Comparisons of Nutrient Levels. Appleton East High School. Hypothesis. Results. Bar and Whisker Representations. We began with a few basic research questions:
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Appleton East High School
Bar and Whisker Representations
From these questions we formulated an appropriate hypothesis:
As the sites and seasons vary, the levels of phosphorus, ammonia, and nitrates will also vary, due to the changing amounts of run-off.
Comparing Nutrient Levels at Different Sites
The first graph, titled “Comparing Nutrients at Different Sites”, compares the levels of phosphorous, ammonia, and nitrate at both the Apple Creek campground and French road sites. The campground had some of the highest levels of nitrates. Nitrates at the campground also had the highest levels out of all nutrients overall. The campground site had the highest levels of phosphorus as well. The ammonia levels at both sites were the lowest of the three nutrients for both sites.
Comparing Nutrient Levels During Different Seasons
The graph, titled “Comparing Nutrient Levels in Different Seasons”, compares the levels of phosphorus, ammonia, and nitrates over three seasons (spring, summer and fall). The phosphate and ammonia levels are approximately equal in spring and both increase slightly in the summer. However, the median of the nitrate levels are considerably higher in the spring than in the summer. During the summer, there is a very wide range of nitrate level values. In the fall, the median nitrate level increases slightly from the summer.
From the three nutrient tests we performed, we can see there is a correlation between the sites and nutrient levels, as well as between the seasons and nutrient levels.
From our data, we can see that the Campground testing site had higher phosphorous and nitrate levels than the French Road site. This is a direct result of the land use of the area. The campground site is highly agricultural, while the French Road site is residential. The agricultural nature of the campground site can account for greater fertilizer use, and therefore account for higher nitrate and phosphorous levels.
From the second graph, titled “Comparing Nutrient Levels in Different Seasons” we can see that the median nitrate levels are very high during the spring. This is most probably a result of increased fertilizer usage. The extremely wide range of nitrate values during the summer can be attributed to runoff. We may have tested and collected data on certain days where the nutrient levels in runoff were very high.
The detention basin outlet, located near the French Road site.
Two students perform on-site pH testing at the French Road site.