Using daphnia to identify the least harmful fertilizers.
Annabelle Lang
York House School
Floor Location : J 084 V

Each year, 87.6 kg of fertilizer is used on every hectare in gardens and farmland across Canada. Though it may be thought to help wildlife populations and ecosystem diversity as it helps the plants to grow bigger and bloom faster, it actually affects the environment in ways that may not be obvious at first. One example is how it affects lakes and standing bodies of water. When the fertilizer is spread on a lawn, it is absorbed into the soil and, especially if you are on high land, will slowly drain into a body of water. This pollutes those waters and may harm the inhabitants. It can also be toxic to the wildlife and may toxify the plants that grow in the polluted water. This experiment is to show which types of fertilizers are least harmful when they arrive in the water. Daphnia are used to represent the animals that live in lakes because they are hardy for their size, but compared to other animals, they are relatively sensitive. This means that they will be more receptive to the fertilizers than a hardy animal such as a salmon. There were multiple pretests done to determine what concentration of fertilizer to use in the test.