The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality
(1) Central City High School, Central City, NE
In recent years, harmful algal blooms have increased in both frequency and intensity worldwide. This is a growing concern because many algae species can clog agricultural irrigation systems, make potable water unfit for consumption, and release toxins that can be dangerous to human and animal health. The purpose of this study was to test a natural solution for inhibiting algal growth that does not expose animals to potentially harmful chemicals. This experiment tests the effects of barley straw extract (BSE) and barley straw pellets (BSP) on algal growth and water quality. We predicted that both treatments would have significant effects on algal growth and water quality. We added BSE and BSP to containers of water placed them in a temporary greenhouse. Then, we conducted several different types of tests to determine the amount of algal growth as well as the quality of the water over a course of 25 days. The results showed some significant differences between the treatments on certain testing days with the transmittance, dissolved oxygen (DO), and carbonate tests; however, the results were not conclusive enough to reject the null hypothesis that neither treatment would have significant effects on algal growth and water quality. Research of this type has value because it is important to protect human and animal health by providing clean water sources.