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graded aquatic experiment

graded aquatic experiment - Investigating the Affect of...

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Investigating the Affect of Salinity on Bacteria Growth Kayla Murphy Lab Section: 12:20 Thursday GLA: Kathy Bowles Lab Partner: Hannah Hall Spring 2011
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Introduction Heterotrophic bacteria are the primary agents of decomposition for dead material. They act to break down the material into nutrients such as Phosphorus phosphorus , Carbon carbon , and Nitrogen nitrogen which can then be absorbed by other organisms or back into the environment. If heterotrophic bacteria did not exist to continue to break down decaying material, our ecosystem would cease to function. A number of factors can inhibit or induce bacteria growth and reproduction. Since heterotrophic bacteria are absorptive feeders, they are sensitive to the fluctuations of the environment. Damaging agents such as chemicals or antibiotics can destroy entire populations. Fortunately, bacteria reproduce very quickly and thus their evolutionary process is rapid. Bacteria colonies best suited to the new environment will survive and continue to reproduce at the same rapid rate. The experiment focuses on the affect of salt on the reproduction of bacteria. The experimenters hypothesize that the addition of salt to a freshwater sample will negatively impact the ability of bacteria to successfully reproduce. If the hypothesis is true, the jar to which salt is added will produce a lower rate of bacteria colonies. Materials and Methods Two equal sized jars were each filled with 150 mL of freshwater collected from Lake Herrick. In order to simulate a natural aquatic environment, 20 mL of sediment collected from
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