Poster Discussion Part
The overall pattern of our results is that, an increase in the total suspended solids results in a decrease in the dissolved oxygen.
From the results, when the total number of suspended solids is as low as 20, the dissolved oxygen is 13.8 which is comparatively high. The trend continues. However, in a few instances such as when the total suspended solids are 808, the dissolved oxygen is 25.4.
Such cases can be attributed to errors in the experiment.Our hypothesis was supported by the results probably due to various ecological reasons. First, an increase in the total suspended solids blocks light from reaching the submerged vegetation.
Since this vegetation depends on light for photosynthesis, the rate of photosynthesis slows down as the total suspended solid increase. Subsequently, the dissolved oxygen in water reduces because the process of photosynthesis which produces it has gone down (Bilotta, 2008). Secondly, if the suspended solids completely block light from reaching the submerged vegetation, the plants will stop photosynthesizing and producing oxygen and will die. When the plants die and decompose, the bacteria in the water use up even more oxygen from the water, further reducing the dissolved oxygen (Bilotta, 2008).
The results affirm the background that an increase in the total suspended solids decreases the dissolved oxygen. Less suspended solids provide favorable conditions for dissolved oxygen to increase. Clear waters contain the maximum amount of dissolved oxygen in terms of total suspended solids and when other factors are kept constant. The next research project could study the sources of these suspended solids to determine the appropriate practices that could minimize their suspension in water.
Bilotta, G. S., & Brazier, R. E. (2008). Understanding the influence of suspended solids on water quality and aquatic biota. Water research, 42(12), …