Bickelhaupt, Donald. "Soil PH: What It Means." Soil PH: What It Means. College of
Environmental Science and Forestry, n.d. Web. 01 May 2014. <http://
www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/soilph/soilph.htm>.
Goodarzi, A. R., and V.R. Ouhadi. "FACTORS IMPACTING THE ELECTRO
CONDUCTIVITY VARIATIONS OF CLAYEY SOILS." Www.shirazu.ac.ir.
Shiraz University, Apr. 2007. Web. 7 Mar. 2014. <http://www.shirazu.ac.ir/en/
files/extract_file.php?file_id=724>. PDF
Grisso, Robert, Mark Alley, David Holshouser, and Wade Thomason. "Precision Farming
Tools: Soil Electrical Conductivity." Virginia Cooperative Extension. Virginia
Cooperative Extension, n.d. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/
442/442-508/442-508_pdf.pdf>.Publication 442-508.PDF
Stites, Dean. "The Effect of Soil PH on Crop Yield." The Morning Sun [Pittsburg PA] 30
Jan. 2011: n. pag. Web. <http://www.morningsun.net/x286173897/The-effect-
of-soil-pH-on-crop-yield>.
Rosen, Joe, and Lisa Quinn Gothard. "pH/pOH." Science Online. Facts On File, Inc.
Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE40&SID=5&iPin=EPS0166&SingleRecord=True>.
!"
!"
APPENDIX
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2
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This stuuy was testeu to ueteimine how soil type affecteu watei tuibiuity.
The hypothesis foi the expeiiment was: If a sanuiei soil is testeu, then the ponu
watei will have a lowei tuibiuity, because sanu is the most poious soil paiticle,
allowing the most amount of paiticles into the watei making the watei clouuiei
(http:www.hillsualecounty.info). This hypothesis was suppoiteu, even though the
uata was inconclusive, because of an oveilap of eiioi bais. The Boyce Ponu hau the
sanuiest soil anu hau the lowest tuibiuity; it hau the most minimal claiity anu also
the most piecise eiioi bai. Bathtub Ponu's eiioi bai foi tuibiuity oveilappeu with
Ice Ponu eiioi bais making the uata inconclusive.

()$%*+,&$(*)
Watei tuibiuity is the measuiement of watei claiity oi the "suspenueu
mateiials in watei" (www.switzeilanu.k12.in.us). When watei has less suspenueu
solius it is consiueieu less tuibiu than watei with moie suspenueu solius. When
watei is too tuibiu, it blocks out sunlight fiom getting to the bottom of the bouy of
watei, making it uifficult foi aquatic life to piospei. Watei tuibiuity in a ponu
uepenus on what kinu of soil is suiiounuing it anu how cohesive it is. Noie cohesive
soil means that the soil has poies anu is moie likely to flow into the suiiounuing
bouy of watei. When soil is less cohesive, the watei aiounu it will usually be less
tuibiu as well.
This expeiiment will be conuucteu at Biumlin Faim; a Wilulife Sanctuaiy
locateu in Lincoln, Nassachusetts. Biumlin Faim has S uiffeient ponus anu pools to
use foi uata collection. Foi this specific expeiiment the thiee following ponus will be
testeu: Bathtub Ponu, Ice Ponu, anu Boyce Ponu. Each ponu has vastly uiffeient
suiiounuing aieas, making uata collection at these thiee sights veiy inteiesting.
Some vaiiables that coulu affect the tuibiuity iesults aie soil eiosion, waste
uischaige, uiban iunoff, eiouing stieam banks, bottom feeueis, anu excessive algal
giowth (watei.epa.gov).
At each ponu, a uiffeient soil will be testeu incluuing silt, sanu, anu clay. Since
the silt anu clay paiticles aie the smallest, it means that clay soil is also the most
cohesive anu the paiticles binu togethei veiy easily. Since clay paiticles stick
togethei so well, they uo not eioue as fast into the watei, allowing watei with clay
anu silt boiueiing it to be less tuibiu. This, howevei, uoes not completely eliminate
all tuibiuity fiom aieas with silt anu clay soil. All watei is tuibiu to some extent
although some paiticles suspenueu in the watei aie invisible to the nakeu eye
(www.switzeilanu.k12.in.us). Tuibiuity also uepenus on how auhesive the watei is.
Auhesion is the tenuency of watei molecules to attiact to soil molecules (Bou, Baviu
www.pa.msu.euu). The watei can have many soil molecules in it anu they cannot
mix togethei, making the watei less tuibiu.

S
The pioposeu expeiiment is the effect of soil type on watei tuibiuity
(centimeteis). The objective of this expeiiment is to examine how uiffeient soil
types can have uiffeient effects on the watei aiounu them, giving us infoimation
about how cohesive the soil is anu how auhesive the watei is. Taking vaiious soils
will collect the uata anu tuibiuity samples at Biumlin Faim. The inuepenuent
vaiiable is the soil type anu it's habitat. The uepenuent vaiiable is watei tuibiuity
(centimeteis). The uay the expeiiment is being conuucteu on, the tuibiuity tube will
be useu anu the peison looking into the tuibiuity tube, how much watei is put into
the tube initially, anu finally wheie samples aie taken fiom at each ponu weie will
all be contiolleu to ensuie the most accuiate uata. The hypothesis set foith is if a
sanuiei soil is testeu, then the ponu watei will have a highei tuibiuity because sanu
is the most poious soil paiticle, allowing the most amount of paiticles thiough into
the watei making that watei clouuiei (www.hillsualecounty.info).
Fiom this expeiiment scientists at Biumlin Faim can pull infoimation about
what ponus have moie oi less aquatic animals anu why. This can help them bettei
unueistanu the health of theii ponus anu how to maintain them. They woulu also be
fuithei euucateu on how uiffeient types of soil thiive in watei, feeuing them
infoimation about why ceitain aieas of watei may be moie oi less clouuy. 0nce the
woilu unueistanus the ielationship between soil type anu watei tuibiuity, it will
give them a heau stait on the futuie anu how to know what kinus of species will
thiive in uiffeient aieas.

!"#$%&"'( "*+ !$#,-+(
uo to Biumlin Faim anu stait out with Bath Tub Ponu. Theie aie 4 sections
of each ponu to take tiails fiom South, Noith, East, anu, West. Aftei getting a
tuibiuity tube, measuie the watei until the watei fills to the top of the tuibiuity
tube. Stait fiom the noith section of the ponu; ueteimine caiuinal uiiection by using
compass. Bave one peison be the obseivei while the othei peison contiols the
spout. The obseivei will look uiiectly below uown thiough the tuibiuity tube while
the spout was open anu the watei level uecieaseu. 0nce the patteinmaikei is
visible at the bottom of the tube, the spout is closeu to stop watei flow. 0nce the
pattein is visible, anothei peison closes the spout contiollei. Next, wiite uown how
much watei is left in the tuibiuity tube until the pattein is seen, by looking at the
siue of the tuibiuity tube. Repeat these steps foi the othei caiuinal uiiections
(South, east, anu west), anu go to the next two ponus (Ice ponu anu Boyce ponu).
To iuentify a soil sample, go to the soil chait page in iefeience section of fielu
notebook. Place soil in the palm of hanu. Auu a uiop of uistilleu watei anu kneau the
soil into a smooth consistency. 0se the soil chait (locateu on page 2S) to help figuie
out what type of soil it is.


"


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S
Biagiam 2: This is a map of Biumlin Faim. Fiist stait uata collection at Bathtub
ponu, then Ice Ponu, anu then finally Boyce Ponu.


"#$%&'$
Table #1 - The effect of clay soil on watei tuibiuity

'()*+,+-. /012
Location Tiial 1 Tiial 2 Tiial S Aveiage
Stanuaiu
Beviation
Noith SS.1 S7.9 S1.8 S4.S S.2
South 4u.1 4u.4 41.2 4u.6 u.6
East Su.S S2.2 Su.4 S1 1.1
West 4S.1 S6.1 S4.8 S1.S 7.2

Table #2 - The effect of silt soil on watei tuibiuity:
'()*+,+-. /012
Location Tiial 1 Tiial 2 Tiial S Aveiage
Stanuaiu
Beviation
Noith Su.1 S2 S7.9 SS.S 4.1
South S8.2 42.S 44.S 48.S 8.6
East S1 S4.S S4.6 SS.S 2.u
West 48.1 47.9 46.7 47.6 u.8

Table #S - The effect of sanu soil on watei tuibiuity:
'()*+,+-. /012
Location Tiial 1 Tiial 2 Tiial S Aveiage
Stanuaiu
Beviation
Noith S4 41.9 29.2 SS.1 6.4
South S9.2 S7.9 SS.4 S6.8 S.u
East S9 42.1 4S.1 41.4 2.1
West S8.9 41.1 S9.S S9.8 1.1



6
Table #4 - All ponu compaiison:
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Location Noith South East West Aveiage
Stanuaiu
Beviation
(Clay)
Bathtub
Ponu
S4.S 4u.6 S1 S1.S S9.S 8.9
(Silt) Ice
Ponu
SS.S 48.S SS.S 47.6 4u.6 8.S
(Sanu)
Boyce
Ponu
SS.1 S6.8 41.4 S9.8 S8.S 2.8

uiaph #1 - The effect of clay soil on watei tuibiuity:


uiaph #2 - The effect of silt soil on watei tuibiuity:






u
1u
2u
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4u
Su
6u
7u
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9
weie stuuying. Fiist, I woulu like to thank all the natuialists at Biumlin Faim,
especially those woiking at Bathtub, Ice, anu Boyce Ponu. Without theii help anu
ueep knowleuge of the aiea, uata collection woulu not have been possible. I woulu
also like to thank the entiie BB&N science uepaitment, especially Ns. LaRocca. She
helpeu us eveiy step of the way fiom ueciuing what expeiiment we weie going to
conuuct to finalizing oui iepoit. This pioject woulu not have gone so smoothly
without hei help anu suppoit. Lastly, I woulu like to thank my paitnei Inis foi being
so helpful anu coopeiative thioughout the expeiiment. She was a big help anu
always hau gieat iueas to biing to the table.



"#$%&' ()
I woulu like to acknowleuge Beathei LaRocca foi helping us conuuct oui
pioceuuies in class anu helping us euit oui Nateiials anu Nethous Intiouuction.
Eveiyone at Biumlin helpeu us get aiounu anu conuuct oui expeiiment so I woulu
also like to thank eveiyone at Biumlin. I woulu like to acknowleuge the bus uiiveis
who uiove us to Biumlin anu all the teacheis who weie at each site anu helpeu us
when we neeueu it.

*&'+, -.$/0
"12345 6)
"S.S Tuibiuity." !"#$. 0niteu States Enviionmental Piotection Agency, 6 Nai.
2u12. Web. 9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:watei.epa.govtypeislmonitoiingvmsSS.cfm>.
Biucknei, Nonica Z.
"Factois Influencing Eiosion." %&'(")* ,-./0$-'1-2 3)"*1"-. Billsuale County
Community Centei, n.u. Web. u9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.hillsualecounty.infoplanningeuucuu4S.asp>.
Bou, Baviu.
"Neasuiing Lake Tuibiuity 0sing a Secchi Bisk." 4$&*0)1-2 5&6$ 70)8191(:
;*1-2 < =$''>1 ?1*6. Niciobial Life, 1S Bec. 2u1S. Web. 1u Nai. 2u14.
<http:seic.caileton.euumiciobelifeieseaich_methousenviion_samp
lingtuibiuity.html>.

1u
"Soil Cohesion." !"#$%&"'. ueotechuata.info, 1S Bec. 2u12. Web. 1u Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.geotechuata.infopaiameteicohesion.html>.
"Soil Eiosion." ()*&+,-&$'-$ /$%"0*-$% 1"* 2&)# ,-#""3 ,405$'4%. N.p., n.u. Web. 9
Nai. 2u14. <http:www.euu.pe.caagiicultuieeiosion.puf>.
"Soil Piopeities." ,"&3 6*"7$*4&$%. N.p., n.u. Web. 1u Nai. 2u14.
<http:osp.mans.euu.eggeotechnicalCh1C.htm>.
"Tuibiuity." 80*9&5&4:. Switzeilanu County School Coipoiation, n.u. Web. 1u
Nai. 2u14. <http:www.switzeilanu.k12.in.uswateisheutuibiu.html>.
"Why Is It Easiei to Walk on Wet Sanu Then on Biy Sanu." ;#: <% <4 =>%&$* 4"
;>3? "' ;$4 ,>'5 8#$' "' @*: ,>'5A Lansing State }ouinal, 12 Aug. 1992. Web.
1u Nai. 2u14. <http:www.pa.msu.euusciencetask_stu81292.html>.

!"#$%& ()
"S.S Tuibiuity." 2"B$. 0niteu States Enviionmental Piotection Agency, 6 Nai. 2u12.
Web. 9 Nai. 2u14. <http:watei.epa.govtypeislmonitoiingvmsSS.cfm>.
Biucknei, Nonica Z. "Neasuiing Lake Tuibiuity 0sing a Secchi Bisk." C$>%0*&')
D>?$ 80*9&5&4: E%&') ( ,$--#& @&%?. Niciobial Life, 1S Bec. 2u1S. Web. 1u Nai.
2u14.
<http:seic.caileton.euumiciobelifeieseaich_methousenviion_sampling
tuibiuity.html>.
"Factois Influencing Eiosion." F>-4"*% <'130$'-&') =*"%&"'. Billsuale County
Community Centei, n.u. Web. u9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.hillsualecounty.infoplanningeuucuu4S.asp>.
Bou, Baviu. "Why Is It Easiei to Walk on Wet Sanu Then on Biy Sanu." ;#: <% <4
=>%&$* 4" ;>3? "' ;$4 ,>'5 8#$' "' @*: ,>'5A Lansing State }ouinal, 12 Aug.

11
1992. Web. 1u Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.pa.msu.euusciencetask_stu81292.html>.
"Soil Cohesion." !"#$%&"'. ueotechuata.info, 1S Bec. 2u12. Web. 1u Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.geotechuata.infopaiameteicohesion.html>.
"Soil Eiosion." ()*&+,-&$'-$ /$%"0*-$% 1"* 2&)# ,-#""3 ,405$'4%. N.p., n.u. Web. 9 Nai.
2u14. <http:www.euu.pe.caagiicultuieeiosion.puf>.
"Soil Piopeities." ,"&3 6*"7$*4&$%. N.p., n.u. Web. 1u Nai. 2u14.
<http:osp.mans.euu.eggeotechnicalCh1C.htm>.
"Tuibiuity." 80*9&5&4:. Switzeilanu County School Coipoiation, n.u. Web. 1u Nai.
2u14. <http:www.switzeilanu.k12.in.uswateisheutuibiu.html>.









The effect of nitrate level (ppm) on pond organism density








Maa Cullen (S81-3)
Emory Sabatini (S81-13)


2
TABLE OF CONTENTS




Section Primary Author Page
Abstract Cullen, Maa 3
Introduction Cullen, Maa 3
Materials and Methods Cullen, Maa 5
Results Sabatini, Emory 6
Discussion Sabatini, Emory 10
Acknowledgments Cullen, Maa
Sabatini, Emory 14
Works Cited Cullen, Maa
Sabatini, Emory 15























3

ABSTRACT
This experiment was conducted at Drumlin Farms, in Lincoln, MA, and
was designed to test the effect of nitrate levels on organism density. Nitrates are
a common component in most fertilizers, and this experiment was designed to
see how these fertilizers would affect pond life and organism growth. In order to
test the nitrate levels and organism density, fifteen trials were collected at each
pond, first testing the nitrate levels with the Vernier Nitrate Probe, and then
collecting small samples, and counting the visible organisms using a magnifying
device. It was expected that the organism density would be higher if the nitrate
levels were lower. This is because a higher concentration of nitrates sparks algal
blooms. This sudden and large amount of algae uses most of the dissolved
oxygen to fuel itself, causing other animals and plants to die of oxygen depletion.
The results showed that the effect of nitrate on organism density was minimal,
and almost nonexistent. The data was overall very inconclusive and imprecise.
Vernal Pool had 0 organisms for all 15 trials, while the organism density for the
other ponds was much higher, but still inconclusive. Poultry Pond had the least
precision, and the data was very similar for nitrate levels. Boyce Pond had mixed
precision, but samples with 51-60 organisms were conclusively higher in nitrate
than samples with 31-40. Overall the data was inconclusive, showing a low
correlation between nitrate levels and organism density.

INTRODUCTION
About 78% of the air that is breathed by animals is made up of nitrogen.
In 1772 scientist Daniel Rutherford discovered nitrogen, naming it noxious air.
Around the same time, scientists Scheele, Cavendish, and Priestley were
studying dephlogisticated air, which was a theory to explain combustion. This air
had no oxygen, and nitrogen became known as air without oxygen
(http://www.webelements.com/). Nitrogen is used in fertilizer and is emitted by
sewage waste. High nitrate levels in a body of water are usually associated with
runoff from a water treatment plant or fertilizers in crops or fields. Nitrogen is
an essential element to plant life, and
is crucial to the growth and
nourishment of microorganisms in
water (http://water.usgs.gov). The
nitrogen cycle (as shown in figure 1)
shows how nitrogen moves from one
state to another through air and
water. It originates in the air, moving
into the water in the form of algae.
Organisms will consume the algae,
causing decay of organic matter. The
organic matter turns into nitrates,
and ammonium, which slowly move
up and back into the air to repeat the
cycle.
This experiment will be conducted at Drumlin Farm, located in Lincoln,
MA. There are 5 different ponds inside the 312 acres of the farm. The ponds that
will be tested in this experiment are Poultry Pond, Bathtub Pond, and Vernal
Figure 1: Nitrogen Cycle


4
Pool. Poultry Pond is located near the animal enclosures, meaning it gets the
runoff water and manure. Vernal Pool is located on the edge of the farms
perimeter, and Boyce Pond is located just south of Boyce Field, and is
surrounded by fields, receiving run off from the crop soil.
When visiting Drumlin Farms in September, it was observed that Poultry
Pond had a large amount of algae covering the surface. This observation can be
helpful to make inferences about which ponds will have a higher density of
organisms, based on how nitrate affects algae. If nitrates increase in a certain
pond, the algae or plant life will increase as well, since nitrate is a source of food
for many aquatic plants (peer.tamu.edu/). When there is a large amount of
algae, the amount of dissolved oxygen in water decreases, because the algae are
not able to complete photosynthesis at night (www.ces.ncsu.edu/). When the
dissolved oxygen levels decrease, fish kills occur because fish are not able to
breathe in enough oxygen through their gills to survive. This shows that nitrates
can indirectly affect the organisms of a pond (www.nccwep.org/).
In this experiment, the independent variable is the nitrate levels for each
pond and the dependent variable is the density of species per pond. In the
proposed experiment, the variables that will be kept constant are the amount of
water tested for each trial, the probe brand and model, the organism counting
method, and the location of water collection within each pond. In addition, the
experiment will be conducted with the same weather or water temperature
throughout the testing and collecting procedures.
The hypothesis set forth is: If nitrate levels are higher in a specific pond
then the organism density will decrease in that pond because when nitrate levels
are higher, algae and other water plant growth increases (peer.tamu.edu). When
algae increases, there is also a decrease in dissolved oxygen levels
(www.sjrwmd.com). This is because the algae uses large amounts of dissolved
oxygen to fuel itself during the nighttime when it cannot complete
photosynthesis (www.nccwep.org). Also, bacteria use the dissolved oxygen to
feed on the algae (www.lenntech.com). Because of these two factors the
organism density decreases because they cannot survive without a sufficient
amount of dissolved oxygen (www.ces.ncsu.edu).
This experiment has the potential to help improve overall understanding
of why different ponds and environments have different organism densities, as
well as what the best environment for water organisms to prosper in. This
experiment will also further the comprehension of nitrates and their influence
on water quality and aquatic organisms. It will help bring up new questions and
experiments to increase knowledge and maybe prevent fish kills caused by too
much nitrate in the future.






5
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This experiment took place
at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA.
The three ponds that were tested
(see figure 1) are Boyce Pond (#15),
Poultry Pond (#11) and Vernal Pool
(#14). Three different ponds were
being tested in this experiment,
with fifteen trials each (total of 45
trials). Each pond had five different
trial spots around the perimeter,
where water was taken three times
at each spot to test both the nitrate
levels and species density for each
of the three trials.
In order to randomly determine
the five points of testing around the perimeter of each pond, the Ti-Nspire
calculator (see figure 3) was used to generate 5 different numbers in between 1
and 360 for each pond. These points represent angles, and a compass was used
to point in show the direction that was represented by the angle degree. Each of
these points was then marked using stakes, to remember where the testing/data
collection points were. At the first point, water was collected in three 118 mL
containers, in order to have three different samples at each point around the
perimeter of the pond.
The pre-calibrated Vernier Nitrate Ion Selective Electrode (see figure 2)
was connected to the Ti-Inspire Calculator
(see figure 3), and then rinsed using the
distilled water provided. The tip of the
nitrate probe was inserted into the water
sample in order to
calculate the nitrate
level. The probe was left
in the sample for sixty
seconds; long enough to
settle on a reading. The
reading was then recorded into the data table, as well as the
Ti-Nspire Calculator. This process was repeated for each of
the three samples so that 3 different readings were obtained
at each test site. These steps were repeated for each stake
around the pond to have an overall idea of the ponds nitrate
levels.
Each of these water samples was also examined using the magnifying
device to estimate the number of organisms each sample contained. The results
were then recorded in the same table as the nitrate levels (one table per pond).
These steps were repeated for the three different ponds in order to have 45 total
trials for both nitrate level and organism density.



Figure 2: Vernier Nitrate Ion-
Selective Probe
Figure 1: Drumlin Farm Sites
Figure 3: Ti-
Nspire Calculator


6
RESULTS

Table 1: The effect of nitrate level (ppm) on pond organism density at Vernal
Pool



Table 2: The effect of nitrate level (ppm) on pond organism density at Boyce
Pond


7


Table 3: The effect of nitrate level (ppm) on pond organism density at Poultry
Pond



Graph 1: The effect of average nitrate level (ppm) on estimated pond organism
density at Vernal Pool


8

Graph 2: The effect of nitrate level (ppm) on pond organism density at Boyce
Pond



Graph 3: The effect of nitrate level (ppm) on pond organism density at Poultry
Pond



9

Graph 4: The effect of nitrate level (ppm) on pond organism density at all Ponds



Graph 4 shows that increases in nitrate levels do not correlate with
increases in organism density, as results are staggered between and within each
pond. At Poultry Pond, nitrate levels for organism counts between 1 and 10, 21
and 30, and 31 and 40 all averaged to 2.4 ppm, while nitrate levels for organism
counts between 11 and 21 averaged to 2.7. Standard deviations for Poultry Pond
organism counts were large, the highest being 1.2., creating an error bar that
overlapped with all others. At Boyce Pond, results were somewhat staggered,
though as shown in Graph 2, nitrate levels rose with organism counts, with the
exception of counts ranging between 1 and 10. Counts ranging between 11 and 20
had an average nitrate level of 2.3 ppm, while counts between 21 and 30 had an
average nitrate level of 2.9 ppm. Finally, estimations from 51 to 60 had an
average nitrate level of 3.5 ppm. This shows a correlation between nitrate levels
and organism density. However, error bars overlap extensively between all four-
organism densities.
Graph 1 shows that Vernal Pool,
while having a middle average of 2.5
ppm for the nitrate level, contained
zero detectable organisms in the water.
The highest nitrate level for the pond,
as shown in Table 1, was 4.2 ppm, and
the lowest level was 1.0 ppm. At
testing Location 4 (Trials 10, 11, and
12), some of the highest nitrate levels
were recorded. At this location, a
fallen tree was lying in the water, its
Figure 1: Vernal Pool, Testing
Location 4


10
roots half-submerged in the pond. The water surrounding the trunk was a
yellow-green color, and foam covered the surface of the water (See figure 1), but
no organisms were found at the testing site.
Boyce Pond had the highest and lowest averages overall for nitrate levels,
the highest being 3.5 ppm for counts between 51 and 60. The lowest was 2.3 ppm
for counts between 11 and 20. Data overall was fairly imprecise, with nitrate
levels ranging between 1 and 5 ppm. Organism density was also very imprecise,
with the lowest amount of organism recorded being 0, and the highest being
between 51 and 60. Data for organism counts between 31 and 40 at Poultry Pond
proved to be the most precise, the average nitrate level being 2.4 ppm, although
only one point of data was recorded for this count. The second most precise data
point was at Boyce Pond, for organism counts within 51 and 60. The average
nitrate level for this count was 3.5. Overall, data was shown to be fairly staggered
and imprecise.

DISCUSSION
This experiment was conducted to determine whether there is a
correlation between nitrate levels and pond organism density. The original
hypothesis for this experiment was: If nitrate levels are higher in a specific pond
then the organism density will decrease in that pond because when nitrate levels
are higher, algae and other water plant growth increases (peer.tamu.edu). When
algae increases, there is also a decrease in dissolved oxygen levels
(www.sjrwmd.com) because the algae uses large amounts of dissolved oxygen to
fuel itself during the nighttime when it cannot complete photosynthesis
(www.nccwep.org) and bacteria use the dissolved oxygen to feed on the algae
(www.lenntech.com). Because of these two factors the organism density
decreases since they cannot survive without a sufficient amount of dissolved
oxygen (www.ces.ncsu.edu). The hypothesis was not supported in the
experiment, as estimated organism counts did not fall as nitrate levels rose.
Within and between each pond, all error bars overlapped. Therefore, the
data was found to be inconclusive for all ponds. Instead of organism counts
falling while nitrate levels rose, the data was fairly imprecise and unusual, as
different organism counts had seemingly random average nitrate levels. The
error bars indicated a wide range of data for nitrate levels, so there was little
precision in the data. Because of all the imprecision, there is little confidence in
the data. Sufficient data was not collected for a valid conclusion, as no
conclusion could be made from the data.
Research showed that organism density should fall as nitrate levels rose,
as more nitrates stimulated algae growth (peer.tamu.edu). Algae takes dissolved
oxygen from the organisms, which then lowers the amount of organisms in the
pond (www.ces.ncsu.edu). Yet, this research was not supported by the data
collected in this particular experiment. Something to note was that during the
first farm visit in the fall, Poultry Pond was covered in duckweed; a type of plant
that behaves similar to algae, as its growth is often stimulated by excessive
nitrates (Ke Xue, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). But, when the experiment was tested
months later, in the spring, the pond did not have nearly as much duckweed on
the surface. This may have been because ponds tend to have less algae during
the winter, and algal blooms only usually occur in April (Lynch,
ohioline.osu.edu), which is exactly when the experiment was tested. Each pond,


11
during the spring/summer, may have received nitrogen run-offs from
surrounding fields. But, since no crops were grown in the winter, ponds would
receive less nitrogen. Therefore, organisms were able to grow and reproduce
more as they had the necessary amount of oxygen since excessive nitrates were
not causing algae to steal the dissolved oxygen. A similar study tested in 2009 on
the effect of nitrate toxicity on aquatic animals shows that freshwater animals
can be harmed by high amounts of nitrates in the water (Camargo,
www.waterboards.ca.gov). This agrees with the original hypothesis stated at the
beginning of the experiment.
Since the original hypothesis was not supported by the results, a new one
is set forth: If the nitrate levels are tested in a specific pond then that ponds
organism density will not appear to be affected by the nitrates because algae
growth has not yet been stimulated by nitrate fertilizer run-offs because it is still
April (Lynch, ohioline.osu.edu); therefore the organisms in that pond will be
able to survive in a moderately nitrate filled environment.
Another possibility for why data did not support the original hypothesis is
that errors occurred during the testing of the experiment. First, the testing
procedure was not properly followed during the entire testing period of the
experiment. Due to time constraints, exact organism counting procedures were
not followed. Instead of counting all organisms, organism counts were
estimated, which affected the precision and accuracy of the data. Therefore, this
may have influenced data. This error occurred at both Poultry Pond and Boyce
Pond. Boyce Pond also experienced other time constraint errors, such as nitrate
probe testing being reduced from sixty seconds to ten seconds. This may have
provided a less accurate reading, which affected the results. At Vernal Pool, no
organisms were found, but later it was discovered that some might have been
overlooked in murky water or mistaken for inorganic or other organic material.
It was noted at the end of the testing period that some organisms had been
found, but none had been recorded. These errors influenced data and caused
imprecision and inaccuracy, which lead to an inconclusive set of results. Most of
the errors that occurred during the experiment could have been eliminated if
more time had been given for testing at each site.
The experiment could be changed so that data could be more conclusive
and accurate. First, more time could be given at each site so that data could be
better collected and testing procedure could be more accurately followed.
Calculators used for testing failed more than once at each site, causing time to be
taken away from testing. Also, less water could be sampled so that organisms
could be better accounted for, and the data could have more accuracy. Lastly,
probe technology could have been improved for better readings, as both
calculators and probes sometimes did not work during the testing of the
experiment. Similar experiments that could relate to this experiment are the
effect of phosphate levels (ppm) on pond organism density or the effect of
nitrate levels (ppm) on pond organism diversity. These experiments could be
tested in the future to possibly re-answer the question posed in this experiment.







12
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I, Maia Cullen, would like to thank Ms. Svatek for helping us and giving
us great feedback and comments on our earlier drafts, as well as for helping us
plan out our experiment when we still werent sure exactly how to proceed or
carry out the experiment. In addition, I would like to thank Ms. Schultheis for
lending us a calculator after one of ours was lost, and for saving our data that
would not have been possible without her. I would like to acknowledge all of the
Drumlin Farms teacher naturalists that made this experiment and experience
possible, as well as for giving us background information on our ponds and
habitats to enhance our understanding of the surroundings, and the science
department for organizing this project. I would also like to thank Olivia Friend,
for her help in designing our mascot, Salvador the Swordfish, our experiment
mascot. Finally, I would like to thank Emory, who was an amazing science
partner, and was really fun to work with. He was a positive influence, and would
always get things done. Without all of these people, we would never have been
able to do this, so thank you all once again!
I, Emory Sabatini, would like to thank everyone who helped out with our
experiment, both at Drumlin Farm and here at the BB&N Middle School. First,
Id like to thank Ms. Haug, Ms. Schultheis, Mr. Rossiter, and Ms. Bonfim for
supporting and helping us out while we were testing in the field at Drumlin
Farm. Id especially like to thank Ms. Schultheis for lending us her calculator
when we lost one of our own. Id also like to thank all of the teacher naturalists
at our testing sites for providing background information and helpful tips about
the Farm and what we might find. Id like to thank as well the entire BB&N
Middle School Science Department for their amazing help and support - our
experiment would not have happened without them. Id also like to thank the
department for supplying us with the proper materials to conduct our
experiment, and for driving us to and from Drumlin Farm so the testing could
actually occur. Id like to acknowledge the extra hard work Ms. Svatek put in to
our experiment, and how flexible she was when we changed the point of
experiment multiple times. Id also like to thank Mr. Ewins for supplying us with
some helpful advice during class time. Id also like to send a huge thank you to
Olivia Friend, one of our classmates, who really helped us bring out poster
together. Id finally like to thank the most my amazing science partner Maa
Cullen, who picked up the work when I failed to do so. She was an amazing and
incredibly patient science partner who really completed the project. Without the
people listed above, this experiment could not have happened. Thank you!












13
WORK CITED

Maa Cullen (S81-3)

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"Understanding Algal Blooms." News Releases. St. John's River Management District,
n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.sjrwmd.com/algae/>.

"Water's the Matter-- Introduction: Nitrates." Water's the Matter--
Introduction: Nitrates. Measuring Nitrates and Their Affects on Water Quality,
n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
<http://peer.tamu.edu/curriculum_modules/water_quality/module_5/index.h
tm>.



14
"Why Oxygen Dissolved in Water Is Important." Why Is Important the Oxygen
Dissolved in Water. LennTech, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.lenntech.com/why_the_oxygen_dissolved_is_important.htm>.

Emory Sabatini

B.V., Lenntech. "Why Oxygen Dissolved in Water Is Important." Why Is Important the
Oxygen Dissolved in Water. Lenntech, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.lenntech.com/why_the_oxygen_dissolved_is_important.htm>.

"Clean Water Education Partnership." - Algae Blooms and Fish Kills. Clean Water
Education Partnership, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.nccwep.org/stormwater/effects/algae_blooms.php>.

Huan Jing Ke Xue. "Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information.
U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 July 2003. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14551954>.

"NC State Fisheries and Pond Management Extension-Pond Management Guide
Chapter 4." NC State Fisheries and Pond Management Extension-Pond
Management Guide Chapter 4. NC State University, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/nreos/wild/fisheries/mgt_guide/chapter4.html>.

Smith, Keith L. "Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet." Planktonic Algae in
Ponds. Ohio State University, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://ohioline.osu.edu/a-fact/0009.html>.

"Understanding Algal Blooms." News Releases. St. Johns River Water Management
District, 8 Feb. 2013. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <http://www.sjrwmd.com/algae/>.

"Water's the Matter-- Introduction: Nitrates." Water's the Matter--
Introduction: Nitrates. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences,
n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://peer.tamu.edu/curriculum_modules/water_quality/module_5/index.h
tm>.

Salamanca, Annabella, Alvaro Alonso, and Julio A. Camargo. "Nitrate Toxicity to
Aquatic Animals: A Review with New Data for Freshwater Invertebrates."
Chemosphere 58 (2005): 1255-267.Http://www.waterboards.ca.gov.
California Environmental Protection Agency, 2005. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/tmdl/records/region
_2/2008/ref2426.pdf>.


"





















The Effect of Calcium on Water pH Levels
By: Jack Deford and Bobby Tearney




















"


Table Of Contents

Section: Page #:


Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3


Materials and Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3


Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-8


Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-9


Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9


Works Cited Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10














"
ABSTRACT
This study was conducted to find the relation, if any, between the acidity of water
and the amount of Calcium in the water of the various ponds at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln,
Massachusetts. The procedure for this experiment was to take a 50 mL sample of water
and measure the pH levels with litmus paper and Ca levels in the water with a Vernier
Probe. Then this was repeated 14 times at 3 different locations including Poultry Pond,
Vernal Pool, and Boyce Pond. Based on the hypothesis, it was assumed that the pond
water with the greatest amount of calcium would have a higher pH because when there
is not enough calcium in the water, the pH levels drop. The results of the data tested
should no correlation between the two variables. However, all throughout this
experiment no pH levels varied far between the ranges of 4-6.

INTRODUCTION
Calcium is an element that not only affects the mineral and animal life in water,
but also can affect the pH levels of different bodies of water. Calcium affects the
materialization of the water. Calcium also affects color, texture, and taste of water
(lenntech.com). Calcium is important to aquatic life because when there is too much
calcium, the pH levels in water rise, but when the calcium levels are too low, the pH
levels drop so low that water life cannot breathe or survive (lenntech.com).
Four percent of the Earths crust is made of calcium, which means that calcium is
a big part of human and animal life. This is because calcium is in water, soil, and many
foods that are eaten.
The habitats that are being tested in the experiment are Poultry Pond, Vernal
Pool, and Boyce Pond. These habitats were being used because the ponds differed,
and the mineral and animal life varied immensely as well. When visiting Poultry Pond, it
was observed that the water had a large amount of algae and that the top layer of the
water was a greenish color. The amount of algae might be affected by the content of
calcium in the water. At the Boyce Pond, it was observed that there was a lot of mud
both in and around the pond itself. At Vernal Pool, there were two rocks with algae on
them in the middle of the pond. Also, there were fallen and cut down trees lying
throughout the pond.
In past experiments and research, it has been shown that when calcium levels
are low, pH levels are also low (ocean-acidification.net). When the pH levels drop to
dangerously low levels it can be deleterious for water life (lenntech.com). Also, when
calcium levels in the water increase, the minerals that are affected by the calcium can
also increase. This effect can pollute the water if the calcium levels become too high
(lenntech.com). When the mineral and pH levels are too high, and the water gets
polluted, it is harder for the fish and other sea-life in that water to breathe and live.
The objective of this experiment is to see if calcium levels make an impact on
water pH levels. By testing the levels of the calcium and pH of the water, the experiment
will show the relationship between these two measurements. Three ponds will be tested
for the experiment and there will be fourteen tests at each pond, to make sure that there
is sufficient data to make a conclusion about this relationship. The independent variable
for the experiment is the calcium levels in the water (mg/L), and dependent variable is
the pH levels that are in each sample from the three different ponds. To control the
"
experiment, the testing and collecting methods will be the same for all 42 of the samples
taken throughout the experiment.
The calcium levels will be tested by placing a Vernier Conductivity probe into the
water to see how much calcium, which is measured mg/L, is in the water. Then, litmus
paper will be placed in the same water sample to see what the pH levels are in the
different water samples.
The hypothesis for the experiment is: If the pond water has the greatest amount
of calcium, then the pH of the water will be the greatest because when there is not
enough calcium in the water, the pH levels drop to 4.5-4.9, which is too low for water
life. This means that the higher the calcium levels are, the higher the pH will be as well
(lenntech.com).
The significance of learning about the effect of calcium on pH levels of water is
that if people have ponds near a house and the fish in the pond are dying, or not doing
as well as in the past, there is a chance the reason for these events is based on the pH
levels in the pond. So, if there is a positive correlation between calcium levels and pH,
and if the pH is too low, the owner could add calcium to change the pH, which could
ensure the health of the life in the pond.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
These steps were then repeated at fourteen different sites at each of the four
ponds/lakes to make a grand total of the required forty-eight data points. These fourteen
spots were determined through a randomizer on a computer program on
http://www.random.org/. First the lowest number (0) was entered in the top slot. Then
the highest number (360) was entered. Then the program picked out 14 random
degrees as test sites.
To collect samples, first the graduated cylinder was dunked under the water that
the sample was taken from. Then, the graduated cylinder was removed from the water
once it had been filled around half full. Then it was emptied until it was at least fifty
milliliters full. Then the testing procedure took place.
The first step in the procedure for this experiment was to take a sample of water the
size of fifty milliliters from one of the three designated ponds using the graduated
cylinder. The three ponds are Poultry Pond, Boyce Pond, and Vernal Pool. After the
sample was taken, take the Vernier Calcium Probe and use it to measure the amount of
Calcium in said water sample. This data must then be recorded in the aforementioned
Field Notebook under the category of the pond or lake in which the sample was
collected. Once this data has been recorded, a piece of Litmus Paper was dipped into
the same sample of water to test the pH levels of the water. Then this data was
recorded in the same Field Notebook.







"
RESULTS
Table 1: The effect of Calcium on water pH levels at Poultry Pond.
Trials pH Levels Ca Levels (mg/L)
1 6 6
2 5 14
3 6 11
4 5 13
5 5 6
6 6 6
7 4 0
8 7 333
9 5 420
10 6 350
11 5 123
12 5 359
13 6 97
14 5 94
Avg. 5 131
Stdev. 1 160


Table 2: The effect of Calcium on water pH levels at Boyce Pond.
Trials pH Levels Ca Levels (mg/L)
1 5 88
2 3 72
3 7 50
4 4 26
5 8 30
6 5 45
7 7 43
8 8 30
9 5 29
10 4 33
11 6 55
12 6 33
13 5 47
14 6 63
Avg. 6 46
Stdev. 1 18



"
Table 3: The effect of Calcium on water pH levels at Vernal Pool.











Graph 1: The effect of Calcium on water pH levels at Poultry Pond.









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Trials pH Levels Ca Levels (mg/L)
1 6 12
2 5 20
3 3 8
4 7 52
5 4 60
6 8 65
7 5 11
8 7 5
9 8 11
10 5 12
11 4 1
12 66 4
13 5 3
14 4 20
Avg. 5 20
Stdev. 1 21
"
Graph 2: The effect of Calcium on water pH levels at Boyce Pond






Graph 3: The effect of Calcium on water pH levels at Vernal Pool.











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Graph 4: The effect of Calcium on water pH levels at all three of the ponds.


Graph 1 shows the effect of calcium on water pH levels at Poultry Pond. The
graph shows that all of the pH levels ranged from 4 to 7 with a majority of the data
around a pH of 5 or 6. On the other hand, the calcium levels (mg/L) ranged from 0 to
almost 450 mg/L. Five data points were under 50 mg/L, and seven were above 100
mg/L. The average pH level for Poultry Pond was 5, and the average amount of calcium
was 131 mg/L. The R
2
value for the linear regression was 0.04967. There was also a
positive trend-line in the data collected at the Poultry Pond. The pH levels at Poultry
Pond were very precise, but the calcium levels were not precise. Finally, at Poultry
Pond it was observed that the water was much more green than the other ponds.
Graph 2 shows the effect of calcium on water pH levels at Boyce Pond. Similar to
the graph of Poultry Pond, the pH levels ranged from 3 to 8. At Boyce Pond, unlike
Poultry Pond, not even one of the calcium data points surpassed 100 mg/L. The data
that was collected grouped around calcium levels ranging from 20 to 50 mg/L. The
average amount of calcium in Boyce pond was only 46 mg/L compared to Poultrys
average of 131 mg/L. The pH average was a solid 6. The R
2
value for the linear
regression in this graph was 0.07822, just slightly higher than that of Poultry Pond.
Unlike Poultry Pond however, this trend-line had a negative slope. Unlike Poultry Ponds
calcium levels, the Standard Deviation for Boyce Pond was only 18 meaning that the
calcium measurements were precise. At Boyce Pond, there was mud everywhere. This
mud could have affected the pH levels of the water.
Graph 3 shows the effect of calcium on the water pH levels at Vernal Pool.
Similar to Boyce Pond, the pH levels ranged from 3 to 8, with a majority of the data
points lying in between 4 and 6. Also similar to Boyce, Vernal had no data points that
came close to 100mg/L of calcium. In fact, only three points made it over the 50 mark of
calcium. Those three points were 52 mg/L, 60 mg/L, and 65 mg/L. These
measurements were taken in trials 4, 5, and 6. The average concentration of calcium in
Vernal Pool was a shockingly low 20 mg/L, and the average pH level was 5. The R
2

value on this graph had a negative slope, but had the smallest R
2
value at 0.00256. At
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Vernal Pool it was observed that there were two rocks with what seemed like algae on
them. There were also some fallen trees in the water. By looking at the Standard
Deviation of the data, it is clear that Vernal Pool calcium measurements were the
second most precise out of the three ponds.
The final graph shows the effect of calcium on water pH levels from all three of
the different ponds. From all 42 data points collected throughout the whole experiment,
only 4 calcium level data points were above 300. If these outlier were taken away from
the experiment, then the slope of the trend-line and the R
2
value of the regression would
be less and the data would be much more precise than it was before. The highest of the
four outlier data points was 420 mg/L of calcium, and the lowest of the four outliers was
333 mg/L of calcium. Shockingly, all four of these points were from the testing done at
Poultry Pond. The pH levels for all the measurements ranged from 3 to 8, with two data
points at 3 and 3 points at 8. The regression for this graph was nearly zero at 0.00195.
The slope of the trend-line for all three of the ponds together was positive.

DISCUSSION
This experiment was conducted to test if there was any connection, and, if so,
what connection there was, between the levels of calcium in the water and the acidity
(pH) of the water. The hypothesis for this experiment was: If the pond with the greatest
amount of calcium is tested, then the pond will have the highest acidity, because when
there is not enough calcium in the water, the pH levels drop to 4.5-4.9 (lenntech.com).
This hypothesis was not supported by the data collected in the experiment. The only
consistent data was the pH levels, which did not vary much, aside from a few outliers,
from the range 4-6. There was a wide variation in the calcium levels of the pond water,
but no detectable dependence or relation to the pH level.
For each of the three ponds, 14 samples of water were tested for calcium and
pH. The results from Poultry Pond ranged from as little as 0 mg/L of calcium, with a pH
of 4, to as much as 420 mg/L, with a pH of 5. The results from Boyce Pond ranged from
a low of 26 mg/L, with a pH of 4, to a high of 88 mg/L, with a pH of 5. Vernal Pool had a
low of 1 mg/L with a pH of 8, and a high of 65 mg/L, with a pH of 5. Clearly, there was
no relation between the two variables because the r
2
value for the experiment as a
whole was 0.0019, meaning it was incredibly imprecise. It had been expected that
higher calcium levels would mean higher pH levels because the calciums pH had been
expected to add to the waters pH as a whole, but such was not the case.
(www.britannica.com) The average calcium at Poultry Pond was 131 mg/L, and the
average pH there was 5. Boyce Ponds average calcium was 46 mg/L; its average pH
was 6. Vernal Pool had an average calcium of 20 mg/L, and an average pH of 5. The r
2

values for the ponds were: Poultry, .0487; Boyce, .0782; and Vernal, .0026, showing
little correlation between the pH and calcium levels in pond water.
Confidence in this data set is jeopardized by one main flaw that occurred about
half way through data collection in Poultry Pond. The conductivity probe briefly
malfunctioned, causing the amount of calcium in Poultry Pond to skyrocket. Thankfully,
it was fixed before Boyce was tested. Vernal was the first pond measured, and the
probe was working then. Boyce was the last pond measured, and the probe was
working there also, having been fixed by one of the scientists overseeing the
experiment. Only the results for a little more than half of Poultry Pond were not to be
"
trusted. Another factor to take into account when assessing the results is that the pH of
pond water fluctuates slightly throughout the day, due to photosynthesis and respiration
by plants and animals (www.noble.org/ag/wildlife/fish-pond-water). Depending on the
time of day the water is tested, the results could vary.
No link between pH and calcium was found, but the study could be modified and
improved in several ways. Due to the possible fluctuations in pH levels, though, it could
be useful to return to the ponds at another time of day and re-test, to see if pH levels
were different. It would be prudent to have an extra conductivity probe, because
apparently they are delicate instruments. Taking a larger point of view, it would be
informative to assess the wildlife population of each pond to see if the pH levels and
calcium content supported aquatic life. To further extend the study, other ponds in the
area could be explored to compare their pH and calcium levels and their wildlife
situations.

ACKNOWLEGDGEMTS
I, Bobby Tearney would first like to thank Jack Deford, my partner for handling
this experiment with me. I would also like to thank Mrs. Haug, and Sally for being the
teacher and expert at out first site Vernal Pool. Mr. Rossiter was the Poultry teacher and
helped us take our data. Also at Poultry Pond, our Vernier Probe broke down. We
thought that we were doomed until Mrs. Schulteis came to the pond and saved the day.
Without her, our experiment would not have happened. At our last site, we visited Boyce
Pond where Mrs. Bonfim did a great job advising us as we took our final data. Finally, I
would like to thank our great teacher, Mrs. Svatek. She helped Jack and I all throughout
our experiment. She as well as all of our teachers and classmates have been very
supportive throughout this process.
I, Jack Deford would like to thank my partner, Bobby Tearney, for being such a good
sport with putting up with my laziness and all-around shenanigans. Without him, this report
surely would still only be halfway done. Secondly, I would like to thank my teacher and
motivator, Mrs. Svatek, for instructing me all throughout this experiment. If not for her, I
would not know how to even carry out the experiment. Next, of course, I need to thank Mrs.
Schulthies, for helping my partner and me repair our Vernier Conductivity Probe after it
broke due to certain... COMPLICATIONS... at Poultry Pond. If she had not been there, none
of the data would be useable. Finally, I would like to thank my dear mother, Laura Deford,
for inspiring, helping, and compelling me towards the completion of this project. Without her,
there would have never been a scientist to invent this experiment.









"#

WORKS CITED

Introduction:
Danbury, Conn. The New Book of Popular Science. 2. Vol. 2. Danbury, Conn: Grolier, 2006. Print. The
New Book of Popular Science.

Hanusa, Timothy P. "Calcium (Ca) (chemical Element)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2 Dec. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/88956/calcium-Ca>.

Helmenstine, Anne M. "Calcium Atom." About.com Chemistry. Web. 01 May 2014.
<http://chemistry.about.com/od/elementfacts/ig/Atom-Diagrams/Calcium-Atom.htm>.

Hood, Martha, Editor. "Ocean Acidification Network." Ocean Acidification Network. Global IPBG
Change. Web. 7 Mar. 2014. <http://www.ocean-acidification.net/FAQeco.html>.

Lenntech. "Calcium (Ca) and Water." Calcium (Ca) and Water. Water Treatment Solutions. Web. 4
Mar. 2014. <http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/water/calcium/calcium-and-water.htm>.

Rainbows, Bursting. "Summer Tropical Ocean Waves Underwater Pretty Beach Surf Palm Trees
Beauty Beautiful Photography." Tumblr.com. Tumblr, 30 Nov. 2013. Web. 1 May 2014.
<http%3A%2F%2Fbursting-rainbows.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F68604153154>.

Discussion:
Calcium (CA) and water Lenntech Water Treatment Solutions.
Rotterdamseweg, The Netherlands. 1998-2014. Online. Accessed 25 April, 2014.
www.lenntech.com/periodic/water/calcium/calcium-and-water

Calcium (Ca). Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. Online. Accessed 25 April, 2014.
www.Britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/88956/calcium-Ca

Fish Pond Water Quality: As Simple as Chemistry 101. Russell Stevens. The
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. 2009. Online. Accessed 25 April 2014.
www.noble.org/ag/wildlife/fish-pond-water

Plasma membrane of Beta vulgaris storage root shows high water channel activity
regulated by cytoplasmic pH and a dual range of calcium concentrations. K. Alleva, et al.
US Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Epub 5 Jan, 2006. Online.
Accessed 25 April 2014.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16397000$
!









The
Percolation
is Clear!

The Effect Of Soil Percolation
(cm/hr) on Water Turbidity (NTU)



By Lily Druker
and Michael Tang












!

T ABL E OF CONT ENTS

Name Author Pages
Abstract Michael Tang 3

I ntroduction Lily Druker 3-4

Materials and Method Lily Druker 4-5

Results Michael Tang 6-9

Discussion Michael Tang 10-12

Acknowledgement Michael Tang and Lily Druker 12

Wor k Cited Michael Tang and Lily Druker 12-14





























!

ABSTRACT

During a visit to Drumlin Farm, MA, it was discovered that soil percolation has correlation with
water turbidity. This experiment was conducted to see iI it`s true. The procedure was to take
soil and make water run through the soil to see how fast it takes. Then, water from the pond and
tested the turbidity with a probe. It was then plotted onto a scattered plot to see the relationship
between water turbidity and soil percolation. The results showed that there was a high correlation
between turbidity and soil percolation because of the r2 value. For all three sites, the r2 value
was close to 1.


I NTRODUCTI ON

Soil percolation is the speed at which water travels through soil in a downward motion. If the soil
is compact and has a higher clay content, then the percolation will be very slow: less than .127
cm/hr (centimeters per hour); if the soil is sandy and aggregated, then the percolation will be
very rapid: over 25.4 cm/hr (http://passel.unl.edu/). Turbidity (NTU) is the cloudiness of water. It
is caused by soil erosion, excessive algal growth, and urban runoff. Also, large numbers of
bottom feeders (such as carp) stir up sediments. Having a high turbidity is bad for aquatic life
because it can clog fish gills, reduce the resistance of disease in fish, lower growth rates, and
affect egg and larval development (http://water.epa.gov/).
The experiment will be conducted at Drumlin Farm, a Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln,
Massachusetts. Drumlin Farm consists of 312 acres of land and five different ponds. For the
proposed experiment three of the ponds will be used for testing, Ice Pond, Poultry Pond, and
Boyce Pond. Boyce Pond is just west of Boyce Field and is surrounded by forest. Ice Pond is
north of the drumlin and near sheep grazing area. Poultry Pond is located in the south west
corner near the visitors center. It is surrounded by a chicken coop so the manure may affect the
soil texture and type.
One of the ways water becomes more turbid is from erosion. Erosion occurs when water,
wind, and other natural elements change the shape of the earth as time passes. When soil is sandy
and not very dense, erosion occurs easier. When erosion happens the soil is carried into the
runoff creating a body of water with more turbidity (http://water.epa.gov/). Urban runoff is also a
large factor on how turbid water is. It`s surIace runoII caused by urbanization. It tends to pick up
materials such as metal scraps, trash, and gasoline among others. When these pollutants get into
bodies of water they increase the turbidity tremendously (www.lenntech.com).
The objective of the experiment is to figure out if the percolation of soil affects the
turbidity of water. The independent variable is soil percolation (cm/hr) and the dependent
variable is water turbidity (NTU). Some of the variables that will be controlled is the soil to
water ratio used to test the percolation of the soil, the probe used to test the turbidity, and the
method to test the percolation of the soil. The hypothesis set forth is that if the soil around the
circumference of the pond has a rapid percolation, then the water in the pond will be more turbid
because runoff carries soil particles with it. More erosion occurs with soil that is less dense and
sandy, because water flows through it more easily (www.nerrs.noaa.gov).
After the experiment takes place, new information can be learned. Since low turbidity is
bad for plants and organisms in ponds, Drumlin Farm might be able to work on some of the soil
to help the water get less turbid. Preventing bodies of water from having an unsafe turbidity level
!

will help different plants and animals survive in more environments, this way less fish will be
endangered. A follow up experiment is to test if soil can artificially have more clay in it in order
to prevent turbulation.


MAT ERI ALS AND ME T HODS

Materials and Methods



Figure 1:
A map of Drumlin Farm in
Lincoln, MA, where the tests were
conducted. The circles are Ice
Pond, Poultry Pond, and Boyce
Pond where data collection took
place.

At each of the four sides
of Ice Pond, Boyce Pond, and
Poultry Pond; north, east, south,
west, (See figure 1 for location of
ponds) four water samples were
taken and tested for turbidity
(NTU) using the Vernier
Turbidity Probe. The water was
collected in a 3 cm vial, then placed into the probe which was connected to a T-inspire calculator
that read the turbidity levels. After the tests, the vial was rinsed off using distilled water. One
half meter off the edges of each pond, fifteen tests were conducted to find the percolation of the
soil. Each test was taken 24 degrees apart around the circumference of each of the ponds. A 15.5
cm ring was placed 7.5 cm into the ground. 60 mL of bottled water was poured into the ring, then
the timer was started (minutes). The timer stopped once all of the liquid in the ring had drained
into the soil. On figure 2 the brown dots represent each soil percolation test and the dark blue
!

dots represent each water turbidity sampling, the light blue is the pond.


Figure 2: The data collection will be taken place at Bathtub Pond, Ice Pond, and Boyce
Pond at Drumlin Farm in this format.

Figure 3: This is a picture of a turbidity probe














!

RESUL TS
Table 1 the effect of Soil Percolation on Water Turbidity in Ice Pond:
Graph 1 shows the correlation between water turbidity and soil
percolation in the Ice Pond. The highest soil percolation at the Ice
Pond was 843 (Seconds) with a water turbidity of 31.8 (mL) and the
lowest is 66 (Seconds) with a water turbidity of 10.3 (mL). The Ice
Pond had a higher soil percolation average but since the STDEV was
much higher than the other ponds. The R2 value for graph 1 is 0.696.
The STDEV for this pond is 278.806 and for the water turbidity, it is
6.4. This means the data is not precise.






Graph 1: The effect of Soil Percolation on Water Turbidity in Ice Pond



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Soil
Percolation
(Seconds)
Water
Turbidity
(mL)
1 843 31.8
2 630 27.9
3 150 23.1
4 147 22.3
5 926 32.1
6 306 18.9
7 66 10.3
8 230 15.2
9 195 12.3
10 530 27.2
11 260 17.1
12 352 19.3
13 472 20.4
14 550 24.5
15 750 28.9
AVG 427.1333 21.82
STDEV 278.806 6.383371
!


Table 2 the effect of Soil Percolation on Water Turbidity in Poultry
Pond:
Graph 2 shows the correlation of the soil percolation on water
turbidity in the Poultry Pond. The highest soil percolation is 1840
(Seconds) with a turbidity level of 33.2 (mL) and the lowest is 182
(Seconds) and the turbidity is 21.2 (mL). The STDEV for this pond
is 513.1432 and 4.62855 and also, this pond data wasn`t too precise.
The R2 value is 0.7633.




















Trials
Soil
Percolation
(Seconds)
Water
Turbidity
(mL)
1 922 30.5
2 706 29.8
3 1335 32.1
4 734 30.8
5 1840 33.2
6 105 20.9
7 144 25.2
8 432 26.8
9 499 27.9
10 608 28.6
11 678 28.9
12 182 21.2
13 1219 36.2
14 1450 36.3
15 601 25.2
AVG 396.2867 28.90667
STDEV 513.1432 4.628555
!

Graph 2: The effect of Soil Percolation on Water Turbidity in Poultry Pond










Table 3: The effect of Soil Percolation on Water Turbidity in
Boyce Pond:
Lastly, in table three, it shows the correlation between soil
percolation and water turbidity in the Boyce Pond. This table also
shows that the higher the soil percolation, the less turbid the water
is. The highest soil percolation at the Poultry Pond was 144
(Seconds) with a water turbidity of 24.8 (mL) and the lowest is 71
(Seconds) with a water turbidity of 10.7 (mL). As said in graph 1,
the STDEV makes the graph not precise. An interesting
observation is that the soil percolation is decreased a lot meaning
the water is more turbid.








Trials
Soil
Percolation
(Seconds)
Water
Turbidity
(mL)
1 105 23.1
2 132 24.2
3 71 10.7
4 144 24.8
5 116 16.7
6 122 16.9
7 143 25.3
8 143 25.8
9 113 10.8
10 109 6.6
11 122 14.4
12 116 17.1
13 143 25.9
14 118 17.3
15 103 12.3
AVG 69.06333 18.12667
STDEV 53.76964 6.390447
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Graph 3: The effect of Soil Percolation on Water Turbidity in Boyce Pond



Graph 4 the effect of soil percolation on water turbidity:

Graph 4 shows all of the data collected from all the ponds. The highest soil percolation is 1840 (seconds)
and for the water turbidity, it is 36.3 (mL). The R2 value for this graph is 0.58.






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DISCUSSI ON


The goal for this experiment was to find out if there was any correlation between soil percolation
and water turbidity. The hypothesis for this experiment is if the soil around the circumference of
the pond has a rapid percolation, then the water in the near area will be more turbid because
runoff carries soil particles with it. More erosion occurs when soil that is less dense and sandy
b/because water flows through it more easier (N/A, www.nerrs.nova.gov). The results for the soil
percolation and soil turbidity is in favor with the hypothesis since the data shows that whenever
the soil percolation increases, then the water is less turbid.
The hypothesis is supported in many ways. Some ways that caused the results to be that way is
from the material of the soil, leaf litter and the roots from trees. All of these make a big impact
on the results.
For the first graph in the Ice Pond, it showed that whenever the percolation increased, then the
water became less turbid (the more mL means less turbid). As the soil percolation and water
turbidity were being tested, there were a few interesting observations in this location. One
includes all the trees and bushes around the pond. In one source, it says that the tree roots can
make a big impact on the soil percolation (N/A, http://en.wikipedia.org). It says that the tree and
plant roots hold together the soil particles. This prevents them from falling into the water causing
it to be more turbid. Another interesting observation is the location of the pond. The Ice Pond
was in the middle of a forest causing the raindrops to fall slower from the leaves. As raindrops
fall, most of it will start to hit the leaves making the kinetic energy slower and less water will be
able to reach the soil (Mortlock, http://soilerosion.net/). If the water does reach the soil, it will
fall much slower causing the soil particles not to break as easily. On the forest floor, there are
also leaf litter and humus (Raider, http://www.geography4kids.com/) . Leaf litter is dead material
that comes from trees, leaves, bark, twigs and more. All of this waste eventually forms a mat like
shape protecting the soil. This layer can absorb some of the raindrops making it harder for the
raindrops or water to reach the soil. The r2 value for this graph was relevantly close to 1 meaning
that there is some correlation between soil percolation and water turbidity. The standard
deviation can determine the precision oI the data. For this pond, the data wasn`t precise because
some data points were tested further away or closer to the pond.
The highest water turbidity result came from the Poultry Pond was partly located in a forest. It
had a similar environment as the Ice Pond. There were many trees blocking the rain drops. Even
though there were less trees, this location had the highest water turbidity. This brings it to
another reason that causes water to be less turbid. Since Drumlin Farm is preserved by human,
some parts of the pond was staff only. If there are more people coming to visit this pond, it will
!!

cause disturbance on the soil which makes the soil particles weaker to hold it together.
Eventually it will break apart and fall into the water. Since half of the pond was staff only, not
many visitors will disturb the soil and it will remain its strength.
In graph 2, the soil is most likely clay since this pond was the least turbid. The clay soil is more
compact and can hold more water (Leineriza, http://agverra.com/blog/soil-types/). If the soil can
hold more water, then fewer particles will run through with the water. The average for the
Poultry Pond was less than the average in the Ice Pond because the location. The location for
graph 2 was partly located in a forest causing the Ice Pond to have a higher average and as said
beIore because oI the leaves, leave litter etc. As the data was analyzed, some data points were
larger than the Ice Pond. This can be caused from more coverage by the trees since some parts of
the pond had more trees. Another reason for this is thickness of the leaf litter. Also, some parts of
the pond had a lot more leaf litter than part of the pond. This is what caused the sudden change in
the data.
Graph three had the lowest soil percolation and which also means the water was the most turbid.
This pond was located in an open area with very few trees. This caused more raindrops/ water to
go into the soil and carrying more soil particles with the water. Also, the soil for this pond was a
lot more loose and less compact. Most likely, the type of soil is sandy. The soil particles for
sandy are large chunks and have huge spaces between them. This means it won`t be able to hold
much water in the soil causing it all to drain into the water. Also, this location was the most
precise. This can be explained because on the other locations, there were many fallen trees, roots
and many other things blocking the actual test places. For the Ice Pond, one of the tests was
taken right next to the fallen tree. This could have made the soil a lot more compact and a lot
harder for the water to drain. Another test was taken next to plants where the soil is less compact
because the roots of these plants have created air space allowing the drainage for the water to be
easier. These two tests were both taken at the same tests meaning it has created a wide range of
data creating an error since one test had an advantage from the compacted soil and the other test
had a disadvantage. The r2 value for this location 0.76 meaning there was high correlation and
this was also the highest between every location.
The last graph was put together to show the overall correlation for all the locations combined.
This made it easier to compare the data if there was high correlation not just for each location but
for every location that was tested. The r2 value for this graph is 0.58 and it means that there is
good correlation.
Overall, there was correlation between soil percolation and water turbidity and Ice Pond had the
highest soil percolation with also the least turbid. In the experiment, there were a few things to
modify to improve the data collection. The major change should be is the method the soil
percolation is tested. As the data was being collected, there were many roots blocking where the
cans were supposed to be put. II the soil was brought back to be tested, there wouldn`t be any
problems with the roots and it would also improve the precision of the data. Another
!"

modiIication is the location where the test is taken. II the pond circumIerence didn`t have thorns,
trees, roots etc. Then the results that were collected would be more accurate.

During this experiment, there were some errors causing the data to be not precise. The first one
and major one is the location we put the cans. Originally it was planned that the cans would be 1
meter away from the pond. Since there were a lot of roots, bushes, etc. some cans were placed
1m away and some were placed halI a meter away. By doing this, the data wouldn`t be constant
with the other data points. This then lead to the results not being as accurate as possible. Another
error is the amount of water used to test the soil percolation. On the first trial, the water was
estimated to 20 mL instead of measuring it in a measuring cup for the last three. This is because
the data took too long to collect and didn`t have enough time. For Iuture research, other
experiments can be tested to see if there are any other material that affects the turbidity of the
water or iI it`s just soil percolation.

AC K NOWL EDGE MENT

I would like to thank my science teacher, Ms. Svatek for all of her support throughout the project
and for helping us manage our time efficiently. I also owe thanks to the rest of the middle school
science teachers, Mr. Ewins for teaching us how to use a compass and Ms. Larocca and Ms.
Schulteis for helping to plan out both of our trips to Drumlin Farm. In addition to the science
teachers the naturalists at Drumlin Farm showed us where to go and the safest way to get around
the pond, without harming the ecosystem. Finally, I would like to thank my partner Michael
Tang Ior all oI his hard work over the course oI the project. We wouldn`t have been able to come
this far without his positive attitude and hard work.

The first person I would like to acknowledge is my partner Lily Druker from helping out getting
materials, organizing the trip to Drumlin Farm and testing the experiment. Next, I would like to
thank the naturalist who was at each location. They have helped us find the locations and where
to Iind the best results. Without them, the experiment wouldn`t be as accurate. I would also like
to thank the teachers who took their time to come with us onto the field trip. They kept track of
time and told us where we can find our next location. The last person is my teacher Mrs.Svatek,
She has helped us tremendously by reviewing our lab report, helping out on our poster board,
getting the materials and lastly organizing the field trip.

!"


WORKS CI T ED



Lily Druker:

Ashman, M. R., and G. Puri. Essential Soil Science: A Clear and Concise Introduction to
Soil Science. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2002. Print.
EPA. "5.5 Turbidity." Home. EPA, 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.
<http://water.epa.gov/>.
Lenntech. "Turbidity." Turbidity. Lenntech, 2012. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.lenntech.com/>.
"Turbidity and Sedimentation." Turbidity and Sedimentation. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar.
2014. <http://www.nerrs.noaa.gov/>.
Plant & Soil Sciences ELibraryPRO. "Soils - Part 2: Physical Properties of Soil and Soil
Water." Plant and Soil Sciences ELibrary. USDA, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.
<http://passel.unl.edu/>.

Michael Tang:
Ashman, M. R., and G. Puri. Essential Soil Science: A Clear and Concise Introduction to Soil
Science. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2002. Print.
"Erosion." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Erosion>.
!"

Leineriza. "5 Different Soil Types Know Your Soil Type." GROWTH AS NATURE
INTENDED. AgVerra, 7 Apr. 2007. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. <http://agverra.com/blog/soil-
types/>.
Mortlock, David F. 'Soil Erosion Site." Soil Erosion Site. N.p., May 2007. Erosion . 17 Apr.
2014. <http://soilerosion.net/>.
Rader, Andrew. "Break It Down." Geography4Kids.com: Biosphere: Erosion. N.p., n.d. Web. 15
Apr. 2014.<http://www.geography4kids.com/>
"Turbidity and Sedimentation." Turbidity and Sedimentation. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014
<http://www.nerrs.noaa.gov/>.
Images:
Open Clips. "Drop Face Liquid Rain Raindrop Water Tear Blue." Drop, Face, Liquid, Rain,
Raindrop. Pixabay, 2013. Web. 01 May 2014.
Open Clips. " Earthworm Worm Cute Happy Inchworm Smile Cartoon."Earthworm, Worm,
Cute, Happy. Pixabay, 2013. Web. 01 May 2014.
Open Clips. " Sun Cool Sunshine Glossy Smile Summer Heat." Sun, Cool, Sunshine, Glossy,
Smile. Pixabay, 2013. Web. 01 May 2014.



"





The Effect of Soil Conductivity (!S/cm) on Water Conductivity
(!S/cm).
By: Isabel Nowiszewski and Kayla Duran

"
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section Author Page
Abstract

Introduction

Materials and Methods

Results

Discussion

Acknowledgements

Works Cited

Works Cited
Isabel Nowiszewski

Kayla Duran

Isabel Nowiszewski

Kayla Duran

Isabel Nowiszewski

Isabel Nowiszewski & Kayla Duran

Kayla Duran

Isabel Nowiszewski
3

3

4

6

9

10

12

13


"
ABSTRACT:
After visiting Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts, an experiment was conducted to
test whether the conductivity of the soil surrounding a pond had an affect on the
conductivity of the pond water. The Ice, Bathtub and Poultry Ponds were tested at four
locations at each pond. After arriving at each pond, a north-south-east-west transect was
created. Twenty four soil conductivity readings and twenty four water conductivity
readings were recorded and later were further analyzed. It was expected that the higher
the soil conductivity surrounding the pond, the higher the water conductivity would
be. After analyzing the data recorded, it was found that there was a very weak overall
correlation between the water and soil conductivity at all three ponds.

INTRODUCTION:
The conductivity of water and soil are key elements to life without humans even knowing
it. Both water and soil are associated with the water cycle. Without the water cycle, there
would be no wildlife, no precipitation, and no use of water for cooking and drinking. The
water cycle begins from one single water molecule. This is evaporated by the sun and
then will form a cloud in the process of condensation. Next, the water molecule
precipitates into snow or water and fall onto the ground. The water molecule finds its way
to the ocean through pore space in the soil. The process will then start all over again
(pmm.nasa.gov). The water that falls from the soil to the water has similar nutrients
because it has been through the same cycle.

The experiment on conductivity of soil and water will be conducted in Lincoln,
Massachusetts, at Drumlin Farm. Drumlin Farm is a Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary,
which consists of over three-hundred acres of land, five ponds, seven field spots, and
three forests. The three ponds that will be tested are; Bathtub, Ice, and Poultry. Bathtub
Pond, which is surrounded with coniferous and deciduous trees, is located right near the
compost. Poultry Pond, is covered with algae and is and mostly every part of the pond
receives sunlight. Ice Pond, has mostly clear water with some patches of sunlight.

There are many components that could affect the conductivity level of soil and water.
The amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) can make the level of soil and water
conductivity differ for each individual sample because it is based on the amount of salts
that will dissolve into positive and negative ions (water.epa.gov). This will produce
bonding and could affect conductivity (water.epa.gov). These ions bonding can also
cause another factor to make the conductivity level unbalanced. The conductivity level
could become unbalanced by the number of positive and negative ions. This will
determine the number of ions bonding that happen because positive and negative ions
bond (water.epa.gov) . Another way the conductivity level could change is the amount of
nutrients. Nutrients, such as nitrate and phosphate are key essentials to water and soil
(water.epa.gov). The ions bond creating nutrients. Therefore the soil or water could have
an imbalance because of the amount of TDS, which will affect the nutrient supply
(water.epa.gov).

The proposed experiment is the effect of soil conductivity (!S/cm) on the water
conductivity (!S/cm). The objective of this experiment is to determine the connection
between the conductivity levels of soil surrounding the pond and the water in the pond.
"
The question will be tried to be answered by using a transect and a probe to measure the
conductivity level. The independent variable for this experiment is the conductivity level
of the soil surrounding the pond (!S/cm). The dependent variable for this experiment is
the conductivity level of the water in the pond(!S/cm) . Some important controlled
variables for this experiment are, the method used to test the conductivity level, the
number of samples taken at each part of the transect, the distance from the pond that the
soil will be taken from, and the type of probe that will be used. The hypothesis for this
experiment is: If the soil conductivity level is high, then the water conductivity level will
also be high because when precipitation occurs, the water will go into the soils pore
space, and water will flow underground into the nearest pond (water.epa.gov).

This experiment will show the similarities of soil and water conductivity. Volunteers at
Drumlin Farm, will have a better understanding of why the soil and water conductivity is
so similar, and how the nutrients in and outside the pond are very similar. It is important
to know the connection of the soil and water because this will help with further research
with the water cycle and wildlife growth.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
After arriving at Ice Pond, Bathtub Pond and Poultry Pond at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln,
MA, a compass was used to find four points on each pond. The north-most, east-most,
south-most, and west-most points of the ponds were found. These four points provided a
North-South-East-West transect, where the data was collected on each pond. Figure 1
(below) shows the three ponds where the data was collected.

Figure 1: Map of Drumlin Farm locations with pond locations circled.


"
The north-most point data was collected first at Ice Pond. A Vernier water conductivity
probe was connected to a TI-nspire calculator and then was placed into the water half a
meter from shore. A reading showed up on the TI-nspire calculator and was recorded.
The probe was rinsed off and five more samples were collected in the same place to
achieve a total of six water data points. Next, half of a meter was measured from the
waters edge away from the pond. The Vernier soil conductivity probe was placed into
the soil half a meter from shore and like the water, five more readings were collected to
achieve a total of six soil data points at the northern point of Ice Pond. The same testing
procedure was followed at the east, south and west points of Ice Pond. The same
procedures were also followed at the Poultry, and Bathtub Ponds for setting up the
location of where data was collected and collecting the data. A total of forty data points
were collected at each of the three ponds, resulting in a total of 120 data points. Figure 2
(below) shows an example of a North-South-East-West transect on a pond. The soil data
was collected near where each of the arrows on figure one are.

Figure 2: North South-East West transect on a pond



















"
RESULTS:
Table 1: The Effect of Soil Conductivity (!S/cm)
on Water Conductivity at Poultry Pond.


Table 2: The Effect of Soil Conductivity (!S/cm)
on Water Conductivity at Bathtub Pond
Direction
Water
cond.
Soil cond.
WEST 1 212 20
WEST 2 210 30
WEST 3 212 50
WEST 4 215 60
WEST 5 209 30
WEST 6 211 40
*ERROR: only one direction was tested*
Direction Water
cond.
Soil
Cond.
NORTH 1 220 30
NORTH 2 222 40
NORTH 3 240 70
NORTH 4 212 80
NORTH 5 216 60
NORTH 6 223 90
SOUTH 1 298 30
SOUTH 2 296 40
SOUTH 3 290 20
SOUTH 4 295 30
SOUTH 5 288 30
SOUTH 6 293 20
EAST 1 252 10
EAST 2 260 60
EAST 3 265 50
EAST 4 268 70
EAST 5 275 90
EAST 6 260 70
WEST 1 240 80
WEST 2 245 40
WEST 3 260 60
WEST 4 252 90
WEST 5 246 70
WEST 6 245 90
"


Table 3: The Effect of Soil Conductivity (!S/cm)
on Water Conductivity at Ice Pond
Direction
Water
cond.
Soil cond.
NORTH 1 253 40
NORTH 2 275 20
NORTH 3 299 60
NORTH 4 229 20
NORTH 5 252 20
NORTH 6 250 10
SOUTH 1 296 20
SOUTH 2 290 28
SOUTH 3 289 26
SOUTH 4 297 27
SOUTH 5 295 29
SOUTH 6 285 27
EAST 1 252 10
EAST 2 260 60
EAST 3 265 50
EAST 4 268 70
EAST 5 275 90
EAST 6 260 70
WEST 1 284 10
WEST 2 290 30
WEST 3 250 10
WEST 4 248 40
WEST 5 268 30
WEST 6 270 50











"
Graph 1: The Effect of Soil Conductivity (!S/cm) on Water Conductivity (!S/cm) at
Poultry Pond.

Graph 2: The Effect of Soil Conductivity (!S/cm) on Water Conductivity (!S/cm) at
Bathtub Pond.











"
Graph 3: The Effect of Soil Conductivity (!S/cm) on Water Conductivity (!S/cm) at Ice
Pond.

The experiment was tested at Poultry, Ice, and Bathtub Pond. At each pond soil and water
conductivity levels were conducted. At Poultry Pond, the r" value was 0.1959. The
trendline was downwards(left to right). For Ice Pond, the r" was 0.4733, and the trendline
was increasing (left to right). At Bathtub Pond the r" value was 0.005 but only one
direction was collected for the soil and water conductivity. The trendline is small and
increasing.

For each of the graphs, many points were far away from the trendline. Graph 2 and 3 had
many points and about 25% of the points were far from the trendline. Graph 1 had only a
couple of points, but none of the points were extremely close or far from the trendline.

DISCUSSION:
This experiment was conducted to test the relationship between water conductivity in
ponds and the soil surrounding the ponds. The hypothesis for this experiment was: If the
soil conductivity level is high, then the water conductivity level will also be high because
when precipitation occurs, the water will go into the soils pore space, and water will
flow underground into the nearest pond (water.epa.gov). The hypothesis was not
supported overall because at all ponds, the water conductivity did not significantly
increase when the soil conductivity did.

The soil conductivity and water conductivity did not show a relationship in the results of
this experiment. The data could have resulted this way due to many reasons. One of
these reasons could be the amount of nutrients such as nitrate or phosphate in the soil or
water because the level of nutrients in soil and water affects the conductivity
(water.epa.gov). The conductivity changes along with the nutrient levels because
nutrients in the soil are due to salt and ion levels which increase the conductivity as the
salt and ion levels increase (http://water.epa.gov). The amount of TDS (total dissolved
solids) could have had an effect on the nutrient levels of the soil or water, causing an
"#
imbalance in one of the two, resulting in a minimal to no relationship between the water
and soil (http://www.agriculturesolutions.com/).

There was very weak correlation in the data at Poultry Pond. The r! value for this pond
was 0.1959, showing a minimal relationship between the soil and water
conductivity. The reason for these results could be because the TDS and nutrient levels
in either the soil or water (water.epa.gov). After the conductivity probe stopped working,
the small amount of data collected at Bathtub Pond showed a slight correlation, having a
r! value of 0.4733. The reason Bathtub Pond showed a higher correlation than Poultry
Pond could be because the amount of data collected, or location of collection. Unlike Ice
and Poultry Pond, the data taken from Bathtub Pond was taken from only one point. The
pond with the lowest correlation was Ice Pond, which had an r! value of .005, showing
close to no correlation at all. Ice Pond could have the lowest correlation because of the
salt and ion combination. Salt and ions increase the nutrient and TDS levels of soil
(Grolier, 87). There could also be a difference in temperature at the three different ponds,
causing the water to have a higher or lower conductivity. Warmer water will have a
higher conductivity than colder water (water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html) because heat
is a better conductor than cold or ice.

Even though there was a very low correlation of the overall data, the precision varied
from pond to pond. The data recorded at Ice Pond and Poultry Pond had the lowest
precision, resulting in low confidence in the data. The data taken from Bathtub Pond
showed slightly higher precision, but still gave low confidence due to the large errors
made during the data collection. Due to the fact that water data was only collected at one
point at Bathtub Pond because the conductivity probe stopped working, sufficient data
was not collected at this pond. Sufficient data was collected at Poultry and Ice Pond.

There are many things that could be modified in this experiment. For example, the soil
and water samples were only collected within a meter from the waters edge, so no data
was collected from the middle of the ponds or further into the soil. The depth of where
the soil and water data was also very minimal because the probes used to collect data
could only go so deep into the soil. Another way to expand the data collection would be
to collect data during different seasons, to have a variation in the temperature of the water
and soil because as the temperature increases in soil or water, so does the conductivity
(www.agriculturesolutions.com/).

The largest error made during the data collection was at Bathtub Pond. While at the
calculator. This error could be eliminated by having a fully charged calculator for each
pond or an extra probe in case one breaks or stops working. A future study that could be
based off of this data is the effect of the conductivity of the surrounding soil of a pond on
the aquatic life of that pond.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
We would like to thank our science teacher, Ms. Svatek first because without her this
whole experiment wouldnt be possible. We would also like to thank the three other
science teachers for all the hard work they put in organizing the trip and data collection
and Drumlin Farm. Other than the science teachers, we would like to thank the teacher
""
naturalists at Drumlin Farm who helped us find our way around each habitat. Without
Delila Keravuori, Miriam Feldman and Chris Attisani we wouldnt have been able to
complete our data collection because they lent us a water sample when our calculator
stopped working. Lastly, we would like to acknowledge Ms. Jamison, Mr. Rossiter and
Mr. Sarzana for helping us with our collection at each pond.

"#
WORKS CITED:
"5.9 Conductivity." Home. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), n.d. Web. 26 Feb.
2014. <http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms59.cfm>.
The New Book of Popular Science. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 2006. Print.
Perlman, Howard. "The Water Cycle." The Water Cycle, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Water Science School. U.S.A.GOV, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
<http://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html>.
"The Why and How to Testing the Electrical Conductivity of Soils." The Why and How
to Testing the Electrical Conductivity of Soils. Responsible and Organic, Farm and
Garden Supplies, 28 Feb. 2014. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
<http://www.agriculturesolutions.com/resources/92--the--why--and--how--to-
-testing--the--electrical--conductivity--of--soils>.
"A Tour of the Water Cycle | Precipitation Education." A Tour of the Water Cycle |
Precipitation Education. NASA SVS, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://pmm.nasa.gov/education/videos/tour--water--cycle>.
"Water Cycle -- NASA Science." Water Cycle -- NASA Science. NASA SVS, 15 Apr.
2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://science.nasa.gov/earth--science/oceanography/ocean--earth-
-system/ocean--water--cycle/>.


"#
WORKS CITED:
"5.9 Conductivity." Home. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), n.d. Web. 26 Feb.
2014. <http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms59.cfm>.
The New Book of Popular Science. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 2006. Print.
Perlman, Howard. "The Water Cycle." The Water Cycle, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Water Science School. U.S.A.GOV, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
<http://water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html>.
"Water and Soil Characterization - PH and Electrical Conductivity." Water and Soil
Characterization - PH and Electrical Conductivity. Microbial Life Educational
Resources, 3 Dec. 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
"The Why and How to Testing the Electrical Conductivity of Soils." The Why and How
to Testing the Electrical Conductivity of Soils. Responsible and Organic, Farm and
Garden Supplies, 28 Feb. 2014. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
<http://www.agriculturesolutions.com/resources/92-the-why-and-how-to-testing-
the-electrical-conductivity-of-soils>.


1



This Makes Me Feel . Turbid!



The Effect of Soil Density on
Water Turbidity

By Max Ellsworth (S81 6) and Josh Kim (S81 9)






2

Table of Contents

Section Author Pages
Abstract - Josh Kim (author 2) - 3

Introduction - Max Ellsworth (author 1) - 3 -4

Materials and Methods - Josh Kim (author 2) - 5 6

Results - Max Ellsworth (author 1) - 7 10

Discussion - Josh Kim (author 2) - 10 11

Acknowledgements - Max Ellsworth (author 1) and Josh Kim (author 2) - 12

Works Cited - Max Ellsworth (author 1) and Josh Kim (author 2) - 13 -14






















3

ABSTRACT
The objective of the experiment was to look for a correlation between soil density and water
turbidity from ponds within Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Water turbidity and soil
samples were collected at three ponds: Bathtub Pond, Poultry Pond, and Ice Pond. Seven soil
samples and seven water turbidity tests were performed to have fourteen data points from each
pond. A total of forty-two data points were collected. A water turbidity tube was used to find the
turbidity of the water from each pond. After the water turbidity was tested, soil samples were
collected with a soil auger. Then the soil samples were put in an oven so that waterless soil
samples could be used to find the bulk density. It was thought that Bathtub Pond would have the
highest water turbidity because it has the least dense soil surrounding the pond. However the
results showed that Poultry pond had the greatest water turbidity so the hypothesis was incorrect.
The data was not very accurate, overall, with low linear regression values. There did not seem to
be a strong correlation between soil density and water turbidity. The density data was
inconclusive because error bars overlapped between Poultry and Bathtub Pond`s densities. While
Ice Pond and Bathtub Pond respectively had the second smallest and third smallest turbidities,
the only conclusive soil density was that of Ice Pond, which had the greatest density.






I NTRODUCTI ON
Soil density determines many qualities of natural habitats crucial to the life of plants and
animals. These qualities include soil structure, water clarity, and irrigation (lenntech.com).
Turbidity measurements signify the concentration of suspended particles in a body of water
(lenntech.com). By either allowing the movement and/or ground saturation of water, or
preventing it, soil density has the ability to alter a body oI water`s turbidity by controlling the
flow of soil particles (animalrangeextension.montana.edu). Soil density is measured in grams per
cubic centimeter (g/cm^3), and water turbidity is measured in centimeters (soilquality.org). The
objective of this experiment is to look for a correlation between soil density and water turbidity.
As a fully functional Iarm, Drumlin Farm`s terrestrial health is crucial to the Iertility oI the crops.
Drumlin Farm, located in a Massachusetts Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary within Lincoln, has a
plethora of landscapes and geographical features. Three such features are Bathtub, Ice, and
Poultry Ponds. Bathtub, Ice, and Poultry Ponds provide water to the plants and animals of
Drumlin Farm, which then in turn help fertilize crops, and keep the overall ecosystem in balance.
The turbidity of each pond is a key factor in this balanced system. Excessive levels of turbidity in
a body oI water can result in increases in that water`s temperature, and decreases in oxygen
levels (lenntech.com). This is due to the greater amount of suspended particles which reflect
sunlight through the water, and prevent the light from reaching oxygen-creating plants at the
bottom of that body of water (lenntech.com). Possible causes of higher turbidity include waste
runoff, erosion, water runoff, Phytoplankton, and currents (lenntech.com). The Drumlin of
Drumlin Farm may also provide water runoff to the various ponds.

4

Soil bulk density (g/cm^3) is the measurement of the total mass in every cubic centimeter of soil.
A soil`s density is aIIected by numerous Iactors in nature, including the amount micro pores,
macropores, and the proximity and a hill slope (soilquality.org).
(animalrangeextension.montana.edu). Micropores are spaces smaller than 0.08 mm between the
sand, rocks, air, water, and organic material in soil, whereas macropores are those larger than
0.08 mm (soilquality.org). While micropores restrict movement, macropores enable such
movement of particles and nutrients (soilquality.org). Poorly structured soil can cause excessive
water and soil drainage, which is a potential cause for higher turbidity (Soi l Quality Indicators).
Micropores and macropores are also affected by soil density, which further ties together the
relationship between soil density and water turbidity. The repeating process of water saturating
into the ground through dirt, and eventually sevaporating is known as the Hydrologic cycle
(animalrangeextension.montana.edu). Since soil density plays such a significant role in the health
and Iertility oI soil, discovering more about Drumlin Farm`s own soil density will make way Ior
discoveries which promote agricultural health.
The purpose of this experiment is to determine if there is a correlation between the bulk density
of soil and turbidity of water. All three ponds will each be individually examined for this
correlation. Bathtub, Ice, and Poultry Ponds respectively have soil types of clay loam, silt loam,
and sandy clay loam. The hypothesis states that if Bathtub pond is tested for its turbidity, then it
will have the highest turbidity, because it is surrounded by the least dense soil type (agriinfo.in).
The clay loam of Bathtub Pond is known to have a bulk density of 1.1 g/cm^3, which is less than
1.3 g/cm^3 and 1.6 g/cm^3 densities respectively of Ice and Poultry Ponds and its larger
macropores will enable water runoff to wash its less compact soil into Bathtub Pond. The less
dense soil will raise water turbidity (agriinfo.in).
Supporting any ecosystem`s overall health requires examining speciIic regions within that
ecosystem, and searching for the stem of either a beneficial or harmful development. Through
looking at water turbidity and soil density, further inferences can be made regarding land usage
improvement, as water quality is a universally important factor in natural growth. Looking to the
future, optimization of land usage, especially farmland, is a crucial subject, as global warming
and increases in population put a stress upon the food chain













5

MAT ERI ALS AND ME T HODS

This experiment took place at Drumlin Farm (Lincoln, MA) in three ponds, Ice, Bathtub, and
Poultry Pond. To find spots for data collection a site called random.org was used. This site uses
atmospheric noise to create random points so it is as random as possible. A compass was used to
find these random points on the pond. The angle would be formed on the compass and then the
group would walk around the pond until the big red arrow pointed at the middle of the pond.

To find the water turbidity, a bucket was dipped into the pond. The funnel was placed onto the
Jackson turbidity meter (see figure one). The water inside the bucket was poured into the
turbidity tube through the funnel.The valve at the bottom of the turbidity tube was opened, and
water was drained until the secchi disk could just be observed. Once the secchi disk was in sight,
the valve was closed so that the current turbidity level could be recorded. The centimeter mark
that the water was at on the turbidity tube was recorded. These steps were repeated a total of
seven times so that seven turbidity data points for each pond had been collected. A total of
twenty-one water turbidity points were collected at Drumlin Farm. Each of the soil samples were
extracted from the ground next to where every water turbidity was collected. A soil auger was
pushed into the spot one meter Irom the water`s edge until it was full. Then the auger was pulled
back up, and the soil emptied into a ziploc bag. These steps were repeated for every random
point. A total of seven soil samples were collected from each pond. Just like the water turbidity,
twenty-one soil samples were collected. Overall, fourty-two data points for water turbidity and
soil samples were collected from the ponds. These soil samples were later used in the science lab
to find the average density for each pond.

To find the average soil density soil samples were taken out of each bag and put into separate,
labeled cupcake tins. The oven was set to forty degrees Celsius and was let to preheat. When the
oven was ready, the the cupcake tins with the soil samples was put into the oven. The oven was
then set to 105`celsius. The soil samples were there Ior two hours and then retrieved. Then each
soil sample was then mashed up, using a Mortar and pestle. This made it so that there were no
gaps between the soil and it was all solid. The crushed soil was put into a graduated cylinder and
its measurement was recorded. Then the soil was put on a scale and the mass was also recorded.
The mass of the filter cup was taken out of the weight on the scale so that only the mass of the
soil would be counted. The weight was then divided by the mass of the soil and the result was
recorded. These steps were repeated for all of the soil samples.













6

Figure 1: Soil Auger






Figure 2: Jackson Turbidity Tube



7

RESUL TS

Table 1: The effect of soil density (g/cm^3) on water turbidity (cm) at Bathtub pond.














Table 2: The effect of soil density (g/cm^3) on water turbidity (cm) at Poultry pond.













Table 3: The effect of soil density (g/cm^3) on water turbidity (cm) at Ice pond.














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trial # Density (g/cm^3) Turbidity (cm)
1 0.9 21
2 0.5 31
3 0.7 25
4 0.6 20
5 0.8 27
6 0.7 20
7 0.7 21
Average 0.7 24
Standard Deviation 0.1 4
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Graph 1: The effect of soil density (g/cm^3) on water turbidity (cm) at Bathtub pond


Graph 2: The effect of soil density (g/cm^3)on water turbidity (cm) at Poultry pond



Graph 3: The effect of soil density (g/cm^3) on water turbidity (cm) at Ice Pond


9


Graph 4: The average turbidities of Bathtub, Poultry, and Ice ponds



Graph 5: The average soil density of Bathtub, Poultry, and Ice ponds





10

RESUL TS: WRI T T EN

As seen in table three, Ice pond has the highest average soil density of 1.2 g/cm^3. Bathtub pond
(Table 1) and Poultry pond (Table 2) share the lowest average soil density of 0.7 g/cm^3.
Although Bathtub and Poultry pond share the least soil densities, Bathtub pond`s average
turbidity (75 cm) is signiIicantly less than that oI Poultry`s (24 cm). Ice pond`s average turbidity
is 33 cm. Bathtub and Ice pond share a standard soil density deviation of 0.2, whereas Poultry
pond`s standard soil density deviation is 0.1. Bathtub and Poultry pond both have a water
turbidity standard deviation oI 4, and Ice pond`s water turbidity standard deviation is Iive.

Examining the r-squared values oI each pond`s data, Bathtub pond (Graph 1) has the lowest
value at 0.0035. Respectively with values of 0.1569 and 0.309 are Poultry (Graph 2) and Ice
(Graph 3) ponds. Both Poultry`s and Ice pond`s trend lines lower as the water turbidity decreases
and soil density increases. Unlike the other two ponds, Bathtub pond`s trend line increases as
both the soil density and water turbidity increase. Graph 5 shows that Bathtub pond has a
significantly greater average turbidity (75 cm) than Poultry (24 cm) and Ice (33 cm) ponds.
Poultry and Ice ponds have overlapping error bars due to their respective standard deviations of 4
and 5, which signifies a lack of a significant difference between their turbidities. Graph 5 shows
the average bulk densities oI each pond`s soil. With an average bulk density oI 1.3 g/cm`3 and
standard deviation of 0.1, Ice pond has a significantly greater average bulk density than Bathtub
and Poultry ponds. Bathtub and Poultry ponds share the same average soil densities of 0.7
g/cm^3, and respectively have standard deviations of 0.2 and 0.1, which indicates that neither
has a significantly greater or smaller average bulk density.

In addition to the numerical data drawn from each pond, qualitative observations were also made
during the April 8 visit to Drumlin farm. Both Bathtub and Ice ponds were partially covered in
Ice. Poultry pond was tinted in a murky-green hue, possibly from algae. All ponds had patches of
thick, dead Iorest. Mating Irogs were observed at Ice pond, which backs up a teacher naturalist`s
statement that the time was ripe for frog mating.

DISCUSSI ON
This experiment was conducted to test the correlation between water turbidity and the soil
density surrounding it. The hypothesis was if Bathtub Pond is tested for turbidity, then it will
have the highest turbidity, because it has the clay loam soil, the least dense soil, surrounding it.
The lesser the density of the soil there is, the easier it is for soil particles to be broken up into
water, and thus raise turbidity. (http://www.agriinfo.in). This hypothesis was not supported
because although Bathtub Pond had the least amount of soil density, it had the lowest water
turbidity as well. Bathtub Pond ended up with a soil density average of 0.7g/cm^3 and a water
turbidity average of 75 cm. Then Ice Pond came next with a soil density average of 0.7g/cm^3
and a water turbidity average of 33 cm. Poultry pond had the same soil density average as
Bathtub Pond but had the most water turbidity of 24 cm. This may be due to the fact that the
topographical elements with the rain and hills were not added. Also there were many errors and
assumptions throughout the experiment.
11


Poultry Pond had the most water turbidity. A possible cause oI Poultry Pond`s high turbidity was
the road right nearby it. Phosphorous runoII Irom roads can cause algae 'blooms, which would
support the observation that Poultry Pond had a high algae content. The algae obscure light`s
path through the water, and therefore affect the water turbidity results. (amnh.org, Harrison). If
the algae wasn`t polluting the water, then it would`ve been easier to see through the water and
the water turbidity would be similar to Bathtub Pond since they both had the same soil density
average.

Another possible reason why Poultry Pond and Ice Pond have a greater turbidity than Bathtub
Pond is because Poultry and Ice Ponds are both on the bottom of hills. Whenever it rains, the rain
may bring down the particles from the hill, and wash them up into the ponds. This will add more
water turbidity making harder to see through. (epa.gov) Bathtub Pond is on flat land so there are
no particles coming from hills, which would explain why it has such a low water turbidity.

The data set precision, and accuracy when compared to the original hypothesis was subpar. The
linear regression in the graphs show that the correlation between the soil density and water
turbidity is not significant. Bathtub Pond had the least R squared value of 0.0035, then Poultry
Pond with 0.1569, and finally Ice Pond had the most linear regression out of the three ponds with
0.3091. The water turbidity standard deviations were both four for Bathtub and Poultry pond,
and five for Ice Pond. The soil samples for Bathtub and Ice Pond both had a standard deviation
of 0.2 and Poultry Pond had a standard deviation of 0.1. This data is almost conclusive besides
the Iact there are error bar overlaps between Ice pond and Poultry Pond`s soil densities.

While this experiment being conducted, a few errors occurred for each pond. During the ending
of the first rotation at Ice Pond, the testing was rushed to finish and so this affected the water
turbidity points because it was harder to see through the water turbidity tube, when the water was
stirred up inside. If there was more time to test, the water turbidity would be more accurate, as
more time would allow for calmer collection. On Poultry Pond, it was hard to collect full soil
density samples because there were many rocks around the pond so the soil was mostly collected
from the top. The last pond, Bathtub Pond, was the most difficult to test because they were so
many branches and thorns surrounding the pond. The group tried to get as close as it was
possible to get to the random points and collected data from there. For future experiments, other
components should be tested to see what affects water turbidity because there is no strong
correlation between soil density and water turbidity.












12

AC K NOWL EDGE MENTS

This project would not have been possible without the help from others. I would like to thank the
Buckingham Browne and Nichols Middle School teachers who supervised data collection at
Drumlin farm. I would also like to thank the teacher naturalists of the Audubon Society who
answered any questions regarding Drumlin Farm. My mother, Mara Ellsworth, provided me with
an oven for baking soil, and bought cupcake tins for storing the soil. This was an essential part of
the experiment which 'saved the day. Finally, I would like to thank the science department, and
our science teacher, Ms. Svatek, for arranging the visit to Drumlin Farm. This project would not
have been possible without the help from others. I would like to thank the Buckingham Browne
and Nichols Middle School teachers who supervised data collection at Drumlin farm. I would
also like to thank the teacher naturalists of the Audubon Society who answered any questions
regarding Drumlin Farm. My mother, Mara Ellsworth, provided me with an oven for baking soil,
and bought cupcake tins for storing the soil. This was an essential part of the experiment which
'saved the day. Finally, I would like to thank the science department, and our science teacher,
Ms. Svatek, for arranging the visit to Drumlin Farm.
-Max Ellsworth, author 1

I would like to thank some people Ior their contributions to this project. First oI all, I`d like to
thank our science teacher, Ms. Svatek for helping us throughout the project. Without her
everything would have been much harder to put together. I would also like to thank our teacher
naturalists at Drumlin Farm Ior guiding us and helping us with our procedures. Max`s mother
also was a big help by letting us use her oven and bake our soil samples. Last but not least, I
would like to thank whoever left a patriots cup at the lost and found for letting us use it as a
bucket to fill up our turbidity tube.
-Josh Kim, author 2





















13

WORKS CI T ED

Author 1:

Blanco, Humberto, and R. Lal. Principles of Soil Conservation and Management. Dordrecht?:
Springer, 2008. Print.

Brown, Katherine, and Andrew Wherrett. "Bulk Density Measurement." Bulk
Density.Soilquality.org.au, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
<http://www.soilquality.org.au/factsheets/bulk-density-measurement>

HowStuffWorks.com Contributors. "What is loam soil?" 09 March
2011. HowStuffWorks.com.
<http://home.howstuffworks.com/what-is-loam-soil.htm>

Perlman, Howard. " Turbidity. " Turbidity. USGS, 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
<http://water.usgs.gov/edu/turbidity.html
" Turbidity. " Turbidity. Lenntech, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
<http://www.lenntech.com/turbidity.htm>.
>
"Silt." National Geographic Education. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.
<http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/silt/?ar_a=1>.

Author 2

"Density of Soil: Bulk Density and Particle Density." Density of Soil : Bulk Density and Particle

Density. My Agriculture Information Bank, 2011. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.agriinfo.in/?page=topic&superid=4&topicid=271>.

Harrison, Ian. "OLogy." OLogy. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.amnh.org/ology/features/askascientist/question08.php>.

Rybolt, Thomas R. Environmental Experiments about Water. New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, 1993.
Print.

"Soils - Part 2: Physical Properties of Soil and Soil Water." Plant and Soil Sciences ELibrary.
USDA, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informationmodule.php?idinformationmodule=1130447
039&topicorder=6>.

"True Random Number Service." RANDOM. ORG -. N.p., 1998. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.random.org/>.

"5.5 Turbidity." Home. EPA, 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
<http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms55.cfm>.
14



Image citations:
"Funnels." A Conversion Funnel. IMGRIND, 12 Apr. 2011. Web. 18 Apr.
2014. <http://www.imgrind.com/how-to-develop-a-conversion-funnel-that-converts/>.

Naturalists, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
<https://www.acornnaturalists.com/store/SOIL-COLLECTION-TUBE-hand-auger-
P2090C215.aspx>.

N.d. Http://www.pactogo.com/. Web. 1 May 2014.
<http://www.middlesextimber.co.uk/media/catalog/category/soil.jpg>

N.d. Http://www.middlesextimber.co.uk. Web. 1 May 2014.
<http://www.middlesextimber.co.uk/media/catalog/category
Sancaktar, Errol A. "Tools." Secchi Dipin. N.p., 29 July 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.secchidipin.org/instruct.htm>.

"SOIL COLLECTION TUBE (hand Auger)." SOIL COLLECTION TUBE (hand Auger). Acorn

"Water." Turbidity. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.oftimeandtheriver.org/resources/mid20century/fr1931to1972_06.htm>.

/soil.jpg>.






















The Effect of Soil Percolation on Plant Density
Maggie Foot and Oliver Resnick

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T ABL E OF CONT ENTS

Section Author Page

Abstract Maggie Foot 3

Introduction Maggie Foot 3

Materials and Methods Maggie Foot 5

Results Oliver Resnick 6

Discussion Oliver Resnick 10

Acknowledgments Maggie Foot & Oliver Resnick 12

Works Cited Maggie Foot 13

Works Cited Oliver Resnick 14



























!

ABSTRA CT
Soil percolation is the rate at which water is absorbed by soil. Soil types often
change depending on the distance they are from a pond. When soil types change, the soil
percolation rates change due to the fact that more clay based soils have lower percolation
rates and sandier soils have higher percolation rates. Using this knowledge, an
experiment was conducted at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA to see if there was a
correlation between distance from the pond/soil percolation rates and plant density. It was
expected that the closer the distance is to the pond, the plant density will be lower,
because the soil is more clay based and therefore has lower soil percolation rates. To
conduct this experiment, a soup can was inserted three centimeters into soil at specific
distances in each cardinal direction at three different ponds and their surrounding areas. A
certain amount of water was poured into each soup can, and the time needed for the water
to drain was recorded. While this was happening, a 25 cm by 25 cm quadrat was placed
around the can that was being drained, and the amount of living, rooted, green plants
inside the quadrat were hand counted and this number was then recorded. The r value
was 0.01 for the effect of soil percolation on plant density. This allows the conclusion to
be drawn that there is little to none correlation between plant density and soil percolation
rates. However, there was large room for error during the experiment, making it hard to
decide if the information from the experiment was conclusive.

I NTRODUCTI ON
Global warming affects everything, from polar ice caps, to rare plants growing in
the Amazon. Since there has been such exponential population growth, the human race
has started to urbanize, and take up much of the space that used to be for oxygen
producing trees and other plants. Mankind needs plants to survive because plants take in
carbon dioxide, and release the oxygen humans need to breathe. Being autotrophs, which
means they produce their own food, plants are also the ultimate source for all of the
humans race`s food. In order for plants to grow, they need to have a suitable soil
structure, with several factors making this up. One of these is soil percolation. Soil
percolation is the rate at which water is absorbed by soil (treepeople.org). It plays an
important part in soil structure, and can be a determining factor in whether a species of
plants survives or not. Since the human race needs plants to survive in order for their own
survival, everyone should pay more attention to what sort of impact their actions have on
the soil environment, especially soil percolation.
The experiment set forth in this paper will be looking at the effect of soil
percolation on plant density and will be conducted at Drumlin Farm, a Massachusetts
Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, in Lincoln, MA. It consists of several different ecosystems
all in the same vicinity, such as forests, fields, and ponds. Once at Drumlin Farm, the
focus will be on the ponds and surrounding wetlands. Bathtub Pond, Poultry Pond, and
Boyce Pond are the three ponds that the data will be collected from. Poultry Pond lies
relatively close to the paved road for outside traffic, and is also directly downhill from a
chicken coop. Bathtub Pond is located in an area with an abundance of underbrush and
trees. Boyce Pond is near Boyce Field, and is surrounded by forest. Wetland soil, such as
the ones around the ponds, is usually much more clay based, and the type of soil is a very
important component of soil percolation rates.
Soil percolation is a crucial aspect when looking at plant growth in an ecosystem.
It is affected by several factors, such as texture, soil structure, and grain size. Grain size is
!

the most prominent factor in soil percolation rates. Gravel, sand, and clay are the most
commonly referred to types of grains. Gravel and sand have the largest particles, which
means that they have large soil pores, also known as 'macropores. Pores are the spaces
in between soil particles/aggregates. It is hard for soil particles of both gravel and sand to
group together and Iorm a clump because they don`t have a large amount oI organic
material (depi.vic.gov.au). This also makes it harder for them to store large amounts of
water, because the water enters quickly, and then keeps draining through. Clay based
soils, on the other hand, have a very fine texture, and very small pores, also known as
'micropores. This makes it very hard Ior water to enter the soil and pass through it. This
means that the soil can store water for longer, but it can be harmful if there is so much
clay that plant roots can`t take root and start to suffocate ( passel.unl.edu). The ideal
growing condition for plants would be if the soil percolation rate is just in the middle,
meaning the soil has a little clay and a little sand, but not enough of either one to
completely tilt the scales.
The proposed experiment is to explore the effect of distance from the pond
(meters), on plant density. The distance from the pond will change soil percolation rates
because as the distance from the pond increases, the soil type will change and therefore
so will the percolation. The experiment will be performed by running soil percolation
tests to the North, South, East, and West of each pond, with each sample being taken at
set distances farther and farther away from the pond. There were two hypotheses in this
experiment, although the main focus in this paper is on the latter one. The first one is if
that the closer the distance is to the pond, then soil percolation rates will be lower,
because the soil is more clay based
(epa.gov/gmpo/education/pdfs/DesigningWetland.pdf). The independent variable was
distance from the pond, and the dependent variable was soil percolation rates. This was
more of a preliminary hypothesis to set the stage for the independent variable in the next
one. The next hypothesis that this paper mostly focuses on is if the soil percolation rates
are lower, then plant density will be lower because the soil is more clay based, and this
makes it more difficult for plants to take root and breathe (Lucke,
www.earthsciweek.org). The independent variable is the soil percolation, which relates to
the first hypothesis because although the soil percolation cannot be controlled, the
distance from the pond can be, which in turn makes distance and percolation rates almost
equal. The dependent variable is plant density. Some control variables designed for this
experiment include distance increment for each measurement, the amount of water used,
the amount of soil tested, the same testing day and the diameter of the coffee can.
The data gathered from this experiment could potentially help farmers in the
future. When farmers at Drumlin Farm are deciding where to put in a new field, they will
want to have the most efficient spot that will produce the largest amount of crops.
Depending on the results of this experiment and where the highest plant density is,
farmers will be able to determine which distances from the ponds will work the best.
Even if their plans do not include a pond, the farmers still should have some idea of the
overall effect of soil percolation on plant density, because the percolation will play a big
part in plant growth no matter the location. Farmers everywhere should keep the relativity
of soil percolation to plant density in mind if they are looking to boost their crop
production and have the most efficient farming possible. If there are more plants, there
will also be more oxygen given off, which is good for the human race. As more people
!

become educated about this relationship, the less space, time, money, and land will be
wasted.

MAT ERI ALS AND ME T HODS
The following was completed in the lab before the experiment was performed in
the field. Three soup cans, (16 ounces), had their tops and bottoms removed using a can
opener. The soup cans then had lines drawn around the inside and outside circumference
so when conducting the experiment in the field it was clear how deep to press the can into
the ground. These lines were made by marking the inside of the coffee can three
centimeters high from the rim with a Sharpie. These marks were repeated in two
centimeter increments around the inside circumference of the coffee can until the line
could be traced connecting all of them together. This process of marking was then
repeated on the outside of the coffee can, on the same end that the inside was marked on,
also three centimeters high. A 16 ounce plastic water bottle had its bottom cut out, and a
line drawn around the outside to where water should be poured to to get 13 ounces. Two
gallon jugs were filled with water.

Figure 1: These are some of the materials that
were used. 1 is a phone opened to a stopwatch.
2 is the permanent marker used to mark the
inside of the coffee cans. 3 is the compass that
was used to align and locate the different
locations at each pond.

The next part consists of the in-field
experimentation that was performed at
Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA. The three
locations that data was collected from were
Poultry Pond, Boyce Pond, and Bathtub Pond.
A compass was aligned at each location so that all cardinal directions were known and
accurate. The first testing point was found by going to the location facing North, and
inserting a flag right next to the pond. A meter tape was then used to measure fifteen
meters out, still facing North, and two flags were placed; one at five meters and one at
fifteen meters. One of the soup cans was pushed into the ground right next to the flag,
until the soil came up to the three centimeter line on the can. The plastic 13oz. bottle was
then filled with water to the marked line from one of the two gallon jugs, and was slowly
poured into the soup can. As soon as the first drop of water hit the soil, the stopwatch was
started. While the first can was draining its water, a second can was pushed into the
ground in the same style as how the first one was, but at five meters. Water measured
from the 13 oz. bottle was once again poured into the soup can. While the first and
second ones were draining, a third can was going through the same procedure fifteen
meters away from the first point. Each location was observed and once the water had
fully drained into the soil, the stopwatch was stopped and the time was recorded for each
point. While the water was draining at the first point, a 25 cm. by 25 cm. quadrat was
placed so the flag was in the middle. The number of plants in that area were hand counted
and recorded. Only living, green plants that were rooted in the ground were counted.
After moving to the next data point, a measured five meters away from the first point,
!

still in the northern direction, the procedure of collecting and testing plant density was
repeated. The same procedure for collecting and testing was repeated at the third data
point, the fifteen meter distance. After finishing one cardinal direction, the next one was
tested, until all four had been completed. This entire process was then repeated at each
location.

Figure 2: A sketch of a generic pond and the
general idea of where the samples are going to be
collected at each location.














RESUL TS
Table 1: Poultry Pond- The effect of distance from pond (meters) on soil percolation time
(minutes).

Percolation Time In Minutes
Distance T1 T2 T3 T4 Average
Standard
Deviation
0 m 1.7 2.5 2.7 5.0 3.0 1.2
5 m 4.3 0.4 10.0 0.2 3.7 4.0
15 m 0.4 1.5 9.8 0.9 3.2 3.9


Table 2: Poultry Pond- The effect of distance from pond (meters) on plant density (plants
per quadrat).

Plant Density (plants per quadrat)
Distance T1 T2 T3 T4 Average
Standard
Deviation
0 m 11 3 0 1 3.8 4.3
5 m 7 4 6 3 5.0 3.1
15 m 1 0 0 2 0.8 0.8




!

Table 3: Bathtub Pond- The effect of distance from pond (meters) on soil percolation
time (minutes).

Percolation Time In Minutes
Distance T1 T2 T3 T4 Average
Standard
Deviation
0 m 7.4 4.1 10 6.2 6.9 2.1
5 m 1.6 10 10 10 7.9 3.6
15 m 1.9 8.3 1.6 1.9 3.4 2.8

Table 4: Bathtub Pond- The effect of distance from pond (meters) on plant density (plants
per quadrat).

Plant Density (plants per quadrat)
Distance T1 T2 T3 T4 Average
Standard
Deviation
0 m 2 2 3 0 1.8 1.1
5 m 4 0 2 3 2.3 1.5
15 m 6 1 117 2 31.5 49.4

Table 5: Boyce Pond- The effect of distance from pond (meters) on soil percolation time
(minutes).

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Table 6: Boyce Pond- The effect of distance from pond (meters) on plant density (plants
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Graph 1: The effect of distance from pond (m) on percolation time (minutes).


Graph 2: The effect of distance from pond (m) on plant density (plants per quadrat).


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Graph 3: The effect of soil percolation time (minutes) on plant density (plants per
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Graph 4: The effect of soil percolation (minutes) on plant density (plants per quadrat).

Graph 1 shows effect of distance from pond on soil percolation time. At each
distance the data from Poultry Pond and the data from Bathtub Pond are exactly the same.
At 0 meters the percolation at Boyce Pond took longer on average than it did at either of
the other ponds. At 5 meters it was similar. Poultry Pond and Bathtub Pond remained on
level with themselves at eight minutes, however they had a bit longer percolation rates
than at 0 meters, whilst Boyce Pond`s percolation rates were significantly higher. At 15
meters as well, Poultry and Bathtub stayed on level with each other, however decreasing
more than the past two distances. Boyce Pond`s percolation rates remained the same as at
the 5 meter distance with a percolation rate of 10 minutes, and remained larger than the
other two ponds. The error bars at the 0 meter distance all overlapped. At 5 meters they
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also all overlapped, however at the 15 meter distance Boyce Pond`s error bars did not
overlap with the other two ponds. Poultry and Bathtub however did overlap. As a whole,
all of the data overlapped. The averages for the first ponds percolation rates were three
minutes, three point seven minutes, and three point two minutes, making it a precise data
set. The average percolation rates for Bathtub Pond were six point nine minutes, seven
point nine minutes, and three point four minutes, also making this set imprecise. The
average percolation rates for Boyce Pond were nine minutes, ten minutes and ten
minutes, making it a fairly precise data set. The highest data point was at Boyce Pond,
with a ten minute draining time. The lowest was at Poultry Pond with a three minute
draining time
Graph 2 showed the effect of distance from pond on plant density. At all distances
the plant density appears lowest at Bathtub pond with the exception of the 15 meter data
where it is much higher than any other data point with a plant density of 117 plants per
quadrat. At 0 meters and 5 meters Poultry Pond seems to have the highest average,
however at 15 meters it has less than both Boyce and Bathtub. Every single error bar, in
every data set overlapped. The average plant density`s Ior Poultry Pond were three point
eight plants, five plants, and point eight plants, making this a very imprecise data set. The
average plant density`s at Bathtub Pond were one point eight plants, two point three
plants and thirty one point five plants making this the most imprecise data set. The
average plant density`s in Boyce Pond were two point eight plants, three plants, and six
point three plants making this a fairly imprecise data set. The highest data point on this
graph was at Bathtub Pond with thirty-one point five plants in the area. The lowest data
point was at Poultry Pond with zero point eight plants in the area.
Graph 3 was the effect of percolation time on plant density at each pond. Poultry
Pond`s data points are spread out pretty evenly; however they seemed to cluster in the
area between 2-4 plants and 0-2 seconds. Bathtub Pond`s data points are pretty evenly
spread through the entire thing, and Boyce Pond`s are all lined up along the 10 minute
mark, however it has a good plant density range. The r squared value for Poultry Pond
was .00053, the r squared value for Bathtub Pond was .06, and the r squared value for
Boyce Pond was .03. The Poultry Pond trend line only hits two of the data points with
most significantly above or below. The trend line for Bathtub Pond hits three of the data
points, but still misses a majority of them. The trend line for Boyce Pond also only hits
two data points, however it misses a majority of them significantly.
Graph 4 shows the effect of soil percolation on plant density. The r squared value
is 0.02. There appear to be clusters of data points around 2.00 minutes and 10.00 minutes.
The highest point for plant density was at around 117 plants per quadrat. The lowest
included many data points with zero data points at that quadrat. The highest soil
percolation time were multiple data points clustered around the 10 minute mark and the
lowest points were sub two minutes. The data was very imprecise which is shown
through the large spread of the numbers.

DISCUSSI ON
The core problem being examined in this experiment was whether or not soil
percolation had any affect on plant density. The main hypothesis was: if the distance is
closer to the pond, than plant diversity will be lower because the soil is more clay based,
and therefore percolation rates are lower (Lucke, http://wwwearthsciweek.org/ncli). The
!!

hypothesis was not supported because there was no correlation between soil percolation
and plant density.
There was no correlation between soil percolation and plant density because of a
connection drawn incorrectly. It was assumed that areas with higher clay contents would
have lesser percolation rates because the particles would be smaller, causing water to run
through the spaces in between the particles slower (Lucke,
earthsciweek.org/ncli/edact/properties.html). This was also not supported however,
because the soil closer to the pond presumably had higher clay levels, due to the moisture
of the soil, but there was no correlation between distance from pond and percolation
rates. The aforementioned incorrectly drawn conclusion was in the assumption that the
moisture of the soil had any effect on plant density. It was assumed that the more water
in the soil, then the more plant life could be supported. Assuming this led to the
assumption that the percolation of the soil effected the amount of plants grown, however
it was later researched that although water, obviously, is necessary in plants survival,
there is no immediate correlation between the moisture of the soil and the density of plant
life in that area (Veihmeyer, annualreviews.org/doi/abs). I cannot give a new hypothesis
because the two variables showed no correlation making it irrelevant.
The r squared values show the correlation between the independent and dependent
variable in what is being examined. The closer the r squared value is to one, the higher
correlation the two have. When examining whether there was a correlation between soil
percolation and plant density, the r squared value was .02, which is quite distant from
one. This lead us to believe that there was no conclusive correlation between our
variables. On graphs 1 and 2, there were also no conclusions that could be made because
all the error bars overlapped on both graphs, making it impossible to draw any
completely certain assumptions about the data.
The data set precision was surprisingly high due in part to errors the scientists
made. For example, at Boyce Pond the average percolation rates were 9.0 minutes, 10
minutes, and 10 minutes. This was due to the fact that in order to save time a number of
tests had to be cut off at the 10 minute mark. This means that they could potentially have
gone on for another five minutes anywhere up to a couple hours. This led to very precise,
but very inaccurate data points. The most imprecise data set we had was for Bathtub
Pond`s plant density. The averages were 1.8 plants, 2.3 plants, and 31.5 plants. This was
because one of the distances ended up being on grass, so the scientists counted the blades
of grass, which heightened that specific data set significantly.
The experiment could have definitively been modified for an improved result. To
start, there was no reason to do all three distances, at all four directions, at all four ponds.
This was incredibly excessive, and although it seemed like a good idea in order to have
all necessary samples and a good, varied data set, it ended up being more harm than
good. The amount of time required in order to support these number of samples made it
so the thoroughness of the samples that were gotten were not up to scientific standards.
On any sample that went above ten minutes, the time was marked as 'ten plus and had
to be cut off in order to collect all the data. Cutting out some of these trials would be very
beneficial to anyone who wishes to try this experiment at a later date.
One error that occurred during collection was the can in which the percolation
was tested bent and possibly obstructed the trustworthiness of the results. The cans are
delicate and should be handled with care. Another error that occurred was perfecting the
!"

method in which the plant density is counted. For one grassier area, the blades of grass
were counted individually, while for others, anything green was counted as a plant and
added to the plant density count. In order to maintain the integrity of the experiment these
are errors that could be fixed with some preparation and care.

AC KNOWL EDGMENTS
Maggie Foot:
The Knights of Science project is a very time consuming, important project, and
there are many people I would like to thank for helping me get to where I am right now.
First, I would like to thank my partner Oliver Resnick, for proof-reading, helping
innovate our procedure, detangling my hair from thorns when we were trekking through
the wilderness, and being there to create this project with me. Without him, none of this
would be possible. I would also like to thank the invaluable help of Ms Schultheis. She is
always there to encourage and lend words of wisdom, whether it is editing all the
different pieces, or the daily problem solving, from how to make a graph, to how to avoid
carrying nine gallons of water with us on the day of the experiment. Another thanks goes
out to all of the field guides at Drumlin Farm, who provided insightful knowledge into
the workings of all the different environments. I would like to give a special thanks to
Barbara and Jonathan Foot, who have the utmost patience and are willing to drive to
Lowe`s at ten o`clock at night Ior the sake of science materials. Finally, I would like to
thank everyone that I am not able to name for helping me complete this long and trying
process.

Oliver Resnick:
I would first like to thank Maggie Foot for being nothing short of an amazing
partner. The Knights of Science Project is a long term, and at times tedious project, and it
takes up a major portion of the eighth grade year. Having a partner that is flexible,
forgiving, and always willing to help in any situation you may find yourself in, is
fundamental in the success of this project. That is exactly what Maggie was. No amount
of gratitude could appease the number of thanks I owe to Maggie.
Next I would like to thank Ms. Schultheis, our teacher, for not only assisting us in
any way we needed, and there were times help was necessary, but also for carrying all the
projects, for every group, in both her classes. That is the kind of responsibility and
empathetic teaching attitude that all teachers should come to learn and participate in.
I would also like to extend my appreciation to the four people who anonymously
reviewed our paper. Although I am unaware of who it was, it was great help in editing the
paper. I would also like to thank my parents for reading over the paper and assisting me
in my edits, as well as remaining flexible in order to get supplies necessary to complete
the project








!"

WORKS CI T ED
Author 1
"Factors Affecting Plant Growth." Factors Affecting Plant Growth. The
Agricultural Institute College of Agriculture and Life Sciences North Carolina
State University, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
<http://broome.soil.ncsu.edu/ssc051/Lec3.htm>.
Gardner, Robert. Soil : Green Science Projects for a Sustainable Planet.
Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2011. Print.
"How Do the Properties of Soils Affect Plant Growth." Department of
Environment and Primary Industries. State Government of Victoria,
30 Jan. 2014. Web. 09 Mar. 2014. <http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/agriculture-and-
food/dairy/pastures-management/fertilising-dairy-pastures/how-do-the-properties-
of-soils-affect-plant-growth>.
"How to Do a Percolation Test." Grey Water Action. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar.
2014.
<http://greywateraction.org/content/how-do-percolation-test>.
"Lecture 8: Soils and Percolation." Geology. Western Washington
University, N.d. Web. 9 Mar. 2014.
<http://geology.wwu.edu/rjmitch/L8_soils_percolation.pdf>. PDF.
Lucke, Kristen. "Soil Properties." Earth Science Week. American
Geosciences Institute, 2014. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.earthsciweek.org/ncli/edact/properties.html>.
"Percolation Test." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 01 Mar. 2014. Web.
09 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percolation_test>.
!"

"Soil Genesis and Development, Lesson 6 - Global Soil Resources and
Distribution."Plant and Soil Sciences ELibrary. National Institute of Food and
Agriculture, n.d. Web. 07 Mar.
2014.<https://passel.unl.edu/pages/informationmodule.php?idinformationmodule
=1130447033&topicorder=3&maxto=12&minto=1>.
"Soil Percolation Rates." Tree People. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.treepeople.org/soil-percolation-rates>.
Author 2
Lucke, Kristen. "Soil Properties." Earth Science Weekly. American Geosciences Institute,
2014. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.
<http://wwwearthsciweek.org/ncli/edact/properties.html>.
Veihmeyer, F. J., and A. H. Hendrickson. "Soil Moisture In Relation To Plant Growth."
Annual Reviews. Research4life, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs>.

Cover Art
Soil Quotations. Digital image. Urbantext.illinois.edu. NRCS, n.d. Web. 1 May 2014.
<http://urbanext.illinois.edu/soil/quotes/quotes.htm>.
























That Slope Makes Your Water Look
Turbid!
The Effect of Slope of Pond (degrees) on
Turbidity of Pond (NTU)
By: Brooke Shachoy and Olivia Friend
"
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section: Author: Page:

Abstract Olivia Friend 2

Introduction Brooke Shachoy 2-3

Materials & Methods Olivia Friend 3-4

Results Brooke Shachoy 5-8

Discussion Olivia Friend 8-9

"
ABSTRACT
Shown by previous experiments, it has been said that increased rainfall on steep
slopes causes higher turbidity readings. This experiment was conducted to test the
relationship between pond slope and water turbidity. It was expected that the pond with
the steepest slope would end up having the highest turbidity results. Two ponds were
used at Drumlin Farm for this study: Ice Pond and Boyce pond. The pond slope was
tested at one location at each pond using a Suunto Clinometer and two meter sticks
aligned along the slope. The turbidity was then tested using a turbidity sensor. Samples of
water were put into the sensor to calculate the data. Two scatter-plot graphs were created
to display the results for each pond. Another was formed to show all of the data together
along with a bar graph that was created to compare averages. It was found that there was
no correlation between pond slope and water turbidity due to a wide range of data and
small r
2
values.

INTRODUCTION
Turbidity is the measurement of the clarity of liquid. It is a visual characteristic of
water and is a measurement of light that is scattered throughout the water, when a light is
shined into a sample (water.usgs.gov). When turbidity levels are high the water becomes
cloudy and foggy and could represent a health hazard. There are many ways to measure
turbidity, but it is most commonly measured with a Vernier Turbidity Sensor. Slope is a
mathematical term that describes the steepness of a line. Slope is measured with a
clinometer, a small device placed with a small window that is looked through at a
meter stick and then the slope is read. When there is a steeper slope around an area of
water, there is thought to be a higher turbidity level, because when rain falls, it could
force soil particles from the ground into the water (www.snh.org).
At Drumlin Farm, in Lincoln, MA, a member of the Massachusetts Audubon
Society, the turbidity and slope of two ponds (Ice & Boyce Ponds) were tested in fourteen
different locations around the two ponds. The levels were then compared to determine
whether or not the slope of the pond effects turbidity. The ponds that were measured will
have designated locations using a randomization technique, and a total of fourteen trials
took place at each pond. The ponds are all different shapes and sizes and ultimately will
have different turbidity levels and slopes of their banks.
An experiment was conducted at the Journal of Sedimentary Research where the
comparison of slope of the ponds effect on turbidity currents. The hypothesis was
supported and it showed that turbidity currents are affected by slope, and that slope and
turbidity have a connection (http://sabotin.ung.si.) Another experiment was conducted
specifically about the rainfall amounts at Duke University testing the effect the slope-
flow on the deposition from a continuous turbidity current (scholars.duke.edu). It was
found that with a steeper slope the turbidity currents are stronger. Both of these
experiments will provide useful information for this study and will be helpful resources
to look back at after the Drumlin Farm visit is concluded.
The independent variable for the experiment is slope (degrees) of the ponds
(Boyce and Ice Ponds) at Drumlin Farm. The dependent variable is the turbidity (NTU)
of the ponds water. The turbidity will be tested at equal distance from the ponds outer
edge, with the same turbidity sensor. The weather on the day Drumlin Farm is visited
will be an important factor for our analysis because as mentioned before, rainfall can
"
affect turbidity. The Clinometer and meter sticks that will be used to determine slope will
be used consistently throughout each trial. All of the variables listed above will be
controlled during the trials. The hypothesis for the experiment is: If the pond slope is
steeper, then the waters turbidity will be higher, because rainfall moves downward on
steeper slopes which will result in the pond having more soil particles suspended in the
water thus increasing the turbidity (Giambelluca, Thomas) (A.J. Jakeman)
(www.snh.org).
Various important lessons will be learned from the experiment. Some lessons that
will be learned are that turbidity measures the clarity of the water and slope measures the
steepness of the bank of the pond. It could potentially show a correlation between slope
and turbidity. Turbidity affects the health of fish. Some direct influences are sediments at
the bottoms of lakes and ponds, smothering fish eggs, and affecting organisms living at
the bottom of a lake or pond (Newton, David E.). How to use a clinometer and a turbidity
sensor will also be mentioned (see materials and methods). New knowledge will be
discovered about slope and turbidity and new skills will be developed, in completion of
this study.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
At Drumlin Farm (Figure 1), located in Lincoln, MA, two wetlands were chosen
to test the effect of pond slope (degrees) on water turbidity (NTU). In each location, Ice
Pond and Boyce Pond, one spot around the perimeter of the pond was chosen to measure
the slope. To do this, Rand (n)*x was plugged into the calculator. N stood for the
number of random numbers wanted, so 5 was plugged in. X stood for the maximum
number, so 360 was plugged in, since this number represents the total degrees within a
compass. One of the randomized numbers was chosen to be the primary test location for
fourteen trials. At the pond, one person held the compass and moved it around until the
random number was pinpointed. The waters turbidity was tested directly in front of that
specific area. These steps were repeated for each of the two ponds.
In each wetland, the slope of the ponds outer edge was measured with a Suunto
clinometer (figure 2) measured in degrees. To measure the pond slopes, one individual
stood at the top of the slope with a meter stick. The other person stood at the bottom of
the slope with another meter stick and the Suunto clinometer. This person held the
clinometer up to one eye so that the conversion table was on the right and the spinning
dial was on the left. The meter sticks at the top and bottom of the slope were aligned.
Then the individual with the clinometer looked through the viewfinder and lined it up
with the horizontal line that was created between the meter sticks. This same person
noted where the horizontal line crossed the left hand scale inside the viewfinder. Then
that number was used on the conversion table located on the other side of the clinometer.
The slope measurement was recorded and these steps were repeated for fourteen trials at
each pond.






"




















Water was collected at each sample site using a 50 mL cylinder adjacent to where
the slope was measured. The cylinder was filled 2/3 of the way. The Vernier sensor
(figure 3) was connected to a TI-Inspire Calculator to become activated. The pond water
was transferred from the graduated cylinder into the blank cuvette. The lid was sealed on
top and the outside of the cuvette was wiped with a tissue to eliminate any excess water.
The mark on the cuvette was aligned with the mark on the turbidity sensor, and the
cuvette was placed in the slot inside the sensor (figure 4). The display was watched until
the turbidity readings showed. Once the final reading was displayed, the turbidity
measurement, measured in Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU), was recorded. These
two procedures for collecting and testing were repeated at each of the two wetlands for
fourteen trials.












RESULTS

Table #1: The effect of Slope of Pond on Turbidity of Pond at Boyce Pond
Figure 2: Suunto Clinometer used for
calculating the slope at each pond.
Figure 3: Vernier Turbidity Sensor used
for measuring turbidity (NTU). Two
cuvettes used for putting the samples in.
Figure 4: Cuvette placed in the
sensor, ready to be tested.
Figure1: Drumlin Farm, the location where
testing took place. Destinations 11, 12, & 13
were used.
"
RESULTS

Trial Slope (degrees) Turbidity (NTU)
1 17 525.4
2 11 525.4
3 19 395.5
4 17 401.7
5 14 137.9
6 14 404.7
7 11 306.2
8 17 321.9
9 14 162.7
10 9 398.5
11 17 237.2
12 14 341.2
13 17 154.9
14 11 175.3
Average 14 320.6
Standard Deviation 3 131.2

Graph #1: The effect of slope of pond on Turbidity of pond at Boyce Pond




Graphs 1 and 2 show the effect of pond slope versus turbidity at each individual
pond. In graph 1, Boyce Pond, the r
2
value is 4.9E-05 and at Ice Pond, the r
2
value is
0.00059. The highest slope was 39 degrees and the lowest was 24 degrees. The highest
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calculated turbidity was 529.4 NTU and the lowest was 191.0 NTU. This represents a
wide range of data with low data set precision.

Table #2: The effect of slope of pond on turbidity of pond at Ice Pond

Trial Slope Turbidity
1 39 191.0
2 33 525.4
3 35 525.4
4 33 401.7
5 35 276.4
6 35 496.0
7 31 210.6
8 29 525.4
9 37 221.3
10 29 347.0
11 31 252.3
12 35 405.7
13 24 217.5
14 33 529.4
Average 33 360.6
Standard Deviation 4 136.4

Graph #2: The Effect of slope of pond on turbidity of pond at Ice Pond



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In graph 3 the slope and the turbidity are shown at Ice and Boyce Ponds. The data
is very similar and has a huge range within it. The smallest slope at each of the ponds was
9 degrees and the largest slope was 39 degrees. The r
2
value for both Ice and Boyce
Ponds is 0.02785, which is very small. A correlation between pond slope and turbidity
cannot be concluded.

Graph #4: The effect of a ponds average slope on average turbidity at Ice and Boyce
Ponds




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Graph 4 displays the effect of average pond slope on average turbidity. The
largest turbidity reading at both ponds was 529.4 NTU and the smallest turbidity reading
was 137.9 NTU The error bars do not overlap for the average slope at Boyce Pond with
the average slope at Ice Pond, however the average turbidity at Boyce and Ice ponds do
overlap.

DISCUSSION
This experiment was conducted to test the correlation between pond slope and
water turbidity. The hypothesis set forth in this experiment was: If the pond slope is
steeper, then the waters turbidity will be higher, because rainfall moves downward on
steeper slopes which will result in the pond having more soil particles suspended in the
water thus increasing turbidity (Giambelluca, Thomas) (A.J. Jakeman) (www.snh.org).
The hypothesis was not supported due to a wide range of data and small r
2
values.
As seen in Graphs 1 and 2, there is minimal correlation between the slope of the
ponds and the ponds turbidity. An r
2
value was calculated to determine if there was a
trend in the data. For Boyce Pond, the r
2
value was E-05=10
-5
. The trend line crossed
through only two points of data along with the r
2
value being extremely small. Looking at
the graph, there are many points that are located far from the trend line, concluding that
there is wide range of data. By looking at the r
2
value and the trend line, it cannot be
concluded that there is a correlation between pond slope and water turbidity.
For Ice pond, the r
2
value was 0.00059 and the trend line only hit one of the
fourteen points of data. Comparing the two r
2
values at each pond, Ice Ponds

r
2
value is
smaller. The data is spread out, concluding that there is a wide range of data points.
Because of the small r
2
value and a trend line that doesnt cross through the majority of
the data, it can be concluded that there is no correlation between pond slope and water
turbidity. However, if errors did not impact the experiment, the results could have been
more conclusive.
For both Ice and Boyce Pond, the graphs display low data-set precision because
the data points are scattered throughout the graph, and the majority do not line up with
the trend line. There is minimal confidence in the data, because the data ranges are so
wide. If the data had been more precise, there would have been more confidence in the
results. Sufficient data was not collected due to the fact that no correlation was found.
However, the fact that no correlation was found is relevant. If there had been another
fourteen data points, a small correlation could have maybe been found.
The average turbidity and slope for both ponds was also compared. This is
displayed in graph 4. The error bars for the slope averages did not overlap, showing that
Ice pond had a conclusively steeper slope than Boyce. However, the error bars for the
turbidity averages overlap, so it cannot be concluded which pond had higher turbidity
readings.
A previous experiment was tested to see if canopy coverage effected rainfall. The
results showed that the higher percentage of canopy coverage, the less rainfall hitting the
ground. At Boyce Pond, one of the ponds being tested in this experiment, there were
large trees surrounding the pond, which could have been the cause for an extremely low
correlation in the results. The trees overhead could allow less rain to hit the pond slopes,
causing fewer soil particles to drift into the pond, thus causing lower turbidity (Xiao,
Qingfu). As for Ice Pond, the slopes may have been too stable to have soil drop into the
"
pond, creating turbid water. It is said that slopes are created in certain areas to be able to
deal with its natural surroundings and weather conditions. Its best to avoid having loose
slopes around areas of water, because it creates more turbid water (http://ntl.bts.gov) The
rainfall in the area could have also been light, not putting enough force on the slopes to
collapse (Nelson, Stephen A.).
There are aspects of the experiment that could be modified for this experiment to
be improved in the future. The first would be to test the waters turbidity exactly in front
of where the slope was tested. This could result in a more precise range of data, because
each testing would have been done in the same exact spot each time. Another thing to be
modified would be to pick ponds that werent covered by large tree canopies because that
could decrease the ponds turbidity (www.itreetools.org).
A few errors occurred while carrying out the two procedures. While trying to test
turbidity at Bathtub Pond, the calculator stopped working, so data could not be collected
at that pond, so only two ponds were included in the correlation. Next time, it would be
helpful to bring an extra calculator just incase it broke down. In the procedure, it said to
test the turbidity directly in front of where the slopes were calculated. It was difficult to
do that at Boyce pond, because there was so much brush blocking the area of water that
needed to be accessed. This was a common error during our data collection and the
turbidity was tested two feet from where the slope was measured. For future research of
this particular study, scientists could test pond slope on turbidity at different points
around the pond, instead of in just one area. This could help farmers at Drumlin Farm
know if the water is too turbid in certain areas on one pond. The farmers could then
figure out ways to make the pond slopes shallower, so less rainfall would force soil into
the pond.

ACKNOWLEGDEMENTS
I would like to thank multiple people for helping me complete this experiment. At
Drumlin Farm, our teacher naturalists, Carol and Danielle, were very helpful with
directing us to safe points around the pond to collect our data along with supplying us
with information that enhanced our study. Ms. Jamison was a great help at Ice Pond,
hanging with my partner and I when we completed our testing. Mrs. Hardy supervised
my group at Boyce pond, and helped us complete our data collection in a timely fashion.
I would also like to thank Mr. Sarzana for watching over our testing at Bathtub Pond,
even though we ended up not collecting data there. Mr. Ewins was very helpful in class
when Mrs. Svatek was absent by helping my partner and I fully understand how to use
the clinometer. Mrs. Svatek was a huge help; first introducing us to this interesting
project and then helping us to get organized and prepared for our Drumlin Farm visit.
Lastly, I would like to personally thank Brooke, for being a cooperative and hard working
partner who supplied our group with many materials for our poster.
--Olivia Friend

Many people supplied me with helpful information to help me complete this
project. I would like to thank Ms. Jamison, Ms. Hardy, and Mr. Sarzana for chaperoning
us at the three ponds we visited and providing us with useful information, and hanging
out with us after we had completed all of our testing. I would like to thank Mr. Ewins for
helping my partner and I with the clinometer, which enhanced the accuracy of our trials.
"#
Ms. Svatek was a key component to the success of our project. She supported us through
the whole process and I am very grateful for all of her encouragement and suggestions. I
would like to thank my partner Olivia, for all of her hard work and commitment through
out this project; I never could have done it without her. It was challenging with my
absence, but we managed and are very proud of our work. I would also like to thank my
parents for allowing Olivia and I to take over our dining room and turn it into a major
sparkle fest, and my nanny Susan. for delivering our final printed report.

--Brooke Shachoy

WORKS CITED: AUTHOR 1

"Common Forestry Tools." SCFC Learn Some. South Carolina Forestry Commission,
2010. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. <http://www.state.sc.us/forest/edutools.htm>.

Giambelluca, Thomas. "Rainfall Atlas of Hawaii." Rainfall Atlas of Hawaii. Geography
Department- University at Hawai'i Manoa, 2011. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.
<http://rainfall.geography.hawaii.edu/rainfall.html>

Jakeman, A.J. PDF. Cranberra, Australia: Center for Research and Enviornmental
Studies, n.d. <http://www.mssanz.org.au/MODSIM95/Vol%201/Post.pdf>


Leong. "The Effect of Antecedent Rainfall on Slope Stability." Springer Link. Springer,
Part of Springer Science+Business Media, n.d. Web. 9 Mar. 2014.
<http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1013129725263>.

Nelson, Stephen A. "Slope Stability." Slope Stability. EENS 3050, 10 Dec. 2013. Web.
16 Apr. 2014. <http://www.tulane.edu/~sanelson/Natural_Disasters/slopestability.htm>

"Rivers and Their Catchments: Causes and Effects of Turbid Water." Rivers and Their
Catchments: Causes and Effects of Turbid Water. Information and Advisory Note
Number 22, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014. <http://www.snh.org.uk/publications/on-
line/advisorynotes/22/22.htm>.

Slope Stabilization and Stability of Cuts and Fills. Research and Innovative
Technology Administration, RITA, Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/24000/24600/24650/Chapters/M_Ch11_Slope_Stabilization
. pdf.>

"STEM Inventory." STEM Inventory. The Center for STEM, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
<http://inventory.stemideas.org/view_item.php?item_id=34>.

Turbidity. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.

""
"Vernier Turbidity Sensor." Vernier Turbidity Sensor. VWR, 2014. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
<https://ca.vwr.com/store/catalog/product.jsp?product_id=8891865>.

Xiao, Qingfu, Gregory McPherson, James R. Simpson, and Susan L. Ustin. "RAINFALL
INTERCEPTION BY SACRAMENTO'S URBAN FOREST." Itreetools., July 1998.
Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
<http://www.itreetools.org/streets/resources/rainfall_interception_by_sacramentos_uf_xia
o.pdf>.




WORKS CITED: AUTHOR 2

HORACIO TONIOLO,1* GARY PARKER,1{ VAUGHAN VOLLER,1 AND R. T.
BEAUBOUEF2. DEPOSITIONAL TURBIDITY CURRENTS IN DIAPIRIC
MINIBASINS ON THE CONTINENTAL SLOPE: EXPERIMENTS: NUMERICAL
SIMULATION AND UPSCALING. Houston, Texas: Journal of Sedimentary
Research, n.d. PDF.

Jakeman, A.J. PDF. Cranberra, Australia: Center for Research and Enviornmental
Studies, n.d. <http://www.mssanz.org.au/MODSIM95/Vol%201/Post.pdf>

Leong. "The Effect of Antecedent Rainfall on Slope Stability." Springer Link. Springer,
Part of Springer Science+Business Media, n.d. Web. 9 Mar. 2014.
<http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1013129725263>.

Newton, David E. Chemistry of the Environment. New York: Facts on File, 2007. Print.

Perlman, Howard. "Turbidity." - Water Properties, USGS Water Science School. USGS,
24 Feb. 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://water.usgs.gov/edu/turbidity.html>.

Pratson, Lincoln F. "Scholars@Duke." Clinoform Progradation by Turbidity Currents:
Modeling and Experiments. Journal of Sedimental Research, 2008. Web. 12 Mar.
2014. <https://scholars.duke.edu/display/pub705216>.

"Rivers and Their Catchments: Causes and Effects of Turbid Water." Rivers and Their
Catchments: Causes and Effects of Turbid Water. Information and Advisory Note
Number 22, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014. <http://www.snh.org.uk/publications/on-
line/advisorynotes/22/22.htm>.














The Effect of Dissolved Oxygen
(Mg/L) on Water Turbidity (NTU)

By Kim Vetrano and Lidia Goldberg
Table of Contents

Section Author Page
Abstract Goldberg 1
Introduction Vetrano 1
Materials and Methods Goldberg 3
Results Vetrano 4
Discussion Goldberg 8
Acknowledgements Goldberg & Vetrano 10
Works Cited Goldberg 10
Works Cited Vetrano 11

ABSTRACT

At the previous trip to Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts, it was noticed that many
of the ponds looked dark and muddy. Also it was noticed that there were many living
organisms in the water. The initial question asked here was, does the level of dissolved
oxygen affect the turbidity? The experiment tested was the effect of dissolved oxygen
(mg/L) on water turbidity (NTU). The idea of the hypothesis of this experiment was, the
ponds with the higher dissolved oxygen would have a higher turbidity. This experiment
was conducted by taking water sample a meter from the shore, and then they were
collected in a plastic cup, attached to the end of a mater stick. Then they were tested for
their dissolved oxygen level and turbidity level using a dissolved oxygen probe, and
turbidity sensor. Both were Vernier, and the Vernier Lab Quest2 was used to collect the
data. It was shown that there were data effects between the variables of the study. All the
ponds had around the same average dissolved oxygen, the turbidity varied drastically
from pond to pond.

INTRODUCTION

Turbidity is the measure of the blurriness, or haziness, of water and is caused by small,
individual particles suspended in water. One factor that could possibly affect the turbidity
of water is dissolved oxygen due to the warming of water, which cannot hold as much
oxygen, or the amount of organisms taking in oxygen within the pond
(http://water.usgs.gov). Dissolved Oxygen is the measure of the amount of oxygen
present in water. Fast moving streams tend to consist of more dissolved oxygen while
stationary ponds or lakes tend to contain less. A body of water gains oxygen from the
atmosphere, so rushing water will dissolve more oxygen when it meets the surface than
still water. Dissolved Oxygen is crucial for organisms living in bodies of water because it
is needed in order to breathe. Breathing becomes more difficult when there is less
dissolved oxygen in the water (http://water.usgs.gov). A healthy amount of dissolved
oxygen within a body of water is a minimum of 4-5 ppm. With too little, dissolved
oxygen can cause the death of wildlife, while too much does not have an effect on the
organisms. It is important to note the specific factors that could vary the dissolved
oxygen level such as water temperature, sunlight, living organisms, plant life and algae
(http://www.lenntech.com).
This experiment will be conducted at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts.
Drumlin Farm consists of a variety of different environments, including five ponds. The
three ponds that are going to be tested are Vernal Pool, Boyce Pond, and Poultry Pond.
Vernal Pool is a seasonal body of water located north east of the Drumlin which fills up
by melted snow, rainwater and rising groundwater. Boyce Pond is southeast of the
drumlin and contains many different organisms and is surrounded by trees. Located
northeast of the Drumlin is Poultry Pond which contains a thin layer of duckweed in the
Fall and a variety of tree species.
A high level of dissolved oxygen is not only beneficial to fish, but it also results
in healthier water for humans. However, it is also important to note that if there is too
little dissolved oxygen within a body of water it can be extremely harmful to aquatic life
and potentially deadly (http://www.unc.edu). A sign that a pond may include a
insignificant amount of dissolved oxygen is if the water temperature is warm. This is
usually because the pond is overpopulated with bacteria or aquatic life, causing the
dissolved oxygen to be used in great amounts. Another factor that affects the dissolved
oxygen level within a pond is over fertilization of water plants by runoff from farm fields
containing chemicals that make up fertilizers. When this occurs, it causes excessive water
plant growth, causing more dissolved oxygen to be used by them. When these plants
eventually die, bacteria multiplies after using it as food causing dissolved oxygen to then
be used in a greater amount (http://www.lenntech.com).
One factor that can affect water turbidity is plant and animal decay. Once the
bodies die, suspended particles are released, making the water more more turbid.
Flooding can also be a reason for water turbidity. As the water rises during flooding, it
can bring along new, both organic and inorganic, particles from the land surface
(http://bcn.boulder.co.us).
The experiment that will be conducted is the effect of dissolved oxygen (ppm) on
water turbidity (NTU) at Poultry, Vernal, and Boyce Ponds. The objective of this
experiment is to test if the dissolved oxygen level affects the water turbidity level at each
pond. This will be tested by using a Vernier Dissolved Oxygen Probe and Vernier
Turbidity Sensor. The independent variable for this experiment is the dissolved oxygen
level of each pond in parts per million (ppm), and the dependent variable is the water
turbidity level in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). Important controlled variables
consist of the amount of water tested, number of trials at each pond, method collected,
and depth of water tested. The hypothesis set forth for this experiment is: if a pond has a
lower dissolved oxygen level, then it will result in a higher turbidity, or blurriness of
water, because lower dissolved oxygen indicates more microscopic organisms taking up
dissolved oxygen causing the water to be more turbid (http://water.usgs.gov).
This experiment and research will demonstrate how dissolved oxygen can
influence turbidity which can affect aquatic life significantly. It is very important for the
naturalists to be aware of the effects of dissolved oxygen in order to limit the risk of
overpopulating ponds. It is essential to understand this concept well so that runoff from
farm field fertilizers are reduced in order to not harm the aquatic life active within the
pond. It is also important to know why there is more dissolved oxygen and a larger
turbidity level within a pond as opposed to another pond. The more people who know
about the effect of dissolved oxygen of different ponds on water turbidity, the more
beneficial it is to the world because not only will it improve water quality, but it will also
keep living organisms healthy.


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Each pond was measured like a compass, 360 around. The ponds that were tested from
were Boyce Pond, Poultry Pond and the Vernal Pool at Drumlin Farm. Before the arrival
at Drumlin Farm a T-inspire calculator was used to generate 8 random degrees to test
from. The sections being tested from were marked with flags. At each section a sample of
water was tested for turbidity and dissolved oxygen. In total there was sixteen data points
per pond, resulting in 48 total data points.

Figure 1: Map of Drumlin Farm

Figure 2: Vernier Turbidity Sensor (www.vernier.com)

First the Vernier Turbidity Sensor was
connected to the Vernier Lab Quest2. The data
collection software was turned on. The sensor
was calibrated according to the directions given.
The water sample was taken a meter from the
shoreline using a plastic cup, attached to the
meter stick. The water was collected deep
enough for the cup to be submerged. Once the
probe was calibrated, the water sample being
tested was poured into a cuvette (a straight
sided, clear container holding liquid samples.) The cuvette was wiped with a tissue and
placed into the sensor. The marks were aligned correctly. The lid was closed, and the
turbidity was measured, using NTU units. The data was then recorded in the table
according to pond, and section. (Out of eight sections)

The Vernier Dissolved Oxygen Probe was connected to the Vernier Lab Quest2. The data
collection software was turned on and the probe was calibrated according to the
directions specified. The blue cap as removed from the probe. The tip of the probe was
placed into the same water sample that was tested for turbidity. The probe was not fully
submerged because the whole probe is not waterproof. The probe was stirred gently in
the water. Then the dissolved oxygen was recorded using Mg/L units. If the probe was
left un-moving in the water, the dissolved oxygen levels would have begun to drop.


Figure 3: Vernier Dissolved Oxygen
(www.vernier.com)







































RESULTS

According to Graph 4, there was minimal correlation between an increase of dissolved
oxygen and an increase of turbidity. Graph 3 shows Poultry Pond had the highest r
2
value
of 0.16418, compared to Graph 2 where Boyce Pond had a value of 0.03286 and Graph 1
where Vernal Pool had a value of 0.001. The r
2
value for all three ponds was 0.12614,
which is a stronger correlation than the three ponds individually. Vernal Pool had the
highest average turbidity (344.3 NTU) compared to Boyce Pond (72.4 NTU) and Poultry
Pond (27.0 NTU). The highest turbidity level at Vernal Pool was 527.3 NTU, while the
lowest was 140.5 NTU. Although these data points were relatively high compared to the
other ponds, the average dissolved oxygen for this same pond (7.4 mg/L) was close to the
average dissolved oxygen level at Boyce Pond (10.6 mg/L) and Poultry Pond (9.3 mg/L).
According to Graph 4, out of all three ponds the highest turbidity level was 527.3 NTU
(at Vernal Pool) and the lowest was -0.4 NTU (at Boyce Pond). The highest level of
dissolved oxygen was 15.8 mg/L and the lowest was -0.4 mg/L (both at Boyce Pond).
Data point six at Poultry Pond was considered an outlier because the turbidity level was
79 NTU, which is far off from the other data points. Out of all three ponds, the lowest
standard deviation for dissolved oxygen was at Vernal Pool (0.5) and the highest was at
Boyce Pond (5.1). The highest standard deviation for turbidity was at Vernal Pool (166.9)
while the lowest was at Poultry Pond (15.7).

Each pond consisted of many unique and interesting features. At Poultry Pond there were
many thorn bushes and trees surrounding the pond. The Pond also consisted of a large
wooden dock and the surface of the water looked dark and cloudy. At Boyce Pond, many
dead sticks and bushes surrounded the pond as well, along with narrow streams and
muddy pathways. There were also large trees standing in the middle of the pond and
towards the shore. Finally, Vernal Pool was the smallest pond out of the three. This pond
consisted of somewhat clear pathways along the shore and a large tree that had uprooted
the ground and fallen into the muddy water.

DISCUSSION

The experiment conducted, tested the effect of dissolved oxygen on water turbidity. The
hypothesis for this experiment was: if a pond has a lower dissolved oxygen level, then it
will result in a higher turbidity, or blurriness of water, because lower dissolved oxygen
indicates more microscopic organisms taking up dissolved oxygen causing the water to
be more turbid (water.usgs.gov). The hypothesis was not supported. An alternate
hypothesis could have been: if a pond has a higher dissolved oxygen level, then it will
result in a higher turbidity, or murkiness of water, because higher dissolved oxygen
indicates more microscopic organisms taking up dissolved oxygen causing the water to
be more turbid (water.usgs.gov). The ponds with the higher dissolved oxygen had the
higher turbidity. This was because the more dissolved oxygen there was, the more pond
life there was. If there were more pond life then the water would be more turbid because
it is crowded with organisms.
At the last pond, Vernal Pool, the water turbidity varied greatly. The lowest water
turbidity was 140.5 NTU, whereas the highest was 527.3 NTU. Vernal Pool had many
uprooted trees bending into it. This caused for some water samples to have more soil and
mud in them. Since water turbidity is measured by the clarity of the water, those testing
locations were affected greatly (www.dnr.mo.gov/.) The other ponds, however, had
turbidity averages that were not as high. Boyce Ponds average turbidity was 72.4 NTU
and Poultry Ponds was, 27 NTU. The total r
2
was 0.12614. The r
2
value was very low for
the data, and it shows a weak correlation. Therefore the trend line does not fit the data
well. In conclusion the data seems relative to the pond that it was tested from. For
example Vernal Pool had the muddiest shoreline, and the test were taken only a meter
from the shore, so it would ultimately have the highest average turbidity
(water.usgs.gov.)
With research, and an experiment done at USGS water science school, show that
rapidly moving water contains more dissolved oxygen. (water.usgs.gov). While
collecting results, this was supported because the ponds are all un-moving. The data at
Boyce and Poultry Pond is all part of a relative range in Dissolved oxygen and Turbidity.
However, at Vernal pool the water turbidity ranges from 140.5 NTU to 527.3 NTU. This
impacts the confidence in the data because its unclear if the tests were taken too deep
underwater, or if it was the actual turbidity, due to the fallen trees.
If this experiment were to be done again, one thing would need to be altered. The
method for collecting samples a meter from the shoreline would have to be strengthened.
Every so often the cup would fall off the end because the tape was not strong enough, and
was not waterproof. Sufficient data was collected for the experiment at hand. However, if
the test was to be done again, samples could be taken every 30 around the pond instead
of random degrees. This is suggested because the tests done at Vernal Pool were more to
one side of the pond than the other. This could have affected the results.
Some errors occurred when testing for water samples was taken the cup fell off
the meter stick. This could have affected the results because then that water sample was
not taken as far from the shoreline as the others. This error could be easily eliminated by
using stronger tape. Also, something stronger that measured a meter could be used, and
bucket could be attached to that. A question that arose was, does the amount of aquatic
life affect the water turbidity? Since dissolved oxygen is needed for aquatic life, the type
and number of organisms could be tested. This test affects dissolved oxygen levels
because plants go through photosynthesis and release oxygen into the water.
(bcn.boulder.co.us) The organisms effect the dissolved oxygen concentration in the
water. A future experiment conducted could be, the amount of aquatic life on water
turbidity and dissolved oxygen.

"#$%&'()*+),)%-.

Author 1

First off, I would like to thank Ms. Svatek, for making the whole experiment
possible, and as easy as possible. Thank you Ms. Hardy for helping us at our first
rotation, Boyce Pond. She helped us figure out the weather, and the time. Thank you Mr.
Rossiter and Ms. Moon, for attending to the habitats, and making sure everyone was all
set to collect data. Thank you naturalist Danielle, you helped us find the easiest way
around Boyce Pond. You told us about some of the factors that affected the ponds
turbidity and dissolved oxygen. Thank you, naturalist Sally for teaching Kim and I about
Vernal Pools, and how they are affected. Also, thank you for being eager to collect our
results to see how our experiments affected the ponds at Drumlin. Thank you to my mom,
for helping me gather some materials from the house, such as tape, and cups. Finally,
thank you Kim for being a great partner. You helped me understand things when I was
confused, and made the whole testing process much more fun!

Author 2

There are a few specific people that I have not yet thanked that I would like to do so for
making this experiment possible and productive. Firstly, I would like to thank Ms. Svatek
for introducing and teaching us this material and for answering the many questions
brought up during the process. Thank you for advising not only us but balancing the
whole class. I would also like to thank all the teacher naturalists for helping us to each
habitat and answering many questions. Thank you Danielle for guiding me a safe route
around the pond in order to collect data in the locations chosen. Thank you Sally for
teaching us the basic details of the ponds while throwing in quite a bit of interesting
history to the discussion. Next, I would like to thank all the science teachers, Ms.
Larocca, Mr. Ewins, and Ms. Schultheis, for keeping us on track and giving helpful
advice to us that include the safest and fastest way to collect data. I would also like to
thank the department for lending us useful materials for data collection. Thank you to Ms.
Hardy, Mr. Rossiter, and Ms. Moon for attending the habitats and making sure everyone
was safe and on track. Lastly, I would like to thank my amazing partner, Lidia Goldberg,
for being so productive and always making the process exciting and interesting. Thanks
for keeping me focused and for lending a helpful hand when needed. I am very grateful
for all these people who helped to make this experiment run smoothly. Thank you.

WORKS CITED

Author 1

Pauley, Sara Parker. Water Quality Parameters. Environmental Services Program.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources, n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014
http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/esp/waterquality-parameters.htm
Walker, Pam, and Elaine Wood. Build and Use of Turbidity Tube. Environmental
Science Experiments. New York: Facts on File, 2010. 27-28. Print.
Water Properties: Dissolved Oxygen. Dissolved Oxygen, from USGS Water Science for
Schools: All about Water. The USGS Water Science School, n.d. Web. 05 Mar.
2014 http://water.usgs.gov/edu/dissolved oxygen.html
"Why Oxygen Dissolved in Water Is Important." Why Is Important the Oxygen Dissolved
in Water. Lenntech, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.lenntech.com/why_the_oxygen_dissolved_is_important.htm>.
"Turbidity." - Water Properties, USGS Water Science School. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar.
2014. <http://water.usgs.gov/edu/turbidity.html>.




Author 2
BASIN: General Information on Turbidity. BASIN: General Information on Turbidity.
USGS Water Quality Monitoring, n.d. Web 01 Apr. 2014
http://bcn.boulder.co.us/basin/data/NEW/info/Turb.html>.
"Chesapeake Bay Program." Bay Blog RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/bayecosystem/dissolvedoxygen>.
Pauley, Sara Parker. Water Quality Parameters. Environmental Services Program.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources, n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014
<http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/esp/waterquality-parameters.htm>
Shifflett, Shawn Dayson. Water and Sustainability: Dissolved Oxygen. Water and
Sustainability: Dissolved Oxyegn. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014
<http://www.unc.edu/~shashi/TablePages/dissolvedoxygen.html.>
Walker, Pam, and Elaine Wood. Build and Use of Turbidity Tube. Environmental
Science Experiments. New York: Facts on File, 2010. 27-28. Print.
Water Properties: Dissolved Oxygen. Dissolved Oxygen, from USGS Water Science for
Schools: All about Water. The USGS Water Science School, n.d. Web. 05 Mar.
2014 http://water.usgs.gov/edu/dissolved oxygen.html
"Why Oxygen Dissolved in Water Is Important." Why Is Important the Oxygen Dissolved
in Water. Lenntech, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.lenntech.com/why_the_oxygen_dissolved_is_important.htm>.


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Nitiogen, founu in soil, is an essential nutiient foi plants. Canopy covei is the
peicentage of tiee canopy that coveis the foiest flooi. The expeiiment testeu the
effect of canopy covei on soil nitiogen. It was conuucteu using samples fiom two
foiests, (Spiuce anu Bemlock) at Biumlin Faim in Lincoln, NA. The pioceuuie foi
this expeiiment was to take soil samples, anu measuie the canopy covei at ianuom
points in each of the foiests. The samples weie latei testeu using a nitiogen piobe.
This infoimation was useu to figuie out if theie was a coiielation between canopy
covei anu soil nitiogen. It was expecteu that if theie was a smallei canopy covei,
then theie woulu be less nitiogen in the soil because moie exposuie to iain causes
soil to leach, theiefoie uiaining the nutiients fiom it. (Buchholz anu Killpack,
extension.missouii.euu) The iesults showeu that canopy covei hau veiy little impact
on soil nitiogen; theie was a weak coiielation, with an i
2
value close to u. Theie was
also laige eiioi bai oveilap, meaning no conclusions coulu be uiawn fiom this uata.

()$%*+,&$(*)
Nitiogen is essential foi all plants anu animals. Soil ieceives nitiogen thiough
the nitiogen cycle. The basic stiuctuie of the nitiogen cycle is that plants anu
animals waste iots, which auus nitiogen to the soil. Then, bacteiia changes nitiogen
into a foim that the plants can use. Next, the plants absoib the nitiogen anu then
people anu animals eat the plants. Aftei this, the animal anu plant wastes auu
nitiogen to the soil again, anu the cycle is completeu. As seen in the oveiview,
bacteiia is an impoitant pait of the nitiogen because bacteiia changes the nitiogen
into an inoiganic foim that the plants can then use (Buchholz anu Killpack,
extension.missouii.euu).
Theie aie many uiffeient ways that nitiogen is uepositeu into soil: such as
iain (atmospheiic nitiogen), nitiogen feitilizeis, anu plants anu animals
uecomposing (Buchholz anu Killpack, extension.missouii.euu). Nitiogen can be lost
in one of foui ways: uenitiification, volatilization, iunoff, anu leaching (Buchholz
anu Killpack, extension.missouii.euu). Benitiification is when bacteiia changes
nitiate in the soil into atmospheiic nitiogen anu the nitiogen is lost by going into
the atmospheie. volatilization happens when bacteiia changes manuies anu
feitilizeis on the soil suiface into gases anu the nitiogen is lost in the atmospheie
again. Runoff is when iainwatei washes the nitiogen fiom manuie anu feitilizeis
away fiom the soil suiface anu into iiveis. Leaching is when iainwatei uiains
nitiogen away fiom the suiface to ueep in the soil anu the plants aie unable to
obtain the nitiogen. 0nce nitiogen is lost, it can be ieplaceu thiough the nitiogen
cycle by miciooiganisms that live in the soil (Buchholz anu Killpack,
extension.missouii.euu).
Canopy covei affects the amount of iain that iuns thiough soil. Rain can
cause nitiogen to be lost thiough leaching. Thus if theie is a laige canopy covei, the
chance of the soil leaching is lowei compaieu to if the canopy covei is small. An
expeiiment conuucteu by Leanne Naloney showeu that plants, unueineath canopy
coveis, have a high giowth iates anu appeai to be healthy (Leanne Naloney,
natuie.beikeley.euu). This shows that theie is enough nitiogen in the soil, which is
helping the plants giow anu iemain healthy. Canopy covei will also influence the
S
amount of nutiients in the soil. Bense canopy coveis block light fiom the soil oi
plants. The canopy layei itself is just below the emeigent layei (Piescott,
tieephys.oxfoiujouinals.oig). The emeigent layei is the tallest of tiees anu has a
laige amount of sunlight (sii.caltech.euu).
The inuepenuent vaiiable foi this expeiiment is canopy covei (%). The
uepenuent vaiiable is soil nitiogen (ppm). The contiolleu vaiiables aie the tools,
pioceuuie, numbei of tiials in each habitat, amount of soil sample, anu amount of
CaCl2. The hypothesis is, if theie is a smallei canopy covei, then theie will be less
nitiogen in the soil, because moie exposuie to iain causes soil to leach, theiefoie
uiaining the nutiients fiom it (Buchholz anu Killpack, extension.missouii.euu).
The objective of this expeiiment is to finu out the effect canopy covei has on
soil nitiogen. This expeiiment coulu help faimeis who caie foi the ciops, because
nitiogen is essential foi plant giowth. If the faimeis leain how nitiogen is lost anu
what has an affect on it, then the faimeis can keep it fiom happening anu ciops will
be tallei. The ciops will also giow to the full height if they can have all of the
nitiogen that is available. Faimeis can leain what the tiees aie auuing, anu how the
tiees aie affecting the faim. This will infoim eveiyone about soil anu tiees anu help
the faimeis with ciops oveiall.

"#$%&'#() #*+ "%$,-+)
The soil samples that weie taken anu testeu weie collecteu fiom Spiuce anu
Bemlock Foiest at Biumlin Faim in Lincoln, Nassachusetts on Apiil 7
th
, 2u14. Fiist,
in the Spiuce foiest, a 2u by Su metei iectangle was maikeu by putting stakes at the
foui coineis. The quauiant was mappeu in the fielu notebook. Next, the fiist paitnei
went to the fiist coinei, anu walkeu five paces to a ianuom point. Aftei picking a
ianuom point, the fiist paitnei lookeu thiough the uensitometei anu measuieu the
canopy covei twice, anu the two measuiements weie aveiageu. The iesults weie
iecoiueu. A 2S mL soil sample was collecteu fiom this point anu put in a containei
foi latei testing. This was iepeateu thiee times at the fiist coinei. This was then
iepeateu at the seconu anu thiiu coineis. The paitnei then walkeu to the fouith
coinei anu chose six ianuom points anu iepeateu the pievious steps. These steps
weie iepeateu at Bemlock foiest.
Latei, the soil samples weie mixeu with CaCl2 in oiuei to piepaie the sample
foi nitiogen testing. Fiist, foi each sample, 2S giams of soil was measuieu anu put
into a 2Su mL beakei. Next, Su mL of CaCl2 was auueu to each sample fiom a
giauuateu cylinuei anu stiiieu eveiy thiee minutes foi fifteen minutes. Aftei this,
the soil samples sat foi five minutes to settle befoie being testeu.
While the soils weie settling, the Nitiate sensoi was connecteu to the TI Nspiie
calculatoi. To calibiate the piobe, the calculatoi was set to two-point calibiation anu
staiteu with high calibiation. The piobe was then put into the calibiation solution,
making suie the watei level uiun't exceeu the aiiow. Next, the piobe was taken out
of high stanuaiu anu iinseu well with uistilleu watei. The piobe was blotteu gently
with a papei towel. The piobe was then placeu in low stanuaiu anu the pievious
steps weie iepeateu but on low calibiation anu the iefeience value was enteieu as
one. The piobe was iinseu well with uistilleu watei, anu blotteu uiy. It was
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1S
woulu simplify the expeiiment anu eliminate eiiois. Insufficient uata was collecteu
foi this expeiiment uue to the lack of piecision in the uata collection. Theie weie
many possible souices of eiioi uuiing the expeiiment. An impoitant one is that
theie is no exact peicentage foi the canopy covei when using the uensitometei. The
human eye is not completely ieliable. Theie is no way to fix this eiioi foi suie, so it
woulu always be a possible eiioi in futuie expeiiments. Anothei eiioi was that the
same spoon was useu to collect each soil sample, anu this coulu have causeu some
contamination among the soils. A way to fix this woulu be to use a uiffeient spoon
foi each sample oi wash the spoon with uistilleu watei in between samples. Buiing
the nitiogen testing, the amount of CaCl2 auueu was not exactly the same foi each
sample, anu this coulu have affecteu the nitiogen amounts. This coulu be fixeu by
measuiing the CaCl2 piioi to the testing. Also, some of the samples hau moie time
with the CaCl2 because it was impossible to auu it to all of the samples
simultaneously. This coulu be fixeu by having moie scientists to auu the chemicals.
Lastly, anothei eiioi was that the scientists uiu not iinse the stiiiei in between
mixing samples. This coulu have causeu some contamination among the samples as
well. This coulu be easily fixeu by iinsing the stiiiei with uistilleu watei in between
samples. Some lingeiing questions aie: uiu the tempeiatuie on the uay of the
expeiiment affect the uata. Anu uo laigei leaves affect canopy covei.
In futuie expeiiments, these eiiois shoulu be avoiueu, oi fixeu when
possible. If the scientists weie able to conuuct anothei expeiiment, they woulu have
to factoi in the effect of season anu othei factois. This woulu leau to moie piecise
uata, anu moie conciete conclusions woulu be maue about the effect of canopy
covei on soil nitiogen levels at these locations.

!"#$%&'()*(+($,-
I woulu fiist like to thank my paitnei, Lucy, foi being so helpful anu
suppoitive thioughout the pioject even though she was injuieu. She came on the
fielu tiip when she just hau suigeiy, she euiteu my iepoits when she coulu, anu
tiieu to come into school to help me as much as possible. I woulu also like to thank
}oseph anu Lucy Chung foi euiting all my papeis anu offeiing iueas when I was
unsuie what to uo. I woulu like to thank Rachael uolufaib who biought Lucy to the
fielu tiip anu pusheu hei aiounu in a wheelchaii thioughout the whole uay. Without
hei, Lucy woulu not have been able to come to Biumlin Faim anu help collect the
uata. Finally, I woulu like to thank Nis. Schultheis foi answeiing my questions,
helping me when my paitnei was absent, anu euiting my iepoits. Ns. Schultheis
helpeu me anu my paitnei put this whole iepoit togethei anu we both aie foievei
giateful.
Fiist of all, I woulu like to thank my paitnei, Eve uiimshaw, foi being
extiemely flexible anu helpful thioughout oui whole pioject. She hau to put up with
many obstacles, anu I am veiy giateful to hei foi hei unueistanuing my situation. I
woulu also like to thank Ns. Schultheis foi guiuing us thiough oui whole
expeiiment, anu helping us pioblem solve. I am giateful to Rachael uolufaib, who
pusheu me in a wheelchaii at Biumlin Faim on oui expeiiment uay. Lastly, I woulu
like to acknowleuge Biumlin Faim foi having us, anu letting us conuuct oui
expeiiment on theii lanu.
14
!"#$% '()*+

Authoi 1,

"4.4 Nitiogen: A Beveloping Thieat to Bealth." !"#$% "'( )*+"' )$",#-. 0pen 0niveisity,
2uu7. Web. 28 Feb. 2u14.
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sx_suk12S_1_1_4_4.html>.
Ashman, N. R., anu u. Puii. .//$'#0", 120, 130$'3$4 5 6,$"% "'( 62'30/$ 7'#%2(*3#02' #2 120,
130$'3$. 0xfoiu: Blackwell Science, 2uu2. Piint.
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0' 1*>?1"-"%"' 5;%03". Foiest Bepaitment, n.u. Web. u9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.fao.oiguociepuuSxS94ueXS94uEu4.htm>.
"CBAPTER IIIBI0PBYSICALFACT0RS INPARKLANBNANAuENENT
(Continueu)." 5:%2;2%$/#%< ="%8,"'(/ 0' 1*>?1"-"%"' 5;%03". Foiestiy Bepaitment,
n.u. Web. u9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.fao.oiguociepuuSxS94ueXS94uEuS.htm>.
"Bybiius - Noie Than A Numbei. "." @'($%/#"'(0': A0#%2:$' B2// C !<;;$,/ )<>%0(/.
WyFeels Bybiius, n.u. Web. u9 Nai. 2u14. <http:www.wyffels.comagionomic-
solutionsagionomic-uecision-makingunueistanuing-nitiogen-loss>.
Isichei, Augustine 0. "The Effects of Tiee Canopy Covei on Soil
Feiility."D2*'",/E3"+>%0(:$E2%:. }ouinal of Tiopical Ecology, 1u }uly 2uu9. Web. 9
Nai. 2u14.
1S
<http:jouinals.cambiiuge.oigactionuisplayAbstiact;jsessioniu=1BCE989C9CCB
F77C24A2711BC94S128B.jouinals.fiomPage=online&aiu=S2S1272>.
Killpack, Scott C. "Nitiogen Cycle." !"#$# &'()*+,- '- (., /-0')*-1,-(2. 0niveisity of
Nissouii, 0ct. 199S. Web. u7 Nai. 2u14.
<http:extension.missouii.euupWQ2S2>.
"Layeis of a Rainfoiest." 345,)6 *7 4 84'-7*),6(. Caltech, n.u. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.sil.caltech.euupeisonnelkiubaliainfoiestEuitS6us6wwwwhlay
eis.html>.
"Leaching (agiicultuie)." !'9':,;'4. Wikimeuia Founuation, Su Nai. 2u14. Web. u6 Api.
2u14. <http:en.wikipeuia.oigwikiLeaching_%28agiicultuie%29>.
Naloney, Leanne. "The Effect of Canopy Covei anu Soil Conuitions on uiowth
Rate." &4(<),=>,)9,?,5=,;<. Beikeley, n.u. Web. 1S Nai. 2u14.
<http:natuie.beikeley.euuclasseses196piojects2uu7finalNaloney.pu>.
"Natuial Resouices Conseivation Seivice." @*0,) @)*:6. 0niteu States Bepaitment of
Agiicultuie, n.u. Web. 28 Feb. 2u14.
<http:www.nics.usua.govwpspoitalnicsuetailnytechnical.ciu=nics144p2
_u272S2>.
"Nitiogen." &'()*+,-. Ksie.ksu.euu, n.u. Web. 12 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.ksie.ksu.euukswateiimagesnitiogen.htm>.
"Nitiogen." A*'? B4-4+,1,-(. 0niveisity of Bawaii, n.u. Web. u9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.ctahi.hawaii.euumauisoilc_nutiientsu1.aspx>.
0llingei, Scott v. "Nitiogen Cycling, Foiest Canopy Reflectance, anu Emeigent Piopeities of
Ecosystems." &'()*+,- @5C?'-+D E*),6( @4-*:5 8,7?,C(4-C,D 4-; /1,)+,-( F)*:,)(',6
"#
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17
Wallheimei, Biian. "Leaves Auveisely Affect Soil Nutiients, Stuuy Shows." !"#$%&'#()
+%,' -%&$#.%. Puiuue 0niveisity, S Api. 2u11. Web. 28 Api. 2u14.
<https:www.puiuue.euunewsioomieseaich2u1111u4uSBukesTannin
s.html>.
























The Effect of pH on Nitrate
Owen Hakim S82-6
Spencer Kuldell S82-14

"
Table Of Contents
Section Author Page
Abstract Kuldell 2
Introduction Hakim 2
Materials & Methods Kuldell 3
Results Hakim 5
Discussion Kuldell 8
Acknowledgements Hakim & Kuldell 9
Works Cited Hakim 10
Works Cited Kuldell 12
"
ABSTRACT
A fine balance between pH and nitrate in pond water is needed for healthy ecosystems.
This study was conducted at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA to investigate whether there was a
relationship between the pH and the nitrate in bodies of water. It was expected that at pH values
between six and eight, nitrate levels would be highest because plants can grow and produce
nitrogen best within that range (allaboutalgae.com). Water samples were collected in ten random
intervals around three different ponds: Poultry, Ice, and Vernal. Nitrate and pH were tested in
two different beakers from each pond using Vernier sensors. It was found that the hypothesis was
not supported because ponds of identical pH levels had statistically significant differences in
nitrate levels. The most significant finding in the results was that the relationship between algae
and nitrate levels was different than what was researched.

INTRODUCTION
A pH or nitrate measurement may seem like just another scientific number, but really
they are key to the survival of every plant on earth! Nitrate (NO
3
) concentration measures the
amount of nitrate ions in a substance, while pH measures the acidity of a substance. The concept
of pH is defined as the decimal logarithm of the reciprocal of the hydrogen ion activity. The
formula for pH is: pH=-log(aH+)=log(1/aH+) if hydrogen ion activity is defined as aH+
(wikipedia.org). A logarithmic increase is comparable to an exponential increase. There are a
few ways in which Nitrate can get into the water. The first is nitrite ions (NO
2
) that are released
by plants into the water, react with oxygen in the water to form nitrate (Figari, amersol.edu.pe).
Another way is if ozone (O
3
) ions in the atmosphere react with nitrogen ions in the air to form
nitrate, it can be absorbed by water (Keuer, depts.alverno.edu). Another nutrient which is vital
Nitrate is measured in parts per million, while pH (the concentration of hydrogen ions per mole)
is measured on a scale of 0-14. Fourteen is most basic and zero is most acidic (lusterleaf.com).
Most ponds, such as those at Drumlin Farm, maintain a pH of six to eight (sancoind.com).
The testing will be conducted at a few of Drumlin Farms ponds. Drumlin Farm is a 312
acre Audubon Society Preserve, in Lincoln, MA. There are five ponds, spread out across the area
of the preserve. The procedure was conducted at Ice Pond, Vernal Pool, and Poultry Pond. Ice
Pond is in between the parking lot and the north side of the drumlin. It is frozen for a large part
of the year. The Vernal Pool is to the far east of the preserve, north of Boyce Field, and is the
habitat with the most wildlife at Drumlin Farm. Poultry Pond is located just north of the Farm
Life Center. This pond gets its name from the nearby poultry and other farm animals that get
their water from it. The pH level of the ponds determines algae growth, and whether nearby
plants can survive off the ponds water. There are many variables that can affect water pH. Algae
growth, water temperature, soil pH, and surrounding plant life are a few examples
(massaudobon.org).
The pH value of a ponds water is essential to algal growth. If a ponds water is too acidic
(about 5 or less) or too basic (about 9 or more), algae wont grow. This causes ponds TDS (total
dissolved solids) level to become very high (as algae absorb many dissolved solids) which
damages the ecosystem by blocking out the sun in the pond (http://allaboutalgae.com). Certain
kinds of algae, called planktonic algae, are also a vital first component in the food chain for any
pond. These algae are eaten by zooplankton, which are consumed by smaller fish, which are
eaten by bigger fish. Many pond owners even supplement their ponds algal growth in order to
promote a healthier stock of fish (www.gotalgae.com/). These algae, along with zooplankton and
fish, prefer a pH of six to eight. Furthermore, an experiment on the effect of pH on algal growth
conducted by University of Michigan students in 2008 showed that a pond with a pH of 6.2-6.8
"
had significantly more algae than one with a pH of 7.6-9.2 (www.gotalgae.com/). Nitrate also
has an effect on algal growth. Algae converts nitrogen and other nutrients into energy, and
congregate where these nutrients are plentiful. A pond with a lot of leaves, animal excrement,
and nitrogen-rich soil nearby will have a large amount of algal growth. This will lead to a rich
ecosystem because the pond will have a first step in the food chain (http://marinebio.org/).
However, excessive nitrogen levels lead to algal overgrowth, which damages other aquatic plants
by blocking sunlight in the pond. This nitrogen excess will also lead to the water being toxic to
fish and other organisms (peer.tamu.edu).
The experiment being proposed is to test the effect of pond water pH ([H+]/mol) on
nitrate levels (mg/L). The experiment will be conducted by taking eight water samples from each
of the three ponds. Then, the samples will be tested (separately) for pH and nitrate with the
respective probes. There will be 30 total trials. The independent variable for the proposed
experiment is pH ([H+]/mol) of the water. The dependent variable will be the nitrate level
(mg/L) in the samples collected. Some important controlled variables are the depth of the water
from which the samples will be taken, the height in the water at which the samples will be taken,
the testing materials, the amount of water taken for each sample, and the shadiness/sunniness of
the sample sites. The hypothesis that is proposed is: if the pH of a sample is between six and
eight, then it will have the most nitrate because at that pH algal growth increases, and algae turn
the nitrate and other nutrients into energy in a process similar to photosynthesis
(http://allaboutalgae.com).
This research illustrates how Drumlin Farms ponds are affected by pH and nitrate levels.
Botanists and naturalists at Drumlin Farm need to know the optimal pH range for their pond
(most likely six to eight), and what that does to the nitrate value in order to keep the algal growth
to a reasonable level. If scientists know more about the effects of certain conditions on nutrients
such as nitrate, then these scientists will be able to better monitor the health of the ecosystem at
Drumlin Farm. The effect of pH on nitrate is important to understand in order to gain better
knowledge of why some ponds are flooded with algae and some are nearly empty despite having
nearly identical pH and dissolved oxygen values. Understanding the factors that impact nutrients
such as nitrate is critical to the entire field of agriculture because farmers need to understand
when to add nitrate-rich fertilizer and when such fertilizer would be excessive, causing elevated
levels in nearby bodies of water. The more people who understand the impact of factors such as
pH on nitrate, the more efficiently and cost-effectively irrigation water resources can be managed.

MATERIALS & METHODS
Water samples were collected from three different ponds at Drumlin Farm: Ice, Vernal,
and Poultry Ponds. The water samples were large enough to measure both the nitrate levels and
the pH. For each pond, eight different samples were collected from the banks of the ponds. Each
sample was 20 mL in volume and was collected in two 50 mL beakers labeled A & B. To
minimize sampling inconsistencies, each sample was collected from the waters surface. They
were measured when the waters depth was 10 centimeters, and they were measured in random
intervals around the ponds. Notes about the controlled variables such as shade vs. sun were
recorded next to the data tables in the Field Note Book.



"
Figure 1: Diagram of water sampling in Drumlin Farm pond (Lincoln, MA). Each water
sample was collected at random intervals around the pond. Each dark dot represents a sample
from one of the three ponds. The depth from the surface represented by the side view shows that
the data was collected from samples 10 centimeters above the ground.


Figure 1:

The pH measurements for each sample were made using a Vernier pH sensor. The sensor
was rinsed with distilled water and dried using a paper towel to remove extra water droplets, then
submerged into beaker A. The sensor measured the pH, and the pH value was recorded into the
data table in the FNB. Values were only recorded 60 seconds after the sensor had been
submerged into the sample. After 60 seconds, the reading had to stay steady for three seconds
before the data was recorded in the data table to the tenths place. Nitrate measurements for each
sample were made using a Vernier Nitrate Ion-Selective Electrode. The probe was rinsed with
distilled water and dried using a towel to remove extra water droplets and then submerged into
beaker B. The probe measured the nitrate and the nitrate value was recorded into the data table in
the FNB. Values were only recorded 60 seconds after the probe had been submerged into the
sample. After 60 seconds, the reading had to stay steady for three seconds before the data was
recorded in the data table to the tenths.


"
RESULTS
Tables 1-3: The Effect of pH on Nitrate
Poultry Pond (1)

Ice Pond (2)

Vernal Pool (3)
Trial # pH
Nitrate
(mg/L)

Trial # pH
Nitrate
(mg/L)

Trial # pH
Nitrate
(Mg/L)
1 5.8 1.6

1 6.3 11.7

1 6.0 7.4
2 6.2 1.6

2 6.2 12.2

2 6.2 7.5
3 6.5 1.8

3 6.0 9.4

3 6.1 6.8
4 6.0 1.8

4 6.2 12.3

4 5.8 2.8
5 6.0 1.8

5 6.2 15.5

5 2.4 3.3
6 6.0 2.0

6 6.2 12.8

6 2.4 5.1
7 6.2 2.1

7 6.3 14.8

7 2.7 5.4
8 6.7 1.9

8 6.2 10.5

8 2.7 6.1
9 6.2 1.8

9 6.2 15.7

9 2.7 6.0
10 6.3 88.6
1


10 6.3 11.8

10 2.7 6.8
Average 6.19 1.82

Average 6.21 12.67

Average 4.0 5.72
St. Dev. 0.26 27.44 St. Dev. 0.09 2.09 St. Dev. 1.78 1.61

Table 4: The Effect of Nitrate on pH (averages)

Standard Deviation Averages

Poultry
Pond
Ice
Pond
Vernal
Pool
Poultry
Pond
Ice
Pond
Vernal
Pool
pH 0.26 0.09 1.78 6.19 6.21 4.00
Nitrate 0.16
2
2.09 1.61 1.82 12.67 4.72




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Graph 1: The Effect of pH on Nitrate (mg/L) (Poultry Pond)










Graph 2: The Effect of pH on Nitrate (mg/L) (Ice Pond)





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Graph 3: The Effect of pH on Nitrate (mg/L) (Vernal Pool)


Graph 4: The Effect of Location on Nitrate (mg/L) and pH (average values)



Graph 1 represents the data taken at Poultry Pond. In this graph, there was an r-squared
value of 0.07. This shows that at Poultry Pond, there was very little correlation between pH and
nitrate levels. For the most part, Poultry Pond contained the lowest nitrate values (1-2 mg/L),
however there was one major outlier which was 88.6 mg/L. Poultry Pond samples had a
relatively average acidity (around 6 pH). The standard deviation for nitrate was the highest
among the three habitats visited, at 27.4. The average pH was 6.19. The average nitrate was 10.5
mg/L.
Graph 2 shows the data collected from the Ice Pond. Ice pond had the highest average pH
and nitrate values. Unlike in Graph 1, there were no outliers. This graph had an r-squared value
of 0.17, the highest out of the three graphs. Despite this, the actual value shows very little

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correlation. The average nitrate value in Ice Pond was 12.7 mg/L, while the average pH was
6.21, both the highest of the three habitats. Ice Pond, in accordance with the averages, had the
highest nitrate values (10-16 mg/L), and similar pH values to Poultry Pond.
Graph 3 displays the data taken from the Vernal Pool. It had the lowest average nitrate
values (5.72 mg/L). In Graph 3, there was an r-squared value of 0.08, a similar result to Poultry
Pond, also suggesting no correlation. The data suggested that the Vernal Pool was much more
acidic than either of the other pools, with an average pH of 4.0. There were no major outliers in
Vernal Pool.
Graph 4 was made up of the averages of the three locations. Poultry Pond had the lowest
overall error bars, despite having the only error measurement. Vernal Pool had the largest
overall error bars. Ice Pond had the highest average pH and nitrate. Vernal Pool had the lowest
average pH and nitrate.

DISCUSSION
The experiment was conducted to test the effect of pond water pH ([H+]/mol) on nitrate
levels (mg/L). The original hypothesis stated: if the pH of a sample is between six and eight, then
it will have the highest nitrate value because algal growth increases as pH increases, and algae
turns the nitrate and other nutrients into energy in a photosynthesis-like process
(allaboutalgae.com). The hypothesis was not supported in this experiment because between pH
values of six and eight, there were many different nitrate values, ranging from 1.8 to 15.5 mg/L.
Because of the wide range of nitrate values, a reliable comparison to nitrate values outside that
pH range could not be performed, and there was not enough correlation to show a trend in the
data.
The correlation between the pH and the nitrate in the experiment conducted was very
weak with an r-squared value of 0.07. The error bars for the nitrate had no overlap between the
three ponds. The pH error bars had overlaps, however this did not affect the data because the pH
between the ponds was not the variable being tested. The three ponds that were sampled all
showed an r-squared value below 0.2. Because the r-squared values showed no trends, and
because the number of pH measurements outside the range of six to eight was slim, there was
little confidence in the data. In a similar experiment conducted by Amersol College using the
same variables, the r-squared value was also found to be very low (which was shown in their
graph and table) (www2.amersol.edu.pe/). Several explanations could account for the low r-
squared value in the pond environments.
Poultry Pond at Drumlin Farm has a greenish hue. This color was thought to be from
algae or plant growth. The algae may have affected the data because Poultry Pond, excluding the
outlier of 88, had on average the lowest nitrate levels (1.82 mg/L). Ice Pond, which was partially
iced over, had the highest average nitrate values (12.67 mg/L). Because the average pH of these
two ponds was nearly identical (pH = 6.2), the hypothesis that pH affects nitrate levels was not
supported. The two ponds were not likely to have had equal amounts of algae growth because of
the temperature difference between the ponds. This notion is based on the ice in Ice Pond.
Because of the ice, the temperature in Ice pond could be very low, therefore killing the algae and
raising the nitrate levels. The Vernal Pool measurements showed an intermediate nitrate value of
5.72 mg/L. However, the pH measurements of this sample area (average = 4.0) were not the
same as those of the other ponds. Comparisons between Vernal Pool and the other two ponds
suggest that pH, outside the range of six to eight, does not affect nitrate levels. In extremes of
"
pH, according to the research, there would be an absence of nitrate because algae would not be
able to grow; therefore the algae could not disperse the nitrate into the water.
The data collected at each sample area was precise except for an outlier and an error that
are explained below. The pH measurement for Ice Pond had the greatest precision with a
standard deviation of 0.08. Its nitrate measurements were also reasonably precise with a standard
deviation of 2. This gives confidence to the comparison between Ice Pond and the others. For
example the pH of Ice pond and Poultry Pond both average 6.2, while the pH values of Vernal
Pool differ because of an error that occurred. A failure to properly clean the pH electrode lead to
an error that caused the pH to drop from 6 to 2, and this changed the average of the pH to 4 with
a standard deviation of 1.8, and therefore diminished confidence in these results. Another major
error that occurred affected the confidence in nitrate concentrations for Poultry Pond. The
reading of 88.6 mg/L, which was 45 times higher than any other reading, likely occurred because
on that side of the pond, there was a chicken coop that might have drained into the pond
therefore changing the reading. Disregarding the outlier, the data was the most precise in Poultry
Pond.
If this study were repeated, a data set to include should be temperature readings for each
sample. Temperature might affect the algae growth in the pond, therefore resulting in more
conclusive results. Different ponds could be tested for their pH and nitrate levels. This might
reveal differences in ponds that affect data. Sufficient data was collected in this study to draw
conclusions because the standard deviation didnt change that much. Future experiments could
include the effect of algal growth on nitrate. It would be interesting to know if algae released
more nitrates when they die or when they are living. Complex ecosystems like ponds offer many
different experiments to help understand their patterns.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
It is an enjoyable ego-stroking exercise to say that this report was built upon the pure genius and
innovation of Spencer and that, but I would be a lie. The truth is, there are some people who this
report would simply not have happened without. First, I would like to thank Danny Kutsovsky
and Trevor, who lent us their idea for collecting and testing efficiently in order to avert a late
procedural crisis. Also, I would like to acknowledge Ms. LaRocca, for instructing me on the
intricate process of writing a lab report. Thirdly, I would like to thank the Drumlin Farm
chaperones and staff for guiding us through the data selection process. Lastly, I would like to say
that this report couldnt have happened without The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by
Douglas Adams, which reminded me of my scientific duties every time I tried to procrastinate by
reading it, and helping me think outside of the box during the research process.

There are many people I would like to thank for help with this project. First of all I would like to
thank my partner Owen Hakim for just helping out with the entire project and without him I
would not be able to do this project. I would also like to thank Ms. LaRocca for encouraging us
and giving us the opportunity to do real science and helping us with the writing of this report.
Thanks also to all of the chaperones and the Drumlin Farm staff for facilitating the whole
project. Finally I would like to acknowledge my parents for raising me and supporting me
through this entire project.

"#
WORKS CITED
Owen Hakim S82-6

"Algae Basics - Benefits of Algae." Algae Basics - Benefits of Algae. Algae Biomass
Organization, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://allaboutalgae.com/benefits/>.
"Algae Solutions." Algae Solutions. Ed. Ken Rust. Kasco Marine Inc., 2006. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.gotalgae.com/algae_solutions.htm>.
Bergstrom, Carolyn, Casey McKeel, and Suketu Patel. "Effects of PH on Algal Abundance: A
Model of Bay Harbor, Michigan." Deepblue.lib.umich.edu. University of Michigan, 2008.
Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
PDF.<http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/57443/Bergstrom_
McKeel_Patel_2007.pdf?se>.
Eutrophication. Digital image. Wheatleyriver.ca. Wheatley River Improvement Group RSS,
16 Aug. 2010. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www.wheatleyriver.ca/wp-
content/uploads/2011/02/Eutrphication.jpg>.
Figari, Sebastain, Joseph Hagan, Alvaro Marin, and Alvaro Montalvan. "The Effects of Nitrate
Concentration on Conductivity in Four Water Sources." Amersol.edu. Colegio Franklin
Delano Roosavelt American University of Lima, 2 June 2004. Web. 9 Mar. 2014.
<http://www2.amersol.edu.pe/hs/sciences/Projects/FINAL%20G4%20Proj%20M ay04/G
4%20Projects%20May2004%20HTML/G4-Conductivity-vs-
NitrateConc%20HTML/Group4%20AlvaroSebastianJoeAlvaronitrate%20conduct
ivity.htm>.
"Nitrates and Their Effect on Water Quality A Quick Study." Wheatleyriver.ca.
Wheatley River Improvement Group RSS, 16 Aug. 2010. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.wheatleyriver.ca/current-projects/wrig-pilot-nitrate-study/nitrates-and-their-
""
effect-on-water-quality-a-quick-study/>.
Numako, Chiya. "Disordered System." Physica B: Condensed Matter. Vol. 208-209.
Geneva: Izumi Nakai, 1995. 388-89. Print. Physica B.
PEER. "Water's the Matter-- Introduction: Nitrates." Water's the Matter--
Introduction: Nitrates. PEER, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.
"PH." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH>.
This source was only used for formulas.
Sanco Industries Inc. "Pond PH." News RSS. Sanco Industries, 8 Apr. 2011. Web. 08
Mar. 2014. <http://www.sancoind.com/news/pond-ph>.
Vernier Software & Technology. "Nitrate Ion-Selective Electrode." Nitrate Ion-selective
Probe. Vernier Software & Data, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
"Water Quality." Water Quality. Purdue University & Indiana University, n.d. Web.
10 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.cees.iupui.edu/education/Workshops/Project_Seam/water_quality.h tm>.
"Zooplankton." Marinebio.org. MarineBio Conservation Society, 2014. Web. 12 Mar.
2014. <http://marinebio.org/oceans/zooplankton.asp>.


"#
WORKS CITED
Spencer Kuldell S82-14
"Algae Basics - Benefits of Algae." Algae Basics - Benefits of Algae. Algae Biomass
Organization, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://allaboutalgae.com/benefits/>.
"Algae Solutions." Algae Solutions. Ed. Ken Rust. Kasco Marine Inc., 2006. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.gotalgae.com/algae_solutions.htm>.
Bergstrom, Carolyn, Casey McKeel, and Suketu Patel. "Effects of PH on Algal Abundance: A
Model of Bay Harbor, Michigan." Deepblue.lib.umich.edu. University of Michigan, 2008.
Web. 13 Mar. 2014.
PDF.<http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/57443/Bergstrom_
McKeel_Patel_2007.pdf?se>.
Eutrophication. Digital image. Wheatleyriver.ca. Wheatley River Improvement Group RSS,
16 Aug. 2010. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www.wheatleyriver.ca/wp-
content/uploads/2011/02/Eutrphication.jpg>.
Figari, Sebastain, Joseph Hagan, Alvaro Marin, and Alvaro Montalvan. "The Effects of Nitrate
Concentration on Conductivity in Four Water Sources." Amersol.edu. Colegio Franklin
Delano Roosavelt American University of Lima, 2 June 2004. Web. 9 Mar. 2014.
<http://www2.amersol.edu.pe/hs/sciences/Projects/FINAL%20G4%20Proj%20M ay04/G
4%20Projects%20May2004%20HTML/G4-Conductivity-vs-
NitrateConc%20HTML/Group4%20AlvaroSebastianJoeAlvaronitrate%20conduct
ivity.htm>.
"Nitrates and Their Effect on Water Quality A Quick Study." Wheatleyriver.ca.
Wheatley River Improvement Group RSS, 16 Aug. 2010. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.wheatleyriver.ca/current-projects/wrig-pilot-nitrate-study/nitrates-and-their-
"#
effect-on-water-quality-a-quick-study/>.
Numako, Chiya. "Disordered System." Physica B: Condensed Matter. Vol. 208-209.
Geneva: Izumi Nakai, 1995. 388-89. Print. Physica B.
PEER. "Water's the Matter-- Introduction: Nitrates." Water's the Matter--
Introduction: Nitrates. PEER, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.
"PH." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH>.
This source was only used for formulas.
Sanco Industries Inc. "Pond PH." News RSS. Sanco Industries, 8 Apr. 2011. Web. 08
Mar. 2014. <http://www.sancoind.com/news/pond-ph>.
Vernier Software & Technology. "Nitrate Ion-Selective Electrode." Nitrate Ion-selective
Probe. Vernier Software & Data, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
"Water Quality." Water Quality. Purdue University & Indiana University, n.d. Web.
10 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.cees.iupui.edu/education/Workshops/Project_Seam/water_quality.h tm>.
"Zooplankton." Marinebio.org. MarineBio Conservation Society, 2014. Web. 12 Mar.
2014. <http://marinebio.org/oceans/zooplankton.asp>.


"

The effect of canopy cover!%" on bark pH.

By; Max Kemper & Jamie Hauswirth
"
Table Of Contents




Section Author Page

Abstract Hauswirth 1

Introduction Hauswirth 1

M&M Hauswirth 2

Results Kemper 3

Discussion Kemper 6

Acknowledgements Kemper 7

Acknowledgements Hauswirth 7

Works Cited Hauswirth 8

Works Cited Kemper 10














!

The Effect of Proximity to Water (m) on Soil pH











!








Table of Contents
Abstract (Armando Hazaveh)...page 3
Introduction (Armando Hazaveh)....pages 3-4
Materials & Methods (Armando Hazaveh)..page 5
Results (Jimin Kang)..pages 6-10
Discussion (Jimin Kang)..pages 11-12
Acknowledgements (Kang & Hazaveh)...pages 12-13
Works Cited (Kang & Hazaveh)..pages 14-15
Appendix: Pictures (Kang & Hazaveh)..page 15





















!







The Effect of Proximity to Water (m) on Soil pH
ABSTRACT
This experiment was conducted in order to define whether there was a relation
between soil pH and water pH based on the soils proximity to the water. This experiment
was conducted at three ponds at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln Massachusetts: Boyce pond
1
,
Ice pond
2
, and the Vernal pool
3
. The procedure for this experiment was to collect a water
pH sample then collect pH soil samples at different directions around the pond. Using a
transect, samples were taken at 1,5,10,and 20m intervals from the waters shore and
tested immediately for their pH. It was thought that the soil would have a pH closer to the
waters pH as its distance from the water was shortened (www.esf.edu/ D. Bickelhaupt
and R. Schemedicke). The results displayed no correlation between the distances from the
pond to soil pH levels. The r
2
value also did not support the point, with the best of all the
values at 49%. The ponds had pH levels that ascended in the order Ice, Boyce, and
Vernal pool. Despite the ponds touching the soil and equalizing the pH levels, the
distances from the pond didnt have any effect on the soil pH.

INTRODUCTION
Does water have a measurable effect on the pH of soil? pH is a measurement of
the [H
+
] ion concentration in a given solution. pH is often tested in soil and water and can
determine how acidic or basic the given solution is. Litmus paper and digital detectors are
some of the materials used to measure the pH on a scale of 0-14. A soil pH of 14 is basic
and a pH of 0 is acidic. pH strongly affects how plants will grow and how well the
nutrients are balanced in the soil; optimal pH for plants is about 6-7 (D. Bickelhaupt and
R. Schemedicke www.esf.edu/). pH in soil can be strongly affected by rainwater taking
away necessary nutrients, and CO
2
that comes from decomposed organic materials
forming a weak organic acid. More strongly acidic soils are typically formed because of
organic matter decay as well as oxidation in the soil which both form strong acids in the
soil (D. Bickelhaupt and R. Schemedicke www.esf.edu/). However, pH can also be
measured in the water, where it can predict the success of sustaining the aquatic flora and
fauna. The death of all fish occurs at 4.2 on the pH scale. (www.epa.gov)
Soil pH can take a very long distance to change (50-100m), and also can change if
stepped on a lot because of the compaction of soil i.e. a path (R. McLaughin
www.homeguide.sfgate.com). The ponds and pools being tested have paths around them
that can affect the longer distance tests. Surrounding plant density also has an effect on
!

pH, roots can give off acidic material and photosynthesis removes CO
2
from the soil both
of which can affect the pH greatly. This is a possible factor in the experiment because it
is very possible that different types plants will be along the transect where samples are
being taken.
The soil pH can vary a lot from site to site; however, when there is a water source
the soil reaches a neutral point as the soil makes contact with the water (D. Bickelhaupt
and R. Schemedicke www.esf.edu). This effect comes about through the process of
diffusion (Where a solution goes from a location of low concentration to one of high
concentration). However the water level does matter because it has an effect on how deep
it goes in terms of affecting pH. The soil type also affects how the waters will effect on
pH. The soil type determines how resistant the soil is to change of pH. This is dependent
on the soil particle size (www.homeguide.sfgate.com, R. McLaughin).
Drumlin Farm presents a great location for a test of how water might affect the
pH of soil. It has 312 acres with a lot of diversity throughout the habitats. It also has
many water sources and a diversity of soils, which will allow for unique conditions to be
averaged.
The proposed experiment is: to test whether the proximity of soil to water will
affect the pH of the soil to make it more similar to the water pH measurement. The
independent variable will be the distance from the water the soil is collected from
(meters). The dependent variable is the pH of the soil. Important controlled variables
include: Time between the collection of oil samples, the testing, and the amount of
distilled water added to the pH measuring chamber. Other controlled variables are: the
plant life in testing area which could affect the pH measurement, and good randomization
of locations at which transects are set up around the water source. The hypothesis for the
given experiment is: If soil is closer to the water source, then its pH will be more similar
to the water pH because the waters interaction with the soil equalizes the [H
+
] ions
through the process of diffusion/ equalization (www.esf.edu/ D. Bickelhaupt and R.
Schemedicke).
The experiment would give new knowledge on how exactly water affect the soil
pH and if in fact the soil does change. New knowledge could be learned about how long a
distance it takes for soil pH to change a measurable amount. If not, however, the opposite
could be concluded thus making the pH a more unpredictable measurement. The new
found un/predictability could have an effect on how a farmer might fertilize and/or
change the type of plants planted in the area closer or farther from the water. (Taking soil
types into account as well) The pH could, allow scientists to further predict what flora
and/or fauna might blossom in the area, as well as how far as it might be from the water
source.



!

Materials and Methods
The testing took place at three locations in Drumlin Farm: The Ice pond, Vernal
pool, and Boyce pond
2
. Each had four transects to take data from, each one of the
transects had five data points taken from it. The water pH was also tested to make the
final comparison.
The material used in the test was be rinsed between tests with distilled water. To
begin the experiment, the TI-nspire (Texas Instruments) calculator was used to generate
three numbers between 0 and 360, the numbers were rounded to the nearest whole
number and should any repeats occur, another number was randomized. These were used
as angles at which to set up transects. Next, the compass was used to determine these
angles around the given water source so that transects can be set up along them as they
are measured. A 50m long tape measure was then used to take samples from the points
along each determined line at 1, 5, 10, and 20 meter intervals. When rolling out the meter
tape caution was taken not to step near the sites where the soil was taken from. Soil
samples were taken from these locations along each of the lines using a 17cm auger with
a 2cm diameter. The auger took samples 5 cm deep (how far it is pushed in). The soil
was then quickly put into the Rapidtest Soil Test Kit
1
for testing. The soil was tested as
quickly as possible so that the soil pH didnt change in the short time.

How the Rapidtest pH kit was used: First the green top was removed from the
testing kit, and then the package of capsules was removed (50). Next, the chamber was
filled with soil to the marked line. Then, the capsule was held over the chamber and split,
pouring the powder into the chamber. Using the dropper, distilled water was added until
the mixture was up to the water line. The cap was then put on again and the mixture was
mixed thoroughly. The mixture sat for about a minute so that the color could settle. Then
the mixture was looked through with sunlight and the color was compared to the pH scale
and the pH was then recorded in a pre prepared table. Any plants in the way were noted
in the table where data was collected in case of an unusual/outlier measurement.

IMAGES: Rapidtest pH tester:






Drumlin
Farm:



!
















Results


Table 1: The effect of proximity to water (m) on soil pH (Ice Pond)
Soil pH
Distance (m) trial 1 trial 2 trial 3 Average Standard Deviation
1 7.5 7.5 6.5 7.2 0.6
5 7.0 7.5 6.0 6.8 0.8
10 6.5 7.0 6.0 6.5 0.5
20 7.0 7.0 6.0 6.7 0.6




Graph 1: The effect of proximity to water (m) on soil pH (Ice Pond)

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Graph 2: The effect of proximity to water (m) on soil pH (Boyce Pond)








Table 2: The effect of proximity to water (m) on soil pH (Boyce Pond)
Soil pH
Distance (m) trial 1 trial 2 trial 3 Average Standard Deviation
1 6.5 6.5 6.0 6.3 0.3
5 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.5 0.0
10 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 0.0
20 7.0 7.0 6.5 6.8 0.3
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Table 3: The effect of proximity to water (m) on soil pH (Vernal Pool)
Soil pH
Distance (m) trial 1 trial 2 trial 3 Average Standard Deviation
1 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 0.0
5 7.0 6.5 8.0 7.2 0.8
10 7.5 6.5 7.0 7.0 0.5
20 7.5 7.0 7.0 7.2 0.3




Graph 3: The effect of proximity to water (m) on soil pH (Vernal Pool)






!"


In Graph 1, soil samples and pH tests were taken at Ice Pond. One thing that was
unexpected that appeared in the graph is that there is a very big jump from the water pH
to the average pH of the soil one meter away from the pond. The water pH was 5.0. The
highest pH measured is the pH one meter away from the water. The lowest pH measured
is the pH of the water, which is the opposite of what was expected. The trend is as the
soil gets farther from the water, the soil pH gets closer to the water pH. The r-squared
value is 0.4758. The average soil pH one meter away from the pond was 7.2; the average
for five meters away was 6.8, ten meters away 6.5, twenty meters away 6.8. The data
collected was the least precise of all graphs. All the error bars for the soil pH
measurements were very big. The standard deviation for one meter away was 0.6, five
meters away was 0.8, ten meters away was 0.5, and twenty meters away was 0.6. The
data sets at different distances were similar, since all the error bars overlapped. Right next
to the pond there was an evergreen forest. Since pine needles are acidic, the forest could
have possibly affected the data collected.
In Graph 2, soil samples and pH tests were done at Boyce Pond. The water pH
and soil pH had more of a trend; there was no average that was drastically above all the
other averages. The trend of the graph is as the soil gets farther away from the water, the
pH of the soil goes up. The r-squared value is 0.4978, the highest among the graphs. The
water pH of the pond was 6.0. The average soil pH one meter away was 6.3, five meters
away was 6.5, ten meters away was 7.0, and twenty meters away was 6.8. The pH at one
meter overlaps with every average except 7.0 at ten meters away. The average pHs at five
and ten meters do not overlap each other, but they both overlap the average pH twenty
meters away. Almost all the error bars overlap each other, which means there are similar
data sets at different distances in the graph. The data in Graph 2 is much more precise
than the other graphs; the error bars and standard deviation are smaller. The standard
deviation for one meter and twenty meters away was 0.3. The standard deviation for five
and ten meters away was 0.0. At Boyce Pond there were many leaves and branches on the
ground, which could have affected the pH of the soil.
In Graph 3, soil samples and pH tests were completed at Vernal Pool. Like Graph
1, it was unexpected that there was a big leap from water pH to the average soil pH
measurement only one meter away. The trend in Graph 3 is the farther away the soil is
from the pond, the pH of the soil gets higher. The r-squared value is 0.2426, the lowest of
the graphs. The average soil pH for one meter and ten meters away from the pond was
7.0. The average soil pH for five meters and twenty meters away from the pond was 7.2.
After the pH increase from the water to one meter away from the water, the average soil
pH measurements all stay within two tenths of each other, so there is not a big range in
data within the soil pH averages. All the error bars of the soil pHs overlap each other,
which means the data sets in Graph 3 were very similar to one another. The pH of the
water overlaps with every average of the soil pHs. The data in Graph 3 was less precise
than Graph 2, more precise than Graph 1. Most of the error bars were big. The standard
deviation for one meter away was 0.0, when five meters away it was 0.8, ten meters away
0.5, and twenty meters away 0.3. While at Vernal Pool there was water, but there was not
water at the pool during the fall. The soil pH could change depending on the season, since
some seasons the pool has water and some seasons the pool has no water.

!!


Discussion
The purpose of the experiment was to test the effect of soil proximity to water (m)
on soil pH. The hypothesis set for this experiment is: If soil is closer to the water source,
then its pH will be more similar to the water pH because the waters interaction with the
soil equalizes the [H+] ions through the process of diffusion/equalization (www.esf.edu/
D.Bickelhaupt and R.Schemedicke). The hypothesis was not supported because all the
error bars overlapped, thus making the data inconclusive of whether the soil pH samples
were going away from the water pH as the samples were taken farther from the pond. In
Graph 1, the soil pH got closer to the water pH as the samples were taken from farther
distances, rather than closer distances. This was the total opposite of the
hypothesis.
In Graph 1 (Ice Pond) the trend is as the soil gets farther from the water, the soil
pH gets closer to the water pH. One reason this could have happened is because as the
soil samples got farther away from the pond, the samples kept getting closer to the
evergreen forest that is next to the pond. Evergreen forests have pine needles, which
could have affected the soil pH to become more acidic as it got farther from the pond
(http://www.gardenguides.com). The results are not conclusively different, all the error
bars overlapped. In Graph 2 the trend is as the soil gets farther away from the water, the
pH of the soil goes up. Every error bar overlapped except for five and ten meters. The
data was most likely very precise because unlike Ice Pond, there were not many plants or
trees in the surroundings that affected soil pH. The r-squared value is 0.4978, which is
low. In Graph 3 the trend line is almost parallel to the water pH value, but it went up
slightly. The data was almost the same as the water pH level because Vernal Pool is not
always there the whole year. Some seasons there is water in the pool, other seasons there
is no water. The water does not stay long enough to affect the pH of the soil surrounding
the pool. All the error bars overlap. The data sets are inconclusively different. The r-
squared value for the graph is 0.2426, the lowest of all the graphs. Most of the averages
from all the graphs were not precise. This impacts the confidence in the data because the
bigger the error bars, the bigger the range in data, so the data is not reliable enough to
draw conclusions from.
A lot of sources stated soil pH and water pH are correlated, but the data does not
support this. One reason the data could have been so unreliable is that the pH samples
were not taken far enough from the pond to actually have significant differences in pH
(http://depts.alverno.edu/). Perhaps if the soil samples were taken farther from the pond,
the samples would have shown more variety in cultivation the soil has gone through. For
example, if the samples were taken very far from the pond, the data would have been
different. The surroundings would have been different from the ponds surroundings,
which affects pH. The pond could have had more pine needles, while farther away from
the pond there could have been almost no pine needles. Another reason the data could
have been inconclusive is that sometimes soil samples had to be taken outside of the pond
site into the walking paths or the nearby woods. Having soil samples taken in places very
far from the pond could have easily impacted the soil pH, since the ground is much more
disturbed in the woods and walking paths from all the footsteps, leaves, and pine needles.
In summary, there are going to be different variables that affect soil pH very far from the
pond than near the pond. For instance, the pH in the woods could have been less acidic
!"

than the walking paths since more rain (acidic) would fall on the paths rather than the
woods, because of all the leaves covering the ground of the woods (Brimblecombe, Acid
Rain).
There are many things that could be done to improve data collection. Instead of
having 20 meters as the maximum distance, the maximum distance could have been
raised to 50 meters from each pond to see more dramatic differences in the soil pH. Also
instead of collecting pH samples where there was a lot of disturbance or leaf coverage,
pH samples could have been taken where the soil was not disturbed by any of its
surroundings. More trials and data collecting would have helped the graphs be more
precise and reliable. Sufficient data was not collected. It was first planned to take sixteen
pH samples in all per site. Only twelve pH samples per site were collected because
sixteen was too much to do in the time given. One of the errors that occurred in this
experiment is that all of the controlled variables could not be controlled. For example, in
Ice Pond, there was an evergreen forest on one side of the pond. The forest caused the
data to be very different from the water pH, so many of the pH samples were almost as
acidic as the water. The forest impacted the data precision. There was no way to
eliminate errors of the ponds surroundings. For future research of this study, people
could find out whether the depth of the water has any effect on the water pH or not. Since
the ponds most likely had a difference in depth (Vernal Pool was a lot shallower than the
other ponds), more research could be done to see if the depth of the pond had any effect
on the data around the ponds.


Acknowledgements
Jimin Kang
First off I would like to thank my partner, Armando Hazaveh, for cooperating
well with me throughout this whole experiment. He always helped clarify whenever I had
questions with writing my results section and when I was confused with the procedure.
Without his hard work and focus, this experiment would have been much harder to
complete. Also I give thanks to the teachers that supervised at our three worksites,
Margaret Hardy, Wendy Svatek, Rachel Jamison, and Stephanie Moon. They all helped
us with keeping our experiment on track and making sure we were working quick enough
to move on to our next site. I would like to thank Michael Ewins for commenting on our
work and helping us in many ways to benefit our experiment by getting us the materials
we needed and to help polish our procedure. Thanks to all the Drumlin Farm teacher-
naturalists we got all of our questions answered that were necessary to our experiment
and helped us complete our work. Finally I would like to thank my mom, Jungha Gil, by
helping our group buy some of the materials we needed.


Armando Hazaveh
To begin with I would like to thank Jimin Kang my partner who was always there
helping me to get through to the hard work. His partnership was always a great tool
especially when we finally had to do the experiment. He always made sure that we got
everything we needed done. When it became apparent that we would not be able to do
everything we had to do Jimin was there to make the plans for the future of our
!"

experiment. Of course, like Jimin, I would like to thank our site supervisors who kept us
in order and on schedule. In my opinion I think that the most important person to thank is
our science teacher, Mr. Michael Ewins. He has helped us both through each and every
step, giving advice, working through problems, and being a helpful guide through all the
steps of writing and experimenting. I would like to also thank my parents who helped me
work through the load and were upbeat.






















!"

Works Cited
Armando Hazaveh
Ashman, M. R., and G. Puri. "Chapter 6." Essential Soil Science: A Clear and Concise
Introduction to Soil Science. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2002. N. pag. Print
Bickelhaupt, Donald, and Robert Schmedicke. "Soil PH: What It Means." Soil PH: What
It Means. College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2014. Web. 09
Mar. 2014. <http://www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/soilph/soilph.htm>.
McLaughlin, Randy. "Home Guides." Home Guides. SFGate, 2014. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.
<http://homeguides.sfgate.com/ph-water-affect-ph-soil-74237.html>.
York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. Science in Context. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. "PH Scale." EPA.
Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/education/site_students/phscale.html>.


Jimin Kang
Ashman, M. R., and G. Puri. Essential Soil Science: A Clear and Concise Introduction to
Soil Science. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2002. Print.
Baran, Angie, and Meagan Mecklenburg. "Soil PH." Soil PH. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May
2014. <http://depts.alverno.edu/nsmt/archive/BaranMeck.htm>.
Bickelhaupt, Donald, and Robert Schmedicke. "Soil PH: What It Means." Soil PH: What
It Means. College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2014. Web. 01 May
2014. <http://www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/soilph/soilph.htm>.
!"

GardenGuides. "Pine Trees & Acid Soil." GardenGuides. Demand Media, 1997. Web. 01
May 2014. <http://www.gardenguides.com/130318-pine-trees-acid-soil.html>.
(n.d.): n. pag. Web. Peter Brimblecombe 2012. Acid Rain. The Wiley-Blackwell
Encyclopedia of Globalization.
N.p., n.d. Web. "Acidification." Environmental Encyclopedia. Gale, 2011. Science in
Context. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.


Appendices:
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The habitat of soil is shown to affect soil pB on a laigei scale, chiefly uue to
uiffeiences in iainwatei. Locations with moie iainfall become moie aciuic uue to
iainwatei leaching mineials away. Bowevei, lanu use tenus to affect the pB of soil the
gieatest. Agiicultuial lanus tenu to be moie aciuic uue to cations, which balance the pB,
not being ietuineu to the soil when plants uie but iathei being moveu away as piouuce
(N.R. Ashman, u. Puii, Essential Soil Science). Bowevei, oveiall foiest habitats tenu to
be moie aciuic than fielu habitats uue to the loss of acius fiom uecomposition. The loss
of oiganic mateiials gieatly changes the aciuity of soil, because uecaying oiganic mattei
cieates acius such as nitiic anu sulfuiic aciu. Caibon uioxiue fiom uecaying plant mattei
also foims a weak oiganic aciu (B. Bickelhaupt, www.esf.euu). Nateiials within the soil
aie also shown to have an impact on its pB. Soils with a gieatei clay content aie shown
to be moie iesistant to aciuification anu alkalization uue to theii laige oiganic content.
The two soil hoiizons closest to the suiface commonly founu in fielu habitats aie the A
anu B hoiizons. The A hoiizon is maue up of a mix of oiganic mateiials anu leacheu
mineials, while the B hoiizon is maue up of majoiity leacheu mineials such as iion anu
aluminum as well as humus, which is nonliving oiganic mattei. Iion anu aluminum
oxiues aie both aciuic. The oiganic mateiial in both hoiizons howevei, as mentioneu
above, woulu make them less vulneiable to changes in pB (NA, www.nics.uusa.gov).
The pioposeu expeiiment is the effect of soil habitat anu soil hoiizon on pB. The
objective of this expeiiment is to bettei unueistanu how enviionmental factois affect
soil pB, specifically within each hoiizon. The question will be testeu by obtaining soil
samples of both the A anu B hoiizons at thiee uiffeient fielus at Biumlin Faim, five
samples of each hoiizon pei fielu. The pB of the samples will be ueteimineu by using a
Rapitest soil pB test kit. The inuepenuent vaiiables foi this expeiiment aie the soil
habitat anu hoiizon anu the uepenuent vaiiable foi this expeiiment is the pB of the soil.
Impoitant contiolleu vaiiables foi this expeiiment incluue having the same peison
conuuct the soil pB test, the ianuomization technique useu to ueteimine the testing
locations within the thiee fielu habitats, the soil pB test pioceuuie, the uepth that the
soil augei is uug into the giounu anu the expeiimental pioceuuie. The fiist hypothesis
foi this expeiiment is: If the pB of Boyce, 0veilook anu Sheep uiazing fielus aie testeu,
then the pB of Boyce Fielu woulu be lowei, because pB balancing cations aie not
ietuineu to the fielu but aie insteau taken away as piouuce, making the fielu moie
aciuic. Fuitheimoie, compost is uepositeu on the soil, which consists of uecaying
oiganic mattei that foims a weak aciu (N.R. Ashman, u. Puii, Essential Soil Science)
(NA, www.esf.euu) (N. Stiombeigei, www.extsoilciop.colostate.euu). The seconu
hypothesis is: If the pB of the A anu B hoiizons aie testeu, then the B hoiizon woulu be
the most aciuic because the B hoiizon contains leacheu mateiials such as aluminum anu
iion oxiues which aie aciuic (K.Schultheis, class notes) (NA,
www.oiganicgaiuening.com).
This expeiiment is impoitant to Biumlin Faim anu the gieatei scientific
community because it shows how enviionmental factois affect soils. This coulu help
Biumlin Faim ueciue how to put each fielu to use anu it coulu also help them bettei
manage theii soil to maintain it's health. It is essential to unueistanu how
enviionmental factois affect pB because agiicultuie is ciucial to the suivival of life on
eaith, as agiicultuie cleaily pioviues foou foi both humans anu animals. If moie
faimeis unueistanu how pB in soil is affecteu, fielus can become moie efficient anu
moie foou can be piouuceu.

S
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0n the tiip to Biumlin Faim, ianuom locations weie not pioviueu by the science
uepaitment, insteau asking the scientists to finu a methou of ianuomization. Ranuom
cooiuinates weie founu using a Texas Instiuments nspiie CAS calculatoi, as the
equation RANB(S)*1Su.
The following pioceuuie was followeu to contiol the expeiiment's accuiacy anu
keep eiiois to a minimum. The mateiials weie gatheieu, then sample site one within
Boyce Fielu was tiaveleu too. Steps thiee anu foui weie to uiill the soil augei one metei
into the soil, then to make qualitative anu quantitative obseivations about the soil. Step
five was to extiact the soil augei (Figuie 2), anu the "Fill with soil" line on the pB Test
(Figuie 1) was filleu up to with the soil sample. We filleu up to the seconu line with
uistilleu watei, then emptieu the gieen capsule of it's powuei. Step nine is to fix the cap
on the pB test anu shake thoioughly. The soil sample must iest foi one minute, then be
compaieu to the pioviueu coloi chait. Recoiu iesults, then, using iinse watei, clean the
pB test kit by uepositing the testeu soil into the waste watei bottle.




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uiaph S: The effect of soil hoiizon on pB




uiaph 4: The effect of soil habitat on pB


"#$%%&' (&)*+%)
uiaph one shows that on aveiage, hoiizon B was lowei than hoiizon A. The
aveiage pB foi the A hoiizon in Boyce Fielu was 6.7, while the aveiage foi the B hoiizon
was 6.S. The aveiage pB foi the A hoiizon in 0veilook Fielu was 6.8; the B hoiizon was
6.6. In the Sheep uiazing Aiea the aveiage foi the A anu B hoiizons weie 6.9 anu 6.S
u
1
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7
iespectively. Bowevei, the only conclusive uiffeience in hoiizons was at the Sheep
uiazing Fielu as all of the othei eiioi bais oveilappeu.
uiaph one shows six aveiages. Within the A hoiizon theie aie aveiages foi
Boyce Fielu which has a stanuaiu ueviation of u.S, 0veilook Fielu with a stanuaiu
ueviation of u.4 anu Faimyaiu with the same stanuaiu ueviation of u.4 All of the eiioi
bais aie laige anu oveilap. Within the B hoiizon theie aie thiee aveiages: Boyce,
0veilook anu Faimyaiu fielus. Boyce Fielu has a stanuaiu ueviation of u.S, 0veilook has
a stanuaiu ueviation of u.4 anu Faimyaiu has a stanuaiu ueviation of u.u. Although
Faimyaiu has no eiioi bai, the othei two uata points within the A hoiizon have laige
eiioi bais. uiaph two shows the same aveiages as giaph one.
uiaph thiee shows the aveiages of the pB foi the two soil hoiizons sampleu. The
A hoiizon hau an aveiage of 6.8 while the B hoiizon hau an aveiage of 6.S. The stanuaiu
ueviation foi the A hoiizon was u.S, while the stanuaiu ueviation foi the B hoiizon was
u.S. Both of the eiioi bais oveilappeu.
uiaph foui shows the aveiages of the pB foi the thiee sampleu habitats. Boyce
Fielu hau an aveiage pB of 6.6, while 0veilook Fielu anu Faimyaiu Sheep giazing Fielu
each hau an aveiage pB of 6.7. All of the eiioi bais oveilappeu, as Boyce Fielu hau a
stanuaiu of u.S, 0veilook Fielu hau a stanuaiu ueviation of u.4 anu Faimyaiu hau a
stanuaiu ueviation of u.S.
The soil foi the A hoiizon tenueu to be a uaikei shaue of biown, while the B
hoiizon was closei to ochie in coloiing. Both soils hau similai textuies anu weie maue
up of silty paiticles.
!"#$%##"&'
The objective of the expeiiment was to finu whethei the A hoiizon oi B hoiizon
was moie aciuic, anu to see whethei that helu tiue thioughout uiffeient locations.
Because of the way the expeiiment was uesigneu, theie hau to be two hypotheses to
auuiess both location anu soil hoiizons. The fiist hypothesis auuiesseu the soil location.
If the pB of Boyce, 0veilook, anu Sheep uiazing fielus aie testeu, then the pB of Boyce
Fielu woulu be lowei, because pB balancing cations aie not ietuineu to the fielu but aie
insteau taken away as piouuce, making the fielu moie aciuic. Fuitheimoie, compost is
uepositeu on the soil, which consists of uecaying oiganic mattei which foims a weak
aciu (N.R. Ashman, u. Puii, Essential Soil Science) (NA, www.esf.euu) (N. Stiombeigei,
www.extsoilciop.colostate.euu). The seconu hypothesis coveis what the expecteu
iesults weie foi soil hoiizons. If the pB of the A anu B hoiizons aie testeu, then the B
hoiizon woulu be the most aciuic because the B hoiizon contains leacheu mateiials such
as aluminum anu iion oxiues which aie aciuic (K.Schultheis, class notes) (NA,
www.oiganicgaiuening.com). The aveiages of the iesults pioveu the hypotheses
coiiect.
The iesults confoimeu with the hypotheses, pioving that a sufficient amount of
ieseaich when foiming the hypotheses was uone. Bowevei, the oveilap in eiioi bais
maue the uata inconclusive. This is most likely because the inciements in which pB is
measuieu in is quite laige, with inciements of u.S. Nany test kits actually have laigei
inciements, with inciements of 2.u (www.noitheinbiewei.com) 0n the flip siue, some
veiy piecise pB test kits have inciements of u.2. (NA, lamotte.com) The oveilap was
uisappointing, as the uesiieu iesults hau a veiy small oveilap, if any at all, in oiuei to
make appiopiiate conclusions.
Baseu on aveiages, some conclusions can be maue. uiaph one shows the effect of
soil hoiizon on pB, anu while it looks like theie is a laige uispaiity between the A anu B
8
hoiizons, the Y axis of the bai giaph shows the inciements in which pB is shown in is
quite small. In the collecteu set of iesults, the B hoiizon was moie aciuic, which
confoimeu with oui hypotheses. This is because the B hoiizon contains many leacheu
mateiials like aluminum anu iion oxiue, which inciease the aciuity of soil. (NA,
www.oiganicgaiuening.com) Boyce Fielu was the most aciuic in both the A anu B
hoiizons, anu one of the key uiffeiences between Boyce anu 0veilook anu Sheep
uiazing Fielus was the way it was maintaineu. Accoiuing to the teachei-natuialist,
Boyce Fielu is wheie the majoiity of ciops aie planteu. This means that Boyce Fielu has
a soil that is peifect foi the climate, with a healthy balance of leacheu mateiials, anu a
healthy level of aciuity. ueneially, a healthy level of aciuity in the A hoiizon is 6.S anu
Boyce Fielu's aveiage was the closest to that numbei than eithei of the othei soil
locations.
0nfoitunately the uata was not veiy piecise at all. Foi giaph 2 in paiticulai,
looking at the eiioi bais gave no insight into any conclusions that coulu possibly be
maue. uiaph 1 was slightly bettei, with smallei eiioi bais, meaning moie piecise anu
compact uata, but theie was still an oveilap, meaning the iesults weie inconclusive foi
both of the inuepenuent vaiiables.
It ceitainly woulu have been nice if moie time was gianteu to assuie the
limitation of eiiois when collecting anu testing the soil foi pB. Extia mateiials woulu
have been nice, because the spilling of powuei anu loss of bags, leu to impiovisation
techniques to limit the uamage of which the mishap woulu have of the uata collection.
The piecision anu accuiacy in the uata was not guaianteeu, but with a few assumptions
maue anu eiiois noteu, the uata set is one to have full confiuence in. Some ways in
which the expeiiment coulu have been impioveu involve a laigei time slot, to insuie the
accuiacy anu piecision of the uata set. 0ne of the caieless mistakes that iesulteu fiom
not enough time was on Boyce Fielu Boiizon B sample S, theie was not a goou way to
ueteimine hoiizons because of the uepth of the A hoiizon.

!"#$%&'()*(+($,-
Eiica Bogan
I woulu fiist anu foiemost like to thank the science uepaitment foi all of theii
help with Knights of Science, specifically Ns. Schultheis foi guiuing Tievoi anu I thiough
the many steps of the pioject. I woulu also like to thank all of the natuialists anu
teacheis who chapeioneu the Biumlin Faim Tiip, specifically Ns. Canauay, Ni. Saizana
anu Ni. Senabie. I woulu also like to thank Avi Nausen foi helping me conuuct some of
the soil tests. Finally, I woulu like to thank my paitnei Tievoi Bonovan foi woiking veiy
haiu ovei the past month anu being a gieat paitnei. Thank you again to eveiyone who
maue this papei possible.

Tievoi Bonovan
I'u like to thank the natuialists at Biumlin Faim foi helping me anu Eiica to finu
appiopiiate locations to take soil samples. I'u like to thank Ns. Biooks foi helping me
finu qualifieu souices foi my ieseaich, anu to all of my classmates who helpeu to euit
vaiious paits of the pioject. I'u like to thank Ns. Canauay anu Ni. Saizana foi helping us
to finu the testing location uuiing the fielu tiip. I'u like to thank Ns. Schultheis foi uoing
eveiything she coulu to push oui pioject foiwaiu. Lastly, I woulu like to thank Eiica
Bogan foi being the best paitnei I coulu've askeu foi.

9
!"#$% '()*+

Tievoi Bonovan

Bennett, Pamela. "0hio State 0niveisity Extension Fact Sheet." uiowing Caiiots
In The Bome uaiuen,
Bickelhaupt, Bonalu. "Soil PB: What It Neans." !"##$%$ "' ()*+,")-$)./# 01+$)1$
/)2 3",$4.,5. State 0niveisity of New Yoik, 2u14. Web. 17 Api. 2u14.
<http:www.esf.euupubpiogbiochuiesoilphsoilph.htm>.
BYu16u69S. 0hio State 0niveisity, n.u. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14.
<http:ohioline.osu.euuhygfact1uuu16u6.html>. "A Bettei 0nueistanuing of the
Impacts of uiazing Sheep." A Bettei 0nueistanuing of the Impacts of uiazing Sheep.
0SBA, 14 Nai. 2u1S. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14. <http:phys.oignews2u1SuS-
impactsgiazingsheep.html>.
"Biumlin Faim Wilulife Sanctuaiy." Biumlin Faim Wilulife Sanctuaiy.
Nassachusetts Auuubon Society, n.u. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.massauuubon.oiggetoutuooiswilulifesanctuaiiesuiumlinfaim>.
The Euitois of Encyclopuia Biitannica. "Bumus (soil Component)."
Encyclopeuia Biitannica 0nline. Encyclopeuia Biitannica, n.u. Web. 12 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.biitannica.comEBcheckeutopic2764u8humus>.
Factois Affecting PB. Bigital image. Soil PB. 0SBA, n.u. Web.
<http:www.nics.usua.govInteinetFSE_B0C0NENTSnics142p2_uSS29S.puf>.

Eiica Bogan

Ashman, N. R., anu u. Puii. (44$).+/# 0"+# 01+$)1$6 7 !#$/, /)2 !")1+4$ 8).,"291.+") ." 0"+#
01+$)1$. 0xfoiu: Blackwell Science, 2uu2. Piint.
1u
Bennett, Pamela. "0hio State 0niveisity Extension Fact Sheet." !"#$%&' )*""#+, -& ./0
1#20 !*"30&4 15!678986:;. 0hio State 0niveisity, n.u. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14.
<http:ohioline.osu.euuhyg-fact1uuu16u6.html>.
"A Bettei 0nueistanuing of the Impacts of uiazing Sheep." < =0++0" >&30",+*&3%&' #? +/0
-2@*A+, #? !"*B%&' C/00@. 0SBA, 14 Nai. 2u1S. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14.
<http:phys.oignews2u1S-uS-impacts-giazing-sheep.html>.
Cho, Bonovan, Lamphiei, 8th giaue posteis, 1u1S1S, S1414
"Biumlin Faim Wilulife Sanctuaiy." D"E2F%& G*"2 H%F3F%?0 C*&A+E*"I. Nassachusetts
Auuubon Society, n.u. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14. <http:www.massauuubon.oigget-
outuooiswilulife-sanctuaiiesuiumlin-faim>.
The Euitois of Encyclopuia Biitannica. "Bumus (soil Component)." J&AIAF#@03%*
="%+*&&%A* K&F%&0. Encyclopeuia Biitannica, n.u. Web. 12 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.biitannica.comEBcheckeutopic2764u8humus>.
Ellswoith, Kang, Scheei, 8th giaue posteis, 1u1S1S, S1414
G*A+#", <??0A+%&' L1. Bigital image. C#%F L1. 0SBA, n.u. Web.
<http:www.nics.usua.govInteinetFSE_B0C0NENTSnics142p2_uSS29S.puf
>.
Khanna, Kohlei, Ross, 8th giaue posteis, 1u1S1S, S1414
K.Schultheis, Class Notes, BB&N Niuule School, n.u., S1414
Luzauis, valeiie A. "The Life of a Sugai Naple Tiee." Coinell 0niveisity, n.u. Web. 11
Nai. 2u14. <http:maple.uni.coinell.euupubstiees.htm>.
Nason, Sanuia. "0niveisity of Illinois Extension Seiving Champaign, Foiu, Iioquois anu
veimilion Counties." 1#$ +# M#$0" C#%F L1. 0niveisity of Illinois, n.u. Web. 11
Nai. 2u14. <http:web.extension.illinois.euucfivhomeowneisu8u818.html>.
11
Peiiy, Leonaiu. "PB foi the uaiuen." !" $%& '() *+&,)-. 0niveisity of veimont, n.u. Web.
u9 Nai. 2u14. <http:pss.uvm.euuppppubsohS4.htm>.
"Soil PB: What It Neans." .%/0 !"1 2(+' 3' 4)+-5. S0NY College of Enviionmental
Sciences, n.u. Web. u9 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.esf.euupubpiogbiochuiesoilphsoilph.htm>.
Stiombeigei, Naiy. 6%78%5' 9$$):'5 %- .%/0 ;<+0/'=. .%/0 >)8+&'7)-'. Coloiauo State
0niveisity, n.u. Web.
<http:www.extsoilciop.colostate.euuSoilspoweipointcompostCompostEff
ectsonSoilQuality.puf>.
"0nueistanuing PB." 2(+' 35 .%/0 !" +-, 2(+' >%)5 3' 4)+-?1 @&A+-/: *+&,)-/-A.
0iganic uaiuening Nagazine, n.u. Web. 11 Nai. 2u14.
<http:www.oiganicgaiuening.comleain-anu-giowunueistanuing-ph>.
Bennett, Pamela. "0hio State 0niveisity Extension Fact Sheet." uiowing Caiiots
In The Bome uaiuen,






LOvF 1HA1 DIk1f WA1Fk:
Thc Effccl of Pond Locclion on lcccl Coliform Lcvcl













Author 1. Delila Keravuori (S86-9)
Author 2. Chris Attisani (S86-1)
Author 3. Miriam Feldman (S86-6)


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Author Page Number

Abstract Delila Keravuori 3

Introduction Delila Keravuori 3

Materials and Methods Chris Attisani 4

Results Miriam Feldman 6

Discussion Chris Attisani 11

Acknowledgements All Authors 12

Works Cited All Authors 14























2
ABSTRACT
The proposed experiment was designed to determine the relationship between Iecal coliIorm
bacteria, the accumulation oI microorganisms that live in warm blooded animals, and pond location at
Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts. As determined by scientists, the amount oI Iecal coliIorm
bacteria can increase iI it has come in contact with any sort oI animal waste (KY Water Watch,
state.ky.us.htm). The procedure Ior this experiment was to take seven water samples Irom random
spots around the perimeter oI three diIIerent ponds at the Iarm: Poultry Pond, Bathtub Pond, and Ice
pond. Additionally, seven samples were collected Irom Cambridge tap water to use as a control run.
All samples were then placed into an unheated incubator Ior Iorty-eight hours, during which the water
was expected to change color depending on the amount oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria that had developed.
II the color was red (negative) it was recorded as zero, and oppositely, iI the color was yellow
(positive) it was recorded as one. Any colors in between were recorded as a decimal. As expected,
the water Irom Poultry Pond had the largest average amount oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria (0.94 out oI
1.00). This result was believed to be due to the large amount oI animal manure runoII since it was
located very close to the Iarmyard and chicken coop, as explained in the hypothesis. Ice Pond had an
average oI 0.87 and Bathtub Pond had an average oI 0.76. Due to the inconclusive results, the
hypothesis was not supported.

INTRODUCTION
Little do swimmers know oI the hidden dangers beneath the surIace oI many ponds and lakes.
One potential threat oI swimming in these waters is the large amount oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria. Fecal
coliIorm bacteria, a subgroup oI coliIorm bacteria, is an accumulation oI microorganisms that live in the
large intestines oI warm blooded animals and aid in the process oI digestion. By themselves, Iecal
coliIorm bacteria is virtually harmless, but may indicate the presence oI other potentially pathogenic
organisms. It is challenging to test Ior these pathogenic organisms, thereIore Iecal coliIorm bacteria is
tested and used to indicate the presence oI these pathogens. II there is Iecal coliIorm bacteria in any
ambient body oI water, it can be accurately concluded that the water has been contaminated by either
mixing with sewage Ilow, or has come in contact with animal or human waste (KY Water Watch,
state.ky.us.htm). The most regularly tested coliIorm indicator is Escherichia Coli, which can be
evidence oI health risk in both Iresh and salt water. E. Coli has the ability to grow at increased
temperatures, thus resulting in its separation Irom the rest oI the Iecal coliIorm bacteria. The two most
common waterborne diseases one can get when exposed to excessive amounts oI contaminated waters
are Giardiasis and Cryptosporidiosis. In addition to being present in water, Iecal coliIorm bacteria can
exist in animal manure, soil, and submerged wood (Vermont.gov, healthvermont.gov).
This experiment examines the correlation between pond water and the quantity oI Iecal coliIorm
bacteria. The testing will be done at Drumlin Farm, a Massachusetts Audubon wildliIe sanctuary and
working Iarm located in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Spanning across a total oI 206 acres, the Iarm has
many ponds where students will be collecting water samples Irom including Poultry Pond, Ice Pond, and
Bathtub Pond.
In these waters, the presence oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria could raise the general oxygen demand,
or cause cloudy water and unpleasant odors. Scientists believe that some amount oI Iecal coliIorm
bacteria is expected in water due to rainIall and snow runoII, however any levels above 235 organisms
per 100 mL oI water is dangerous to swim in (water.epa.gov). In drinking water, any amount oI Iecal
coliIorm bacteria is unsaIe (Jolley and English, clemson.edu).
In an experiment conducted by Bieniek and Koprowski, testing the relationship between total
3
Iecal coliIorm bacteria in pond water versus lake water, there was more Iecal coliIorm bacteria in pond
water. They concluded that this was because there was a higher accessibility to Iecal material (Bieniek
and Koprowski, depts.alverno.edu). Similarly to this experiment, BB&N students will test ponds, some
being in closer proximity to animal waste. This could lead to more or less Iecal coliIorm bacteria.
The proposed experiment is to test the eIIect oI pond location (either Poultry Pond, Ice Pond,
or Bathtub Pond) on the amount oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria. The independent variable is the pond
location, and the dependent variable is the amount oI bacteria. The control run is the Iecal coliIorm
bacteria levels in Cambridge drinking water. Some variables that need to be controlled throughout the
experiment are the size oI the water samples collected (mL), the testing procedure, the length oI
incubation time (hours), and the temperature at which the incubator is set on (C). The hypothesis set
Iorth is, iI the water is tested Irom Poultry Pond, then it will have the highest Iecal coliIorm level, because
it is located in close proximity to the Iarmyard and chicken coop, thus having a large amount oI animal
manure runoII, which is a leading cause oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria (U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, water.epa.gov). The other ponds are Iarther away Irom the Iarmyard and chicken coop
thereIore will not mix with as much Iecal material that may contain Iecal coliIorm bacteria. Students will
test their hypothesis by gathering water samples Irom each pond and then, back at BB&N, growing
Iecal ColiIorm bacterial colonies in an incubator Ior Iorty-eight hours. The control run Ior this
experiment is to test the Iecal coliIorm bacteria levels in drinking water.
As a result oI this experiment, Iuture scientists and everyday swimmers will have a better
understanding oI the qualiIications regarding the bacteria in saIe swimming waters. They will also know
how to test coliIorm bacteria in water that has not been previously examined to ensure its saIety. In
addition to swimming, it is crucial to know iI the waters that Iishermen Iish in are contaminated because
eating Iish Irom contaminated waters can be dangerous. Also, in terms oI drinking water, one will learn
how to measure bacteria in drinking water in hopes oI Iecal disease prevention and Iurther
contamination. Lastly, this inIormation could help Drumlin Farm by indicating which oI their ponds have
higher Iecal coliIorm bacteria levels. By knowing this, the Iarm would be more certain about the health
oI their crops. This is because nearby Iecal coliIorm inIested waters could be accessible to the soil
surrounding the growing plants, which could cause the plants to be unsaIe to eat. Not only would this
knowledge be useIul to Drumlin Farm speciIically, but other Iarms could use similar bacterial tests to
determine the amounts oI harmIul bacteria in the soil near their plants due to proximity oI bacteria Iilled
waters. As a result, they would be able to move their gardens and Iields, iI necessary, into a diIIerent
area to prevent any Iurther contamination.

MATERIALS & METHODS
While testing the eIIect oI location on Iecal coliIorm bacteria growth, a speciIic and in depth
procedure was needed to complete the experiment. When collecting the samples, the Iirst step was to
travel to Drumlin Farms in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Next, eight samples were taken Irom each oI the
three ponds, Poultry Pond, Ice Pond, and Bathtub Pond. (see Iigure 3) To take these samples,
twenty-eight 200 mL tupperwares were needed to store the water until testing time. Each pond was
split into a clock-like Iormat, with one through twelve labeled on each pond. To completely randomize
it, two dice were rolled and then the sums oI those die will be the spot on the clock labeled pond that
was tested. The dice that were used, were two red dice, made by Dragons Foot. This was done seven
times. Prior to the Iield trip day, all the tupperwares were sterilized by putting them in a bathtub Iull oI
ten percent bleach, and ninety percent water, and then soaking them Ior thirty seconds each. Two Liters
oI Clorox bleach, and eighteen Liters oI Wellesley tap water was used to create the sterilization mixture.
4
Once the tupperwares were put in the hydrosystem bathtub and soaked, they were dried oII by a
twenty-seven inch by IiIty-two inch towel. Once the spots oI testing Ior each pond were decided at
Drumlin Farms, a tupperware was Iilled with ten milliliters oI water, then immediately capped. This was
done seven times at each pond site, plus seven times with drinking water as the control run.

AIter collection at Drumlin Farm, all samples were taken back to the lab Ior testing. All the tests
took place at BB&N middle school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. First, the samples oI water were
poured into thirty large test tubes made by Lamotte, and Iilled with the Iull ten milliliters oI water. Inside
each test tube, was a Iecal coliIorm tablet. Next, the cap was put on the tube, and the tube was stood
upright on a plastic tray. Next, the tubes were stored Ior Iorty-eight hours, at a consistent temperature,
in a Fisher Isotemp Oven incubator. (see Iigure 1) To Iind out the results aIter Iorty-eight hours, the
tubes oI water were compared to the coliIorm color chart. (see Iigure 2) The results were recorded
using the numbers zero and one to determine negative or positive. II samples were in between negative
and positive, a decimal number was determined.

Once all the testing was done, all the materials and things that were used, were disposed oI.
First, the cap oI the tube was removed. Next, one milliliter oI household bleach was poured into the
tube, and the tube was recapped. Next, shake the tube, and throw it in the trash. Repeat this procedure
Ior all tubes.

Diagrams: The Iigure on the leIt, is an incubator, located in the middle school science lab, and was
kept at room temperature, and used simply as a saIe place to keep the samples.. The Iigure on the right
is a coliIorm color chart, and was used to identiIy whether the sample was negative or positive. The
Iigure on the bottom leIt, is a map oI the pond locations that were visited.

figure 1: Incubator figure 2: ColiIorm color chart












figure 3:
Map oI pond
5
locations






















Table 1: The eIIect oI pond location on Iecal coliIorm level


Graph 1: The eIIect oI pond location on Iecal coliIorm level











Graph 1 shows all the Iecal coliIorm data collected on April 7, 2014 at Drumlin Farm. The
ponds tested had overlapping error bars, though the control run (tap water) was considerably below all
three pond locations. On average, poultry pond had the highest level coliIorm level (0.94 out oI 1.00).
Ice and Bathtub Pond Iollowed with averages oI 0.87 and 0.76 respectively. All three ponds had Iecal
coliIorm values above 0.5, meaning they tested positive Ior Iecal coliIorm (more than twenty colonies
per 100 mL oI water). The control run had the lowest average, 0.11, meaning that (because the average
was below 0.5) there were Iewer than 20 colonies per 100 mL oI the Cambridge tap water. OI the Iour
sets oI data, the least precise was the data collected at Bathtub Pond, which had a standard deviation oI
0.15. Ice pond was only slightly more precise (a standard deviation oI 0.14). The data Irom the control
run and Poultry Pond was considerably more precise. The standard deviations were 0.09 and 0.07
respectively. This means that, in addition to having the highest average coliIorm level, Poultry Pond also
had the most precise data. Despite this, the error bar still overlaps signiIicantly with the Ice Pond error
bar, and has a slight overlap with the Bathtub Pond data.
Though the ponds had similar Iecal coliIorm levels, they all had distinctly diIIerent water colors
(see Iig. 1-3). Also, only two oI the ponds (Bathtub and Ice) had layers oI ice - Poultry Pond had
completely thawed. All pond locations tested positive Ior Iecal coliIorm bacteria, so the water aIter
testing turned similar yellow-orange colors (see Iig 4-6). In contrast, the control tap water (which tested
negatively Ior coliIorm bacteria) turned diIIerent shades oI bright red (see Iig. 7).


fig. 1 - poultrv pond


fig. 2 - bathtub pond


fig. 3 - ice pond



fig. 4 - ice pond water after testing


fig. 5 - bathtub pond water after testing























fig. 6 - poultrv pond water after testing


fig. 7 - control (tap) water after testing





DISCUSSION
In this experiment, levels oI Iecal coliIorm were tested in three diIIerent ponds to determine iI
there was a correlation between coliIorm levels and pond location. The hypothesis Ior this experiment
was iI the water Irom Poultry Pond is tested, then it will have the highest Iecal coliIorm level, because it
is located in close proximity to the Iarmyard and chicken coop which leads to a large amount oI animal
manure run-oII, which is a leading cause oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria (water.epa.gov). This hypothesis was
not supported because there was not a clear diIIerence in Iecal coliIorm bacteria levels between Poultry
Pond, Bathtub Pond, and Ice Pond, as all oI the error bars overlapped.
What was concluded Irom this experiment, was that there was no direct correlation between the
pond location and the levels oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria. Since there were signiIicant testing errors, it is
unknown how accurate the conclusiveness oI the data really was.
The data set collected was not particularly precise. For the Iour locations tested (aside Irom the
control run), all the error bars overlapped at least a little bit. The error bars were Iairly big, meaning
there was a large range oI data. These Iew Iactors lead the scientists to be unconIident with the data
collected. For Poultry Pond, the average level oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria was .94, which means the tests
were positive. The average Ior Bathtub Pond was .76, and Ior Ice Pond it was .87. These were both
positive as well. This is not surprising data, because it is completely normal to have some Iecal coliIorm
bacteria. The averages oI each pond location were reasonably close to each other, but the control run
was more oI an outlier. This tells us that the tap water is clean, and that their is no Iecal coliIorm in it, but
the pond water does contain Iecal coliIorm bacteria. The reason the results were positive, is because
these ponds don`t need an absence oI bacteria to thrive. II the bacteria caused problems Ior the pond
or threatened the saIety oI living organisms, then it would most likely be exterminated. With this being
said, scientists are able to inIer that there really is no unsaIe level oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria. Drinking
water on the other hand, is unsaIe to drink iI it contains a substantial amount. The average level oI Iecal
coliIorm Ior tap water was .11, which is almost none. Because oI these levels oI bacteria, the tap water
is saIe to drink, but the pond water is not (KY Water Watch, state.ky.us.htm).
There are several modiIications that could be made to improve this experiment. The Iirst one
would be to test each pond location at the same time oI day. This would eliminate variability due to time
oI day because it is unknown iI the amount oI bacteria are aIIected by Iactors such as sunlight or
temperature. The second modiIication would be to test each pond location every day over the course oI
several days. This would help eliminate variability because oI environmental Iactors such as rain and
runoII that might aIIect each site diIIerently. Another modiIication to this experiment, would be to take
samples Irom diIIerent depths oI each pond. It is unknown whether the majority oI bacteria grows at the
top oI the pond or the bottom, so this would eliminate errors due to water depth.
While many data points were collected, additional samples would have improved the accuracy
oI the results to assure that a conclusion could be reached. While at Poultry and Ice Pond, many things
were observed during the sample collection process. At Poultry Pond, there was a busy road across the
pond, and a chicken coop behind it. In relation to the hypothesis, the chicken coop could easily provide
runoII into the pond which could add to the Iecal coliIorm bacteria levels. At Ice Pond, two ducks were
swimming around near the dock, and a lot oI wild turkeys were running around. These animals could
have aIIected the levels oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria because the main cause Ior the bacteria is animal
Ieces.
In addition to observations, a Iew errors occurred during this experiment. First, the data points
recorded weren`t exact, because the measurements were a bit subjective, and measured by the eye,
and not by any special instrument. II the samples were measured more accurately, it`s possible that the
11
results could be diIIerent. The next error that occurred, was that the samples were put into the incubator
Ior Iorty-Iive hours and then tested, instead oI being incubated Ior Iorty-eight hours, which is what the
procedure called Ior. The reason this was an error, is because it is unknown whether all the samples
started out with the same number oI bacteria, because the samples weren`t tested at the time oI
collection. While transporting the containers back to the BB&N Middle School, water could have
leaked out or air could have gotten into the containers and contaminated them. The Iinal error that
occurred, was that one oI the droppers was contaminated, because it was used to test two diIIerent
pond locations. While most oI the droppers were used Ior only one pond location, one oI the droppers
was used Ior two separate ones. Instead oI having water purely Irom one pond, one oI the ponds was
contaminated with water Irom a previous location. For Iuture experiments, diIIerent types oI bacteria
could be tested in the water, because Iecal coliIorm isn`t the only bacteria in pond water, and there may
be conclusive diIIerences between the other types oI bacteria, unlike the Iecal coliIorm levels. A related
question, is whether there is any bacteria that could pose as a threat to the health oI a pond. This is
something that could be explored in the Iuture, and cross reIerenced with the experiment at hand now.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Author 1:
There are many people that made this project possible. First, I would like to acknowledge Ms.
Schultheis Ior her mentoring and assistance throughout this entire process. I would also like to thank the
science department at BB&N Ior supplying us with most oI our materials and organizing the Drumlin
Farm Iield trip. Many thanks to Emily Brower and Jeremy Tang Ior letting us borrow crucial materials,
and Sophia Scanlan who helped us label the many tubes aIter school. Lastly, I would like to express
my gratitude towards my partners Miriam and Chris Ior contributing greatly to this project.

Author 2:
There are many people that I would like to thank that helped our group with this experiment.
First oII, I would like to thank my science teacher Ms. Schultheis Ior guiding us and Ior motivating us to
try a harder experiment. I would also like to thank my mother and my sister Ior helping me to bleach all
the tupperwares. I would like to thank the Drumlin Farms naturalist Carol, Ior explaining the Iarm runoII
system to me. Thank you to Jeremy Tang, and Emily Brower Ior loaning us a container to transport our
samples back to the school. Most oI all, I would like to thank Miriam and Delila Ior contributing to the
project.

Author 3:
I really appreciate the help oI everyone involved with this project. Firstly, I`d like to thank the
Drumlin Farm staII Ior their directions, advice, and habitat inIormation on our visit. Also, many thanks to
Jeremy Tang, Emily Brower, and Sophia Scanlan, who gave our group some much-needed assistance
on the day oI the Drumlin Farm Iield trip. I need to thank Ms. Schultheis and the rest oI the BB&N
Middle School science department as well Ior helping our group obtain the necessary materials and
coliIorm tests, as well as providing support throughout the entire Knights oI Science project. And lastly,
12
I wouldn`t have completed this experiment and report without the indispensable contributions oI my
partners Chris Attisani and Delila Keravuori.




WORKS CITED

Author 1:
Amy and Stacy, Bieniek and Koprowski. Comparison of Total Fecal Coliform Bacteria and E.
Coli in Pond vs. Lake Waters. Rep. N.p., 30 Nov. 2000. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
http://depts.alverno.edu/nsmt/archive/Bienkop.htm~.

"ColiIorm Bacteria in Water." Department of Health- Agencv of Human Services. Vermont.gov,
2014. Web. 09 Mar. 2014. http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/water/coliIorm.aspx~.

"5.11 Fecal Bacteria." United States Environmental Protection Agencv. Unknown, 6 Mar. 2012.
Web. 09 Mar. 2014. http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms511.cIm~.

"Fecal ColiIorm Bacteria in Streams." Department of Ecologv State of Washington. One Front
Door- Washington's Outdoors, 1990. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/management/joysmanual/streamcoliIorms.html~.

Jolley and English, Louwanda and William. "What Is Fecal ColiIorm? Why Is It Important?"
Clemson Cooperative Extension. Clemson University, 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/naturalresources/water/publications/IecalcoliIorm.html~.

KY Water Watch. "Fecal ColiIorm Bacteria." Water Qualitv Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar.
2014. http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wcpIcol.htm~.

LaMotte Company. Low Cost Water Monitoring Kit. 3-5886 ed. Alexandria, VA: Earth
Force, 2001. Print.

NY Gov. "ColiIorm Bacteria in Drinking Water Supplies." Department of Health Information for
a Healthv New York. N.p., June 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.
http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/coliIormbacteria.htm~.


Author 2:
Ashworth, William. The Encvclopedia of Environmental Studies. New York: Facts on File, 1991.

"Extension Forestry & Natural Resources." What Is Fecal Coliform? Whv Is It Important? .
Extension . Clemson Universitv . South Carolina. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
Print.

"Home , Water , US EPA." Home [ Water [ US EPA. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.

Wyman, Bruce, and L. Harold Stevenson. "Total ColiIorm Rule." Science Online. Facts On File,
14
Inc. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
http://www.IoIweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemIDWE40&SID5&iPinDEST4554&SingleRe
cordTrue~.

Author 3:
"5.11 Fecal Bacteria." Home. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 6 Mar. 2012. Web.
11 Mar. 2014. http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms511.cIm~.

Ashworth, William. The Encvclopedia of Environmental Studies. New York: Facts on File, 1991.
Print.

"ColiIorm Bacteria in Water." Department of Health Agencv of Human Services. Vermont
Department oI Health, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/water/coliIorm.aspx~.

Davies, C. M., J. A. Long, M. Donald, and N. J. Ashbolt. "Survival oI Fecal Microorganisms in Marine
and Freshwater Sediments." Applied and Environmental Microbiologv. American Society Ior
Microbiology, May 1995. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. http://aem.asm.org/content/61/5/1888.short~.

"Fecal ColiIorm Bacteria." Water Qualitv Information. Kentucky Water Watch, n.d. Web. 11 Mar.
2014. http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wcpIcol.htm~.

Wyman, Bruce, and L. Harold Stevenson. "Total ColiIorm Rule." Science Online. Facts On File, Inc.
Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
http://www.IoIweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemIDWE40&SID5&iPinDEST4554&SingleRe
cordTrue~.

15


LOvF 1HA1 DIk1f WA1Fk:
Thc Effccl of Pond Locclion on lcccl Coliform Lcvcl





Author 1. Delila Keravuori (S86-9)
Author 2. Chris Attisani (S86-1)
Author 3. Miriam Feldman (S86-6)


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Author Page Number

Abstract Chris Attisani 3

Introduction Miriam Feldman 3

Materials and Methods Delila Keravuori 4

Results Miriam Feldman 7

Discussion Chris Attisani 12

Acknowledgements All Authors 13

Works Cited All Authors 15


2
ABSTRACT
The objective oI this experiment was to Iind out iI there was any correlation between the pond
location, and the levels oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria. All the data collection was done on April 7th, 2014, at
Drumlin Farms in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Samples were taken Irom three diIIerent ponds; Poultry
Pond, Ice Pond, and Bathtub Pond. Locations on each pond were chosen randomly by rolling two dice.
The sums oI the two dice`s numbers were added together, then marked on a clock like Iormat. Once
back at school, the samples were put into test tubes containing a Iecal coliIorm testing tablet. All
samples were incubated Ior Iorty-Iive hours at room temperature. (21 degrees Celsius) The hypothesis
was that iI Poultry Pond was tested, then it would have higher levels oI Iecal coliIorm, because the pond
is located next to the Iarmyard and chicken coop which would provide animal run-oII. (U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency,water.epa.gov) AIter looking over all the results, none oI the data was
conclusive, aside Irom the outstanding control run. The control run had very minimal amounts oI Iecal
coliIorm bacteria, while the other three ponds had a reasonably large amount oI the bacteria. With all
overlapping error bars, there is not much conIidence in the data collected.

INTRODUCTION
In the summer, many people go boating and swimming in natural bodies oI water. UnIortunately,
there are many little-known Iactors that can greatly impact the saIety oI these recreational waters. One
oI these Iactors is coliIorm - a type oI bacteria generally tested to determine the quality oI drinking and
recreational waters. Though the testing process usually begins with total coliIorm, tests are also
conducted Ior Iecal coliIorm (a subset oI coliIorm), the microorganisms that are Iound in the intestines oI
humans and other warm-blooded animals. Water can become contaminated with Iecal coliIorm that
originates in outside sources such as wastewater treatment plants, septic systems near the water, storm
runoII, or animal manure (water.epa.gov). Easily noted signs oI Iecal coliIorm in water are cloudiness
and bad odors. Drinking water contaminated with the bacteria can lead to diarrhea, or gastrointestinal
distress, but also many more serious diseases (healthvermont.gov). Fecal coliIorm testing is, other than
Escherichia coli, the primary test used in recreational waters. Its presence, while not always extremely
dangerous itselI, can indicate other more harmIul bacteria or viruses in bodies oI water (water.epa.gov).
Ponds, one oI the main ecosystems at Drumlin Farm, can easily become susceptible to the
presence oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria in the water. Drumlin is a working Iarm in Lincoln, Massachusetts
with a variety oI natural and man-made habitats ranging Irom Iields and Iorests to animal enclosures.
There is also much diversity within the habitats, especially when observing the wetland ecosystems.
Poultry Pond, a man-made pond with a covering oI duckweed, gets its name Irom its location near the
chicken coop. The Ice Pond has an abundance oI wildliIe, making a home Ior turtles and crayIish alike.
Bathtub Pond is a similar habitat; it is another wetland ecosystem with a diverse group oI organisms that
has soil containing much organic material. In all three oI these ponds, Iecal coliIorm tests are crucial Ior
ensuring the saIety oI humans and animals at Drumlin Farm.
Fecal coliIorm is diIIerentiated Irom total coliIorm by its intestinal origin, as well as its ability to
grow at higher temperatures. A positive Iecal coliIorm test indicates the presence oI recent human or
animal Ieces in the body oI water. This can indicate possible pathogens or diseases Irom the Iecal
material. The most common member oI the microorganisms classiIied into Iecal coliIorm (usually with
the genus Klebsiella) is Escherichia coli (www.state.ky.us). EIIects oI E. coli include intestinal illness
and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome - a kidney disease (healthvermont.gov). Because it is diIIicult to test
Ior these less common bacteria, Iecal coliIorm tests are used to indicate the possibility oI Iecal diseases
or viruses. Though Iecal coliIorm is potentially harmIul, there is an acceptable level oI 235
3
organisms/100 mL in swimming areas. Accidental ingestion or exposure to water with a Iecal coliIorm
level signiIicantly higher than that could lead to cramps, gastrointestinal distress, or diseases
(healthvermont.gov). Environmentally, high Iecal coliIorm levels create more polluted water, as well as
increased oxygen demand (water.epa.gov). In C. M. Davies, et al.`s experiment Ior the American
Society Ior Microbiology, it was Iound that there was no decay rate in the survival oI E. coli sediments
Ior 68 days (Davies, et al. aem.asm.org). This supports the resilient and potentially dangerous nature oI
E. coli and other Iecal coliIorm microorganisms.
In this experiment, pond ecosystems at Drumlin Farm will be tested in order to determine the
Iecal coliIorm levels. The independent variable Ior this experiment will be pond location, with samples
being collected Irom Poultry Pond, Ice Pond, and Bathtub Pond. Drinking water Irom the tap will also
be tested as a control run. The dependent variable will be Iecal coliIorm level. When the test is
conducted, results will be recorded with negative results below 0.5 and positive results above 0.5.
Important controlled variables Ior this experiment include (but are not limited to) water sample size
(mL), method Iollowed, length oI incubation period (hours), incubation temperature (C), and consistent
weather conditions at the time oI collection Ior each pond. The initial hypothesis Iormed Ior this test is
that iI the water Irom Poultry Pond is tested, then it will have the highest Iecal coliIorm level, because it
is located in close proximity to the Iarmyard and chicken coop, thus having a large amount oI animal
manure runoII, which is a leading cause oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria (water.epa.gov).
Seeing as Iecal coliIorm is potentially harmIul, any tests conducted at Drumlin Farm will be
useIul. The tests will determine the saIety oI the water Ior wildliIe and human recreation alike
(www.state.ky.us). Still, the greatest possible impact oI this experiment would come iI Iecal coliIorm
were to be Iound in the control run drinking water. Some presence oI Iecal coliIorm is to be expected in
natural bodies oI water, but should be present in drinking water (healthvermont.gov). The United
States Environmental Protection Agency mandates Iecal coliIorm tests Ior all drinking water as a part oI
the SaIe Drinking Water Act (Wyman & Stevenson, IoIweb.com). ThereIore, iI Iecal coliIorm bacteria
was discovered in drinking water, the experiment would become helpIul beyond just BB&N and
Drumlin Farm. Fecal coliIorm is a crucial test Ior knowledge oI the saIety oI a body oI water, so testing
is beneIicial to the immediate community as well as the scientiIic community as a whole.

MATERIALS & METHODS
At Drumlin Farm, in Lincoln, Massachusetts, random locations were chosen around the
perimeter oI three ponds (see Iigure one). At these locations, water samples were collected and tested
Iollowing the procedure as explained below.
4


Figure 1.
Samples were taken Irom pond numbers 11, 12, and 13
(Poultry Pond, Bathtub Pond, Ice Pond).
Figure 2.
BeIore testing, the Ziploc 200 mL tupperwares that would
hold the water samples had to be sterilized to eliminate any bacterial
contamination (LaMotte, 2001). A solution made up oI 18 mL oI
Wellesley tap water and 2 mL oI clorox bleach was poured into a
bathtub. One at a time, each tupperware was then submerged into
the solution Ior one minute. Once a minute had passed, the
tupperwares were then taken out oI the solution and capped very
quickly to prevent the contamination oI other bacteria in the air.
The outsides oI the tupperwares were then dried with a towel.
Another crucial component oI this experiment was the
method oI randomly selecting data points. Each oI the three ponds
were divided equally into twelve sections, similar to those on a
clock. Standing at 'one o`clock, students rolled two dice
determining where the samples would be collected Irom. For
example, iI a six was rolled, samples would be collected Irom the
corresponding point on the pond (see Iigure two). Once there, ten
mL oI water was collected, and then the dice would be rolled again
to determine the next testing location. Seven samples were
collected per pond, making a total oI twenty-one samples, in
addition to the seven samples Irom Cambridge drinking water. The
same testing procedure was Iollowed Ior collection oI the drinking
water samples as well, except that they were collected Irom a sink
as opposed to a pond.

Back at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, aIter all oI the twenty-eight samples were

collected, the students used disposable droppers to put 10 mL oI water Irom each sample into a
LaMotte test tube (model 3-5886), each containing a Fecal ColiIorm Test Tablet (model number
4880). Then the caps were put back on the tubes, and they were placed upright into a plastic tray, with
the tablet Ilat on the bottom. The tray was then placed into the Fisher isotemp oven 100 series model
126G (see Iigure three). The samples were then leIt in the incubator, out oI all direct sunlight, Ior
Iorty-eight hours (LaMotte, 2001). The incubator was never heated, but the room had to be kept at a
temperature oI 21celsius (approximately 70Iahrenheit). Forty-eight hours later, the tubes were
removed Irom the incubator and the color oI the bacteria inside was compared with the LaMotte
ColiIorm Color Chart (see Iigure Iour). The results were then recorded numerically so that negative
results were equal to zero, and positive results were equal to one. Values in the middle were recorded
as a decimal. For instance, iI the solution was an orange color, it would be recorded as 0.5.

Figure 3. Figure 4.


AIter all testing was complete, the tubes had to be properly disposed in order to kill oII the
cultured bacteria. First, the cap oI the tube was removed, and one mL oI household chlorine bleach
was poured into it. AIter the bleach was added, the tube was recapped. Then the tube was thrown
away into a trash can. This same procedure was repeated Ior all tubes.



Figure 5.







Table 1: The eIIect oI pond location on Iecal coliIorm level


Graph 1: The eIIect oI pond location on Iecal coliIorm level


Graph 1 shows all the Iecal coliIorm data collected on April 7, 2014 at Drumlin Farm. The
ponds tested had overlapping error bars, though the control run (tap water) was considerably below all
three pond locations. On average, poultry pond had the highest level coliIorm level (0.94 out oI 1.00).
Ice and Bathtub Pond Iollowed with averages oI 0.87 and 0.76 respectively. All three ponds had Iecal
coliIorm values above 0.5, meaning they tested positive Ior Iecal coliIorm (more than twenty colonies
per 100 mL oI water). The control run had the lowest average, 0.11, meaning that (because the average
was below 0.5) there were Iewer than 20 colonies per 100 mL oI the Cambridge tap water. OI the Iour
sets oI data, the least precise was the data collected at Bathtub Pond, which had a standard deviation oI
0.15. Ice pond was only slightly more precise (a standard deviation oI 0.14). The data Irom the control
run and Poultry Pond was considerably more precise. The standard deviations were 0.09 and 0.07
respectively. This means that, in addition to having the highest average coliIorm level, Poultry Pond also

had the most precise data. Despite this, the error bar still overlaps signiIicantly with the Ice Pond error
bar, and has a slight overlap with the Bathtub Pond data.
Though the ponds had similar Iecal coliIorm levels, they all had distinctly diIIerent water colors
(see Iig. 1-3). Also, only two oI the ponds (Bathtub and Ice) had layers oI ice - Poultry Pond had
completely thawed. All pond locations tested positive Ior Iecal coliIorm bacteria, so the water aIter
testing turned similar yellow-orange colors (see Iig 4-6). In contrast, the control tap water (which tested
negatively Ior coliIorm bacteria) turned diIIerent shades oI bright red (see Iig. 7).


fig. 1 - poultrv pond


fig. 2 - bathtub pond


fig. 3 - ice pond



fig. 4 - ice pond water after testing


fig. 5 - bathtub pond water after testing























fig. 6 - poultrv pond water after testing


fig. 7 - control (tap) water after testing






DISCUSSION
In this experiment, levels oI Iecal coliIorm were tested in three diIIerent ponds to determine iI
there was a correlation between coliIorm levels and pond location. The hypothesis Ior this experiment
was iI the water Irom Poultry Pond is tested, then it will have the highest Iecal coliIorm level, because it
is located in close proximity to the Iarmyard and chicken coop which leads to a large amount oI animal
manure runoII, which is a leading cause oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria (water.epa.gov). This hypothesis was
not supported because there was not a clear diIIerence in Iecal coliIorm bacteria levels between Poultry
Pond, Bathtub Pond, and Ice Pond, as all oI the error bars overlapped.
What was concluded Irom this experiment, was that there was no direct correlation between the
pond location and the levels oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria. Since there were signiIicant testing errors, it is
unknown how accurate the conclusiveness oI the data really was.
The data set collected was not particularly precise. For the Iour locations tested (aside Irom the
control run), all the error bars overlapped at least a little bit. The error bars were Iairly big, meaning
there was a large range oI data. These Iew Iactors lead the scientists to be unconIident with the data
collected. For Poultry Pond, the average level oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria was .94, which means the tests
were positive. The average Ior Bathtub Pond was .76, and Ior Ice Pond it was .87. These were both
positive as well. This is not surprising data, because it is completely normal to have some Iecal coliIorm
bacteria. The averages oI each pond location were reasonably close to each other, but the control run
was more oI an outlier. This tells us that the tap water is clean, and that their is no Iecal coliIorm in it, but
the pond water does contain Iecal coliIorm bacteria. The reason the results were positive, is because
these ponds don`t need an absence oI bacteria to thrive. II the bacteria caused problems Ior the pond
or threatened the saIety oI living organisms, then it would most likely be exterminated. With this being
said, scientists are able to inIer that there really is no unsaIe level oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria. Drinking
water on the other hand, is unsaIe to drink iI it contains a substantial amount. The average level oI Iecal
coliIorm Ior tap water was .11, which is almost none. Because oI these levels oI bacteria, the tap water
is saIe to drink, but the pond water is not (KY Water Watch, state.ky.us.htm).
There are several modiIications that could improve this experiment. The Iirst would be to test
each pond location at the same time oI day. This would eliminate variability due to time oI day because
it is unknown iI the amount oI bacteria are aIIected by Iactors such as sunlight or temperature. The
second modiIication would be to test each pond location every day over the course oI several days.
This would help eliminate variability because oI environmental Iactors such as rain and runoII that might
aIIect each site diIIerently. Another modiIication to this experiment, would be to take samples Irom
diIIerent depths oI each pond. It is unknown whether the majority oI bacteria grows at the top oI the
pond or the bottom, so this would eliminate errors due to water depth.
While many data points were collected, additional samples would have improved the accuracy
oI the results to assure that a conclusion could be reached. While at Poultry and Ice Pond, many things
were observed during the sample collection process. At Poultry Pond, there was a busy road across the
pond, and a chicken coop behind it. In relation to the hypothesis, the chicken coop could easily provide
runoII into the pond which could add to the Iecal coliIorm bacteria levels. At Ice Pond, two ducks were
swimming around near the dock, and a lot oI wild turkeys were running around. These animals could
have aIIected the levels oI Iecal coliIorm bacteria because the main cause Ior the bacteria is animal
Ieces.
In addition to observations, a Iew errors occurred during this experiment. First, the data points
recorded weren`t exact, because the measurements were a bit subjective, and measured by the eye,
and not by any special instrument. II the samples were measured more accurately, it`s possible that the
12
results could be diIIerent. The next error that occurred, was that the samples were put into the incubator
Ior Iorty-Iive hours and then tested, instead oI being incubated Ior Iorty-eight hours, which is what the
procedure called Ior. The reason this was an error, is because it is unknown whether all the samples
started out with the same number oI bacteria, because the samples weren`t tested at the time oI
collection. While transporting the containers back to the BB&N Middle School, water could have
leaked out or air could have gotten into the containers and contaminated them. The Iinal error that
occurred, was that one oI the droppers was contaminated, because it was used to test two diIIerent
pond locations. While most oI the droppers were used Ior only one pond location, one oI the droppers
was used Ior two separate ones. Instead oI having water purely Irom one pond, one oI the ponds was
contaminated with water Irom a previous location. For Iuture experiments, diIIerent types oI bacteria
could be tested in the water, because Iecal coliIorm isn`t the only bacteria in pond water, and there may
be conclusive diIIerences between the other types oI bacteria, unlike the Iecal coliIorm levels. A related
question, is whether there is any bacteria that could pose as a threat to the health oI a pond. This is
something that could be explored in the Iuture, and cross reIerenced with the experiment at hand now.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Author 1:
There are many people that made this project possible. First, I would like to acknowledge Ms.
Schultheis Ior her mentoring and assistance throughout this entire process. I would also like to thank the
science department at BB&N Ior supplying us with most oI our materials and organizing the Drumlin
Farm Iield trip. Many thanks to Emily Brower and Jeremy Tang Ior letting us borrow crucial materials,
and Sophia Scanlan who helped us label the many tubes aIter school. Lastly, I would like to express
my gratitude towards my partners Miriam and Chris Ior contributing greatly to this project.

Author 2:
There are many people that I would like to thank that helped our group with this experiment.
First oII, I would like to thank my science teacher Ms. Schultheis Ior guiding us and Ior motivating us to
try a harder experiment. I would also like to thank my mother and my sister Ior helping me to bleach all
the tupperwares. I would like to thank the Drumlin Farms naturalist Carol, Ior explaining the Iarm runoII
system to me. Thank you to Jeremy Tang, and Emily Brower Ior loaning us a container to transport our
samples back to the school. Most oI all, I would like to thank Miriam and Delila Ior contributing to the
project.



Author 3:
I really appreciate the help oI everyone involved with this project. Firstly, I`d like to thank the
Drumlin Farm staII Ior their directions, advice, and habitat inIormation on our visit. Also, many thanks to
Jeremy Tang, Emily Brower, and Sophia Scanlan, who gave our group some much-needed assistance
13
on the day oI the Drumlin Farm Iield trip. I need to thank Ms. Schultheis and the rest oI the BB&N
Middle School science department as well Ior helping our group obtain the necessary materials and
coliIorm tests, as well as providing support throughout the entire Knights oI Science project. And lastly,
I wouldn`t have completed this experiment and report without the indispensable contributions oI my
partners Chris Attisani and Delila Keravuori.






WORKS CITED

Author 1:
Amy and Stacy, Bieniek and Koprowski. Comparison of Total Fecal Coliform Bacteria and E.
Coli in Pond vs. Lake Waters. Rep. N.p., 30 Nov. 2000. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
http://depts.alverno.edu/nsmt/archive/Bienkop.htm~.

"ColiIorm Bacteria in Water." Department of Health- Agencv of Human Services. Vermont.gov,
2014. Web. 09 Mar. 2014. http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/water/coliIorm.aspx~.

"5.11 Fecal Bacteria." United States Environmental Protection Agencv. Unknown, 6 Mar. 2012.
Web. 09 Mar. 2014. http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms511.cIm~.

"Fecal ColiIorm Bacteria in Streams." Department of Ecologv State of Washington. One Front
Door- Washington's Outdoors, 1990. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/management/joysmanual/streamcoliIorms.html~.

Jolley and English, Louwanda and William. "What Is Fecal ColiIorm? Why Is It Important?"
Clemson Cooperative Extension. Clemson University, 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/naturalresources/water/publications/IecalcoliIorm.html~.

KY Water Watch. "Fecal ColiIorm Bacteria." Water Qualitv Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar.
2014. http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wcpIcol.htm~.

LaMotte Company. Low Cost Water Monitoring Kit. 3-5886 ed. Alexandria, VA: Earth Force,
2001. Print.

NY Gov. "ColiIorm Bacteria in Drinking Water Supplies." Department of Health Information for
a Healthv New York. N.p., June 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2014.
http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/coliIormbacteria.htm~.


Author 2:
Ashworth, William. The Encvclopedia of Environmental Studies. New York: Facts on File, 1991.
Print.

"Extension Forestry & Natural Resources." What Is Fecal Coliform? Whv Is It Important? .
Extension . Clemson Universitv . South Carolina. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

"Home , Water , US EPA." Home [ Water [ US EPA. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.


15
Wyman, Bruce, and L. Harold Stevenson. "Total ColiIorm Rule." Science Online. Facts On File,
Inc. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
http://www.IoIweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemIDWE40&SID5&iPinDEST4554&SingleRe
cordTrue~.


Author 3:
"5.11 Fecal Bacteria." Home. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 6 Mar. 2012. Web.
11 Mar. 2014. http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/vms511.cIm~.

Ashworth, William. The Encvclopedia of Environmental Studies. New York: Facts on File, 1991.
Print.

"ColiIorm Bacteria in Water." Department of Health Agencv of Human Services. Vermont
Department oI Health, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/water/coliIorm.aspx~.

Davies, C. M., J. A. Long, M. Donald, and N. J. Ashbolt. "Survival oI Fecal Microorganisms in Marine
and Freshwater Sediments." Applied and Environmental Microbiologv. American Society Ior
Microbiology, May 1995. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. http://aem.asm.org/content/61/5/1888.short~.

"Fecal ColiIorm Bacteria." Water Qualitv Information. Kentucky Water Watch, n.d. Web. 11 Mar.
2014. http://www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/wcpIcol.htm~.

Wyman, Bruce, and L. Harold Stevenson. "Total ColiIorm Rule." Science Online. Facts On File, Inc.
Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
http://www.IoIweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemIDWE40&SID5&iPinDEST4554&SingleRe
cordTrue~.



16
















The effect of soil texture on soil percolation
By: Trevor Khanna and Danny Kutsovsky










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"
TABLE OF CONTENTS



Section Author Page


Abstract Khanna 2

Introduction Kutsovsky 2

Materials and Methods Khanna 4

Results Kutsovsky 5

Discussion Khanna 11

Acknowledgements Khanna & Kutsovsky 14

Work Cited Khanna 15

Work Cited Kutsovsky 16

Appendix: Pictures Khanna & Kutsovsky 17






















"
ABSTRACT
The goal of this experiment was to find the effect of soil texture on percolation.
The experiment was conducted at Bathtub Pond, Boyce Field, and Red Pine Forest in
Drumlin Farm, Lincoln, Massachusetts. The hypothesis for this experiment said if the
ratio of sand to silt to clay is closer to 6:3:1 respectively, then the percolation rate will be
closer to 30 mL/sec, because it will balance both soil permeability and surface yield
(www.lagunahillsnursery.com). The independent variable was the soil texture and the
dependent variable was the percolation. To test the percolation, a can was placed into the
ground and it was filled with water. The time the water took to seep through the ground
was measured. Then, back at the science lab, the soil samples from each site were mixed
with water and left to sit. The soil settled overnight and the percentages of each layer of
soil (sand on the bottom, silt in the middle, and clay on the top) were recorded. At the end
of the experiment, the results stated that there was a slight correlation between clay and
percolation, and silt and percolation. The hypothesis was not supported due to a lack of
samples. Along with low data samples, there was a low R! value. Valid conclusions were
able to be made from the results and therefore, allowed a new hypothesis to be made.

INTRODUCTION
Soil is almost everywhere. If one would look out a window, then one would most
likely find some soil, whether it be in a nearby park or in the cracks of a sidewalk. Soil is
also necessary to sustain plant growth, which contains key element for life. Soil is the
mixture of minerals, organic matter, gases, liquids, and a great amount of microorganisms
(http://en.wikipedia.org). However, most of the soil is composed of different types of
particles. These particles are almost as important as the soil itself. This is because if a
soils particle type is not adequate, then organisms will not be able to survive in that
particular area because water, an essential substance for plants, will not be able to reach
the roots. When water falls onto the surface of soil, it will either absorb into the soil well
or the particles will not hold onto the water. These particles are sand, silt, and clay and
are important because of their different sizes which affect have different size and space
between the particles and in turn, as this experiment will explore, the ability to retain and
transport water. The ratio of these three particles (sand to silt to clay) essentially defines
the soils texture, which directly affects soil water retention. This is how well soil retains
water and nutrients as well as water permeability, which is how well soil transports water
and nutrients (www.co.portage.wi.us). These small particles that go unnoticed and are not
visible to the naked eye, play a crucial part in the healthiness of soil, which as proved
above, can mean the difference between the life and death of the human race.
This experiment was conducted at Drumlin Farm, a Massachusetts Audubon
Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, Massachusetts. The sanctuary is about 312 acres wide and
has four different forests, three wetlands, and five fields. For this experiment one of each
type of area was tested. The forest area that was selected was the Red Pine Forest. In this
area there were many White Pines and Hemlock trees. On the forest floor there were
many decomposing plant types. The wetland area that was selected was Bathtub Pond.
Bathtub Pond had many flora and fauna that lived there such as duckweed and daphnia.
Lastly, the field that will be tested will be the Boyce field. Boyce field is a fertile land
that grows many vegetables and has colored flowers. These areas are being measured
because the areas are different types of habitats, and will most likely have different soil
"
textures since they foster different types of plants which need different soil growing
conditions (www.co.portage.wi.us).
Sand is the largest particle out of the three types because it the particle has a
diameter of approximately 2.0 - 0.05 mm. Silt is the second largest particle because it has
a diameter of approximately 0.05 - 0.002 mm. Clay is the smallest particle because it has
a diameter of less than 0.002 mm. This means that water and nutrients goes through
quickly through pure sand, making the permeability for it horrible, while on the other side
of the spectrum, clay is so small, water and nutrients go through pure clay slow, making
the permeability horrible, and silt is in between these effects of sand and clay, but is
leaning more towards the speed of clay (http://broome.soil.ncsu.edu).
When water enters the soil from above, it is called infiltration. This infiltration
intake must be controlled or smoothed over or the soil will suffer from over hydration.
This is where the percolation effect comes in. Percolation is the movement of water
within the soil. It controls the infiltration rate because the friction and space between the
particles can speed up or slow down the infiltration based on the size of the particles. A
healthy percolation rate is between five and fifteen minutes, but the closer the soil
percolation to ten minutes, the better. This effect is important because it determines how
fast water and different nutrients will pass through the soil, and if the percolation is too
high then the water will not get absorbed causing the soil to be unhealthy. If the soil has
too low of a percolation then the water will not be able to get through quickly and
efficiently, causing some places to be overhydrated and some places would be
dehydrated. The percolation rate is determined by the grain size (or pore size) which
determines the amount of frictional resistance and the area available for flow. The smaller
the grains, means smaller pores, causing more frictional resistance, and lower hydraulic
conductivity. This lower or higher hydraulic conductivity means either a lower or higher
percolation rate (ftp://ftp.fao.org).
The shape and arrangement of these soil particles help determine
porosity. Porosity is the amount of air space or void space between soil particles.
Infiltration occurs in these void spaces. The soil porosity can also affect the permeability
which means that if the porosity is not good, then the soils health is worse. Not all the
water stored in pore spaces becomes part of flowing or moving groundwater. Water
clings to soil particles due to surface tension. Clay has a greater surface area than sand;
therefore, more water will remain behind clinging to the clay particle surface. This
implies that sand will not cling to water well, but clay has too low of a surface yield
causing too much water to cling. Healthy soil has just enough surface yield to hold on to
water but not so much as to create overhydration (http://www.co.portage.wi.us/).
Combining all of these facts, the optimal soil should have a balance of specific
yield so the amount of water absorption is good. The ratio of sand to silt to clay should be
so that the water flows through the soil at an optimal rate so that the water does not drain
too fast out of the soil but slow enough that all of the soil is hydrated. From the
experience of farmers, they have discovered that the optimal ratio of sand to silt to clay
so that these effects transpire is close to six to three to one
(www.lagunahillsnursery.com).
The object of this experiment is to determine how the ratio of the three different
types of particles (sand, silt, and clay) the soil percolation, and in other words, the
permeability of the soil. This question was tested by collecting soil samples from three
"
different habitats at Drumlin Farm, eight times in each habitat. The independent variable
was the soil texture. To measure the percolation a can was placed in the ground and the
time for water to pass through was recorded. A few controlled variables were the amount
of soil collected, amount of water added for percolation test, the amount of water used for
texture test, and how far the can is placed into the ground for the percolation test. The
hypothesis set forth in this experiment is: If the ratio of sand to silt to clay is closer to
6:3:1 respectively, then the percolation rate will be closer to 30 mL/s, because it will
balance both soil permeability and surface yield (www.lagunahillsnursery.com).
This experiment is useful because the soil permeability and its surface yield are of
utmost importance. If the ratio of sand to silt to clay is off, it would damage the
permeability and the surface yield which can lead to not hydrated soil that is unsuitable
for plant growth. If the farmers at Drumlin farm are not aware of the effects of the
different soil particles, then they may be planting the crops in the wrong places. This can
cause the organisms to die or be unhealthy, which can waste time and money. Also, the
more knowledgeable farmers are of the effects of different soil particles, the healthier
plants they will grow because the soil will be able to contain water better, producing riper
and better fruits, producing a higher level product.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
For this experiment, there were two procedures: one to find the percolation of the
soil and the water retention and another to find the soil texture. The percolation of the soil
was tested in the field, opposed to having tested the independent variable in the field. A
procedure was found at www.planetseed.com. This was adapted to the purposes of this
experiment. Ten coordinates were found Bathtub Pond using a Ti-nspire calculator
random location generator. The first coordinate on the calculators list was then chosen
and a hole about 5 centimeters deep was dug with a trowel. One of the 300 mL cans was
placed into this hole (see fig. 1), and then, about 250 mL of water was poured into the
can. While the water was percolating through the soil, four more of these tests were
started in the next four locations on the list on the calculator by following the same steps.
Each test was carefully examined until the water had completely drained out. When the
water had percolated through the soil, the time it took was recorded. Once the time was
recorded, a simple texture test was performed. The same was done for the other four tests.
This entire procedure was repeated once more in Bathtub pond and then everything was
done again in Boyce Field and Red Pine Forest. A total of thirty data points were
collected (ten at each site).
To test the texture, 100 mL of soil were gathered from each site where the other
tests had taken place. Each sample was placed in a Ziploc bag and brought back to the
lab. After the samples were brought to the lab, each sample was placed into their own
clear container (a total of thirty). Additionally, 120 mL of water was added to this and
three drops of Dawn dishwashing soap. Then the mixture was stirred with a glass rod for
thirty seconds. This new mixture was then left overnight in the lab. The next day each
layer of soil was measured. The sand was on the bottom, then silt, and on the top was
clay. The ratio of sand to silt to clay was found and recorded
(http://www.gardeners.com).


"
Figure 1



RESULTS

Table 1: The effect of soil texture on soil percolation: Bathtub Pond (BP)
Sample
Sand % Silt % Clay % Texture Percolation (mL/sec)
BP 1
15 85 0 silt loam 21.26
BP 2
0 100 0 silt 32.07
BP 3
0 100 0 silt 59.95
BP 4
25 75 0 silty clay loam 8.95
BP 5
20 80 0 silt loam 15.72
BP 6
40 60 0 silty clay loam 31.18
BP 7
0 100 0 silt 10.73
BP 8
0 100 0 silt 11.84
BP 9
60 30 10 silt loam 19.29
BP 10
40 60 0 sandy loam 58.47



"
Figure 2




Table 2: The effect of soil texture on soil percolation: Boyce Field (BF)

Sample Sand % Silt % Clay % Texture Percolation (mL/sec)
BF 1 0 0 100 clay 4.42
BF 2 0 0 100 clay 3.73
BF 3 0 5 95 clay 8.83
BF 4 0 0 100 clay 8.21
BF 5 0 0 100 clay 4.79
BF 6 0 0 100 clay 7.61
BF 7 0 25 75 clay 12.58
BF 8 0 0 100 clay 6.41
BF 9 0 15 85 clay 6.64
BF 10 15 0 85 clay 7.74


Figure 3



"
Table 3: The effect of soil texture on soil percolation: Red Pine Forest (RPF)

Sample Sand % Silt % Clay % Texture Percolation (mL/sec)
RPF 1 10 90 0 silt 20.79
RPF 2 0 100 0 silt 57.86
RPF 3 15 85 0 silt loam 43.85
RPF 4 0 100 0 silt 76.89
RPF 5 10 90 0 silt 32.82
RPF 6 20 80 0 silt loam 37.92
RPF 7 0 100 0 silt 21.59
RPF 8 10 90 0 silt 33.21
RPF 9 0 100 0 silt 30.01
RPF 10 60 40 0 silty clay 28.93



Table 4: The effect of soil texture on soil percolation averages

Habitat Sand % Silt % Clay % Texture Percolation (mL/sec) Standard Dev
BP 20.0 79 1 Silt Loam 26.9 17.8
BF 1.5 4.5 94.0 Clay 7.1 2.4
RPF 12.5 87.5 0.0 Silt 38.4 16.4


Graph 1: The effect of soil particle on percentage in area




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Graph 2: The effect of habitat on soil percolation




Graph 3: The effect of texture on percolation











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Graph 4: The effect of percent of silt on percolation




Graph 5: The Effect of Percent of Clay on Percolation



WRITTEN RESULTS
In Graph 1, the averages of the dispersion of different soil particle percentages at
Bathtub Pond, Boyce Field, and Red Pine Forest are shown. What is strange in this graph
is that in Bathtub Pond and Red Pine Forest, there is almost no clay and almost all silt.
However, in Boyce Field, it is the opposite- clay is the most while silt is almost none. In
general, in Graph 1, at Bathtub Pond, silt was by far the most common with clay and sand
being small. At Boyce Field, there is little silt and sand, and it is mostly clay. At Red Pine
Forest, it is the same paradigm as Bathtub Pond; however there is absolutely no clay. It
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can be visible that in Bathtub Pond the sand average was around twenty percent, the silt
average was seventy-nine percent, and the clay average was one percent. This implies
that the silt particle was the most common in the soil type. However, one cannot say that
clay was the least common particle because the error bars overlap with silt. In Bathtub
Pond, the amounts of clay was the most precise with a standard deviation of three,
followed by sand with a much larger standard deviation of 20, and then silt with a
standard deviation of 22. This means that silt was the least precise as well. At Boyce
Field, the sand average was 1.5 %, the silt average was 4.5 %, and the clay average was
94 %. The standard deviation of the silt is 8.2, the sand is 4.5 and the clay is 8.6.
Therefore the most precise is sand, followed by silt, and then clay. There was no clay at
Red Pine Forest. The average silt was 87.5 % and the sand average was 12.5 %. Silt had a
standard deviation of 31.5, and the sand had a standard deviation of 17.0, making silt the
least precise and sand the most precise.
In Graph 2, the effect of habitat on average percolation is displayed. This graph
displays the average percolation for each of the three habitats. At Bathtub Pond, the
average percolation was 26 mL/sec. It had a standard deviation of 17.8. This made it the
least precise in the data set. At Boyce Field, the average percolation was 7.1 mL/sec. It
had a standard deviation of 2.4, making it the most precise of the data set. At Red Pine
Forest, the average percolation was 38.4 mL/sec. It had a standard deviation of 16.4,
making the precision in the middle. Boyce Field conclusively had the lowest percolation.
Even though the error bars between Boyce Field and Bathtub pond overlapped by .4
mL/sec which is not significant enough to be important.
In Graph 3, the effect of the texture classes found at Drumlin Farm on percolation
is displayed. There were four prominent texture categories found at Drumlin Farm: silt
loam, silt, silty clay loam, and clay. Also, the error bars here were large. Samples
consisting of silt loam had a percolation of 30.58 mL/sec. The standard deviation for this
was 10.5, making it more precise than the norm in this data set. Samples of silt had a
percolation of 35.25 mL/sec. It had a standard deviation of 20.1, making it the least
precise in the data set. Silty clay loam had an average percolation of 20.1 mL/sec and a
standard deviation of 11.1. Clay had an average percolation of 7.1 mL/sec and had a
standard deviation of 2.43, making it by far the most precise in the data set. The pattern
here is that soils with higher silt levels were more permeable and soils with more clay
were less permeable.
In Graph 4, an XY scatter plot is shown depicting the effect of percent of silt on
percolation. It displays that as the percent of silt increases, percolation increases as well.
The rate at which it increases is y = 0.2922x + 7.486. The r
2
value is .39 in this graph.
Here, there is a large cluster at the zero point, indicating that there were points with only
clay and sand. Also, at the 100% mark, there are many points but with a wide array of
percolation values, which resulted in bad precision. At this point this lack of precision led
to values ranging from 10.73-76.89 mL/sec. In between these zero and 100 markers there
are some points but these points in between 0 and 100 is less than the sum of the points at
those two places. This creates a semi-large room for error that has a decent margin of
error.
In Graph 5, an XY scatter plot is show depicting the effect of percent of clay on
percolation. It displays a negative trendline. The equation of this trendline is y = -0.2744x
+ 32.832. This implies that as the percent of clay in soils increase, the permeability
""
decreases. This has a better r
2
value than Graph 4. The majority of the points in this graph
are at the 0 point. The remaining points on the graph go from 75%-100% clay. The
overall precision of the data set was decreased mostly by the scattered values on the 0%
axis. These values ranged from 8.95-76.89 mL/sec.

DISCUSSION
The goal of the experiment was to find out what the ratio of sand to silt to clay
would be to have an optimal percolation rate. The hypothesis for the experiment was if
the ratio of sand to silt to clay is closer to 6:3:1 respectively, then the percolation rate will
be closer to 30 mL/sec, because it will balance both soil permeability and surface yield
(www.lagunahillsnursery.com). The results go against the hypothesis because they state
that the optimal rate of 30 mL/sec requires the soil to be 20% sand, 50% silt, and 30%
clay. This, in a ratio, is 2:5:3, instead of the original theory of 6:3:1.
This may be due to fact that silt varies greatly in size, and can measure from .002
to .05 millimeters in diameter (http://www.co.portage.wi.us). Not only is there a variation
in the size of silt, but there was also a lack of sand. The results had very little samples of
sand and therefore, conclusions for sand could not have been very accurate.
For the first graph on the percentage of sand, silt, and clay, Bathtub Pond was
mostly silt and partly sand, because in order for a pond to form, there must be a slower
percolation rate, hence the silt levels. Then in order for the water to not overflow, there
cannot be a very low percolation rate either, which explains the sand levels. Clay tends to
have a smaller surface yield which causes water to have a very slow percolation rate
(http://www.co.portage.wi.us). The low clay levels make sense because if there was a
large amount of clay, the pond would be more likely to overflow in almost every shower.
The error bars and the low precision are because not all of the soil that was tested came
from near the pond. Some samples came from near the dirt road, and others closer to a
compost heap. Each area would have different samples and range of data was collected.
Boyce Field was mostly clay, but had a mix of silt and sand. The best types of
soils for farms tend to be a mixture of two or more of the three types of soils called loams
(http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu). These loams tend to not have a very fast percolation rate,
which allows for plants to take in the water, and they also tend to not have a very slow
percolation rate, which would allow the water to run-off and not drown the plants. The
area that was chosen was not in use recently and this would explain the higher percentage
of clay. Since there was no reason to tend the field, fertilizer would not have to be placed.
Though as it is a farm, there was a slight mixture of silt and a little sand too. Once again,
the data is not precise as shown by the large error bars, but this is because the
surrounding area that was being used, were two different fields. To the east was a field
that had crops in it which would explain the mixing of loams, because the crops would
need a mixed soil to survive. To the west was a patch of dead plants which again, would
affect the results from the habitat because of the decay.
The samples from Red Pine Forest were mostly silt, but had a decent amount of
sand. The large amount of silt and sand could be from the glacial deposit from thousands
of years ago (http://www.daviesand.com). These glacial tills tend to leave coarser soils
and silt that can reach a diameter of .05 millimeters. Sand is also very coarse and can
range up to 2 millimeters in diameter (http://www.co.portage.wi.us). These soils would
"#
have been dragged to Red Pine Forest by the glacier that created the Drumlin
(http://www.daviesand.com).
In Graph 2, there is a very small overlap between Bathtub Pond and Boyce Field.
There were two outliers; the one in Boyce was only 75% clay whereas the other sample
were at least 85% clay and at Bathtub Pond, the silt in the sample could have been very
fine and more compact, which would cause the water to drain slowly. There is a large
overlap in error bars between Red Pine Forest and Bathtub Pond, because both habitats
recorded a large amount of silt and around the same amount of sand. Since Bathtub Pond
was mostly silty loams, the average percolation rate was around 27 mL per second. Red
Pine Forest, which was made up of sand and silt that was most likely coarse due to the
passing of a glacier, had a higher percolation rate because the void between the coarser
soils would allow water the seep through more quickly. Boyce Field was nearly
conclusively the slowest habitat to percolate due to the fact that it was made up of mostly
clay which tends to have smaller voids (http://www.co.portage.wi.us) and therefore, a
slower percolation rate.
Graph 3 shows that clay, on average, has the lowest percolation rate and this is
because clay particles are very small. This causes the clay particles to pack closely
together which does not leave a lot of room for water to drain. Also, clay has a lower
surface yield and instead of water percolating, the water sticks to the surface of the clay
(http://www.co.portage.wi.us). Silty clay loam had an error bar that slightly overlapped
that of clay. It is also, on average, the second slowest percolation soil texture. Silty clay
loam is a mixture of silt and clay. The clay would cause the water to percolate more
slowly, but since not all of the soil was clay and some was silt, it would not have the
fastest or slowest percolating time. The difference in the silt particle size would account
for the lack of precision in the data too. The silt loam is, on average, the second fastest
percolation time. The error bar overlaps with the silty clay loam error bar because both
most likely contain clay due to the fact that they are loams. However, the silt loam allows
water to pass through more easily, because it contains less clay and more sand. The silt
loam does not have the quickest percolation rate because it was averaged between both
Red Pine Forest and Bathtub Pond. The silt loam could have been packed differently in
the habitats and caused water to drain more slowly, than the silt which was mostly found
in Red Pine Forest. Silt had, only by average, the fastest percolation rate. This can be due
to the fact that the soil was differently packed to allow more water to pass through it, or
that the silt had a larger diameter. The large error bar can be explained because of the
large area tested in Red Pine. Each sample was collected in different places. One was by
a fallen tree which could have compacted the soil, another by a live tree whose roots
could have created air pockets in the soil, and another in a clearing.
In graph number 4 on how silt affected soil percolation showed that there was
very low R! value between silt and percolation, though as silt increased, the percolation
rate also tended to increase. This is because silt varies in many different ways. The way
that the soil is structured cause