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Effects of Sodium Nitrate and Ammonium Hydroxide on the Behavior of Daphnia Magna

Betzie and Keyanna studied the effects of sodium nitrate and ammonium hydroxide, common chemicals in runoff, on the behavior of the freshwater organism Daphnia magna. They found that both sodium nitrate and ammonium hydroxide decreases common Daphnia behaviors such as somersalting and their distance traveled.


Betzie Rosario, Keyanna McBryde


Yoan Yevide

Project Period:




There are many organisms that rely on freshwater. However, due to pollution and natural occurrences, undesirable chemicals have been contaminating many sources of freshwater. Fertilizers containing chemicals, such as nitrates and phosphates are often washed into ponds and lakes due to rain. In addition, animal feces, often containing ammonia, are also washed into lakes and rivers because of rain. Increased levels of these molecules affect freshwater organisms as they are not accustomed to having these molecules in their environments. Because of this, we decided to study the effect of sodium nitrate (NaNO3) and Ammonium Hydroxide (NH4OH), common chemicals in runoff, on the behavior of Daphnia magna, a freshwater organism that plays a vital role in aquatic ecosystems. We tested varying concentrations of NaNO3 and NH4OH and analyzed the impact they had on the movement and common behaviors Daphnia exhibit, such as somersaulting and staying around the same location for an extended period of time.

This page was originally developed by BioBus Summer 2021 Jr. Scientist William Rhee.

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