We have conducted, the last “hands-on” analysis. We were able (with the help from Lina Mattsson at Linneaus University) to measure the growth in the algae community. As mentioned earlier, we added nutrients to the water from the dam, which contained a known cell count of the algae Selenastrum capricornutum. This is to see which is the limiting nutrient in the water, which is important in the final design of the constructed wetlands. We were expecting to find that phosphorus was limiting, and it was. We used the flow cytometer (which counts cells in a small flow of liquid) and got fairly clear results that the replicates with phosphorous added, were the ones which had the most cells (more growth). Interestingly enough, the addition of nitrogen along with phosphorus, did not significantly affect the growth of the algae.
What’s left for us? We are currently analysing our results, and coming up with a great plan for the constructed wetland. Conveniently enough, we’ve started our freshwater ecology course, along with our marine ecology course, which will (hopefully) aid us in our final proposal!