Florida Student Wins Middle School Science Fair with Project on Invasive Plants
Take a look at future scientist, Hannah, who won first place in the environmental science section of the Umatilla Middle School Science Fair. She was chosen to continue on to the Lake County Science Fair. Way to go Hannah!
You can read her abstract below.
Invasive Non-native Aquatics: Good or Bad for Florida's Waterways?
Florida's waterways have been exposed to many invasive aquatic weeds that have the potential to take over the natural ecosystem of our Florida waters. Invasive aquatic weeds kill fish and wildlife habitat and affect many of our valuable resources. While studying two different aquatic species, one that is non-native, and one that is native, I have collected data that supports the fact that non-native aquatic species are harmful to Florida's waterways. There are several factors that determine water quality. One of the most important variables measured, is the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. Using a dissolved oxygen meter, or DO meter, I tested five buckets of water from the St. John's River over a five week period. Two of the buckets contained water hyacinth and the other two contained coontail moss. Water hyacinth is an invasive non-native and coontail moss is a common native plant. A fifth bucket was filled with water but I did not put any plants in it because it was the control bucket. I also checked the pH levels of the water before and after the experiment. The dissolved oxygen levels were, on average, lower in the buckets with the water hyacinth than in the buckets with the coontail moss. After the experiment was over I concluded that non-native invasive aquatic plants are harmful to Florida's water.