Eutrophication Data from Cruise Transect: Lab Report Paper on Cruise Transect Taken along Tampa Bay

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Tampa Bay Study on Eutrophication

Tampa Bay was the subject of a study to assess the idea of eutrophication. Following the identification of six distinct places along this particular Bay, the study was conducted. Data on eutrophication were collected for each station identified during a cruise transect along this bay. Marine and aquatic life, particularly phytoplankton, microplankton, and microzooplankton, were examined, and the distinctions between them were noted in accordance with the stations. Some of the factors considered in the course of the study were pigment concentrations, zooplankton calculations, biomass, temperature, salinity, depth, and pH. Note that data on all these factors were recorded at each of the six stations identified for the study.


This particular report discusses eutrophication data along Tampa Bay. Four different stations were sampled along Tampa Bay and data on eutrophication at each station recorded. Various plants along Tampa Bay, mostly in the sampled areas were studied, and the differences in the characteristics noted. Plants studied include Phytoplankton, Microplankton, and Microzooplankton. Note that a cruise transect was employed for the course of this particular report. Science describes eutrophication as the enrichment of water with chemical nutrients that causes structural changes in the water ecosystem. In most case, the noticeable changes as a result of eutrophication are increased aquatic plants (such as the ones mentioned above), increased algae production and worst of all, the general deterioration of water quality which eventually interferes with the aquatic life. This particular report focused on investigating this specific concept by evaluating and comparing previous data collected on the same with the recent data that we collected. Several factors were identified, measured and their results recorded for the efficiency of the study. Some of the factors that were given attention in the course of the study/ report included the pigment concentrations, the biomass, temperature, salinity, depth, Ph, and Zooplankton calculations. Note that all these factors were evaluated at each station identified for the study.

Materials and Methods

In this particular report, a YSI (yellow spring instrument) professional plus meter instrument was used. This specific apparatus was selected because of its multipurpose characteristic. The instrument has the ability to measure combinations of salinity, pH, temperature as well as pigment concentration among others. However, other important apparatus such as a thermistor (Whitney4 underwater thermometer, Model TC-5), salinity meters, and a pH Multimeter were equally carried along as a backup in case the YSI (yellow spring instrument) professional plus meter failed. Biomass and pigment concentration was as well measured, and the method and apparatus used were the dry weight method and a fluorimeter respectively. The temperature at each location was measured and recorded in degree Celsius (°C). Salinity at different depths and on the surface of each station was also determined. The Mohr-Knudsen method was deployed since it was evaluated to be efficient in the measure of salinity. Depth at each location was also evaluated and figures recorded in feet as a unit of measurement.


The results were succinct and direct since most of them concurred with our anticipations. There were only a few circumstances where differences could be noted in reference to our expectations. However, the differences were not that large as the results still were within the confidence interval. As articulated before, factors that were evaluated and their results deduced included pigment concentrations, zooplankton calculations, biomass, temperature, salinity, depth, and pH. Note that the results were evaluated in correspondence to each station of all the six stations identified for the study.

To begin with, temperatures at different depths (3m and 6m) at each identified station were measured and recorded. As shown in the graph, station one, two and five recorded a difference in temperature at depths of 3m and 6m. On the other hand, station three, four and six recorded same temperature readings at depths of 3m and 6m.

Second, the pH at different levels (3m and 6m) was also evaluated. The findings at each station in regards to this pH factor showed some progressive increasing pattern across all the stations. The pH readings across all the stations were above 7.9 which clearly indicated that the water along this particular Bay was basic. In fact, from station one to station five there was a noticeable increase in alkalinity. Equally, station six results showed an increase in alkalinity.

Conversely, the salinity was also measured and findings across the levels of 3m and 6m depth recorded. Salinity is the measure of the salt content present in a particular component. For effective results, the salinity of the surface at Tampa Bay was also measured. Salinity at each station across the three points of the measure was varying. However, the variations were not huge, and also some stations recorded similar results at some point. For instance, station two results were similar both at a depth of levels of 3m and 6m. The same was also noticeable at station three. In station five, salinity at the surface was same to salinity recorded at a depth level of 6m.

Likewise, the Secchi depth at each station was measured. A Secchi disk was used and its clarity determined at each station. This was determined to evaluate the transparency of water and the freshness/ cleanliness as well. Turbidity was evaluated

Biomass at each station was also evaluated. All the stations recorded a similar biomass value as we anticipated.


Eutrophication is the enrichment of the aquatic/ marine ecosystem with chemical nutrients which contains traces of phosphorous, nitrogen and others or both. In most cases, eutrophication occurs when fertilizers containing the components mentioned above are washed into water bodies by surfaces run-off rainwater. Industrial waste directed into lakes or seas also may contain some of the components mentioned above and may lead to eutrophication as well. Since nitrogen and phosphorous compounds are rich in nutrients, they encourage massive algae on water which in turn blooms over the water surface preventing sunlight from reaching other water plants which eventually die. As a result, the marine ecosystem is almost left lifeless with no single traces of aquatic life. However, apart from nitrogen and phosphorous compounds, there are also other factors that are believed to have an impact on eutrophication in one way or another. They include temperature, salinity, pH, flow rate, and turbidity.

In this particular report, the temperature recorded at each of the six-station was less than 21.1°C. Typically, temperature is an important factor that promotes blooming of alga, microplankton on marine life. However, not any temperature will facilitate this growth of sea plants but favorable temperatures that are within the ranges of about 23°C and 28°C. In our selected stations, sea plants were not in abundance, a concept that can be explicitly explained in reference to the temperature factor. In this case, favorable temperatures plus adequacy of other related environmental conditions, then sea plants will bloom in abundance.

Salinity also affects marine ecosystem, especially the growth of sea plants. However, when the percentage salinity is between 23% and 28% the effects are not worse but somewhat good since between this percentage range sea plants bloom well. In our case, the percentage salinity was between 15% and 25% across all the stations selected for the study. In this regard, we do not expect a huge negative and positive impact on the marine life along Tampa Bay. In fact, the salinity results correspond to the growth planktons seen along this particular bay.

The Ph level is also another relevant and important factor to consider in this report. In this case, when the alkalinity is high, and other related environmental conditions are adequate a favorable marine environment for increased growth of sea plants is established.


The report demonstrated that factors such as temperature, salinity, biomass, pH, and turbidity had effects on eutrophication. From the lab report, slightly higher temperatures, in this case warm, played an important role as they increased the concentration of nutrients washed into the water bodies. As a result, the growth of sea plants was hastened. Warm temperature's equally increased plant biomass. Actually, warmer temperatures facilitated a complete marine ecosystem as they also facilitated higher densities of fish species that would eventually feed on the rapidly growing zooplankton.

Works cited

April 13, 2023

Education Science



Subject area:

Study Microorganisms Plant

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