Quantifying the Impact Nitrogen and Phosphorus Levels on the Growth of Algae in Canyon Ferry Lake.
Samples from the Canyon Ferry Lake were collected and spiked with different concentrations of phosphates (dipotassium phosphate) and nitrates (sodium nitrate). The added nitrogen concentrations ranged from 0 to 5 ppm and the added phosphorus concentration ranged from 0 to 1 ppm. The nitrogen and phosphorus spiked Canyon Ferry Lake water samples were incubated for two weeks under a 12-hour illumination cycle. The chlorophyll a concentration, which is known to correlate to algae population, of the samples were then analyzed via high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and steady state ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy. The largest algae growth was found with 1.5 ppm nitrogen and 0.2 ppm phosphorus added. The possible implications for these findings for the management of Canyon Ferry Lake aquatic ecosystem will be discussed.