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Changes in dissolved Oxygen due to salinity,

temperature, and light

Lab partners: Jonah Barnett, Clell Carnes, Austin Walden, Josh
September 2, 2015
In this lab, we used various methods to measure the amount of dissolved oxygen in water. The
dissolved oxygen is produced by photosynthesis and is depleted by respiration which uses the
oxygen to create energy from glucose. The oxygen left over after the respiration takes is the
net productivity; the oxygen produced without respiration taken out is the gross productivity.
These are all measured in the parts per million (ppm). We are gonna be measuring the net
productivity of the different bottles of water which are under different light conditions,
salinity, and temperature compared to the initial measurement.

Question: How do different abiotic factors impact dissolved oxygen levels in various water
-As the temperature of the water decreases so will the net product production.
-As the salinity of the water increases the net product production will decrease.
-As the depth of the water increases the net product production will decrease.
Dependent Variable: Net Primary Production
Independent Variable: Depth, Temperature, Salinity
Control: Initial
Constants: Water, Bottles, Chemicals
Wear safety goggles and gloves.
Careful with acid it is corrosive.
Don't drink any of the chemicals many are toxic.
Materials & Procedure:
See lab handout

Our hypotheses were all correct. As the temperature decreased, DO levels increased,
as salinity increased, the DO levels decreased, and finally as light intensity increased so did the
DO levels. When testing how the temperature affects the DO levels, we discovered that our
hypothesis was correct. We found that colder water tends to hold oxygen better because cold
water is more dense and it won't let oxygen escape the water after entering it from the
atmosphere or from photosynthetic organisms. In our salinity experiment we found that our
hypothesis was also correct. The saltier the water the less oxygen was present due to the salt
mixing with the polar water molecules and driving the non polar oxygen molecules out of the
water. In our depth experiment, we wrapped screens around bottles to simulate the depths of
a lake or pond. We observed that when there is less light present in the bottle, DO levels will
decrease. This is because without light, algae and other photosynthetic organisms cannot do

photosynthesis, which is an oxygen producing action. So, without photosynthesis, DO levels

will steadily decrease.
During our experiment we could have possibly had an air bubble trapped in one of the
bottle, which would have lead to more dissolved oxygen in the water than there actually is.
Also we could have misread the pipette, which would have messed up all of our calculations. I
would want to know if we would get the same results with bigger sample sizes than what we
Discussion Questions:
1. What are the 3 ways primary productivity can be measured?
CO2 production, O2 production, and sugar production
2. What is the relationship between oxygen production and assimilation of carbon (what is the
conversion unit) and calculate the assimilated amount of carbon from the class mean NPP.
Each ml of O2 produced means .536mg. Of carbon is produced. our class mean produced 1.23
mg of carbon from 2.3ml of 02.
3. From your graph of the temperature data, what is the effect of temperature on the amount
of oxygen that water at different temperatures can hold? Colder water can hold more oxygen,
than room temperature water.
4. From your salinity saturation data, what is the effect of salinity on the amount of oxygen
that water at different salinities can hold? Saltier water tends to hold less oxygen than fresh
5. Refer to your graph of the productivity and light intensity. At what light intensity do you
expect there to be: (Hint: look at where the graph becomes negative)
a. No gross productivity? 0% light
b. No net productivity? 100%
6. A mammal uses only 1 to 2 percent of its energy in ventilation (breathing air in and out)
while a fish must spend about 15 percent of its energy to move water over its gills. Explain this
difference in their efforts to collect oxygen. (Think about the differences between air and
Oxygen collection from the air is easier and more convenient because oxygen is much more
common above the water, while underwater the dissolved oxygen levels can vary greatly
depending on what time of day it is
7. Would you expect the DO in water taken from a stream entering a lake to be higher or lower
than the DO taken from the lake itself? Explain (Think about the ways oxygen gets into the
water from the atmosphere). I would expect there to be more oxygen in the water, there are
less organisms to use the oxygen in respiration and there is still dissolved oxygen coming in
from the air around it.

8. Would you expect the DO concentration of water samples taken from a lake at 7:00am to be
higher or lower than samples taken at 5:00pm? Explain (The temperature variation from
morning to evening are not great enough to be a factor) Yes, depending on the time of sunrise
and set. If the sun isn't out by 7:00am or just got out then there will be less DO whereas at
5:00p, the sun has been out all day so photosynthesis will be happening and there will be
more DO in the water.
9. What is eutrophication? Research and explain why allowing nitrogen or phosphorous
fertilizers to run into a body of water can negatively affect life in the water.
Over time, the runoff starts making algae grow rapidly because of the extra nutrients, this
causes oxygen levels to fall, which causes fish to die. After the fish die. The ecosystem
10. In the following drawings of identical containers with identical fish but with different
volumes of water, which one, A or B, would have more oxygen available to the fish initially and
then overtime? Explain
Initially A has more oxygen, due to volume, but later B would have more oxygen because of
the larger surface area capable of allowing more oxygen into the water.