Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Degree Level



Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Haggard, Brian


This study investigated the effect of nutrient addition on algal growth in three United States Forest Service lakes for fishery management in Arkansas. In fishery managed lakes, fertilization works by manipulating algae growth, a basal food resource in lakes, to promote the growth of the fish population. For the nutrient addition experiments, water was collected from each lake in cubitainers and spiked with nutrients; the treatments included the control, nitrogen (+N), phosphorus (+P), and nitrogen and phosphorus (+N +P). When algal growth was visually observed, a water sample was collected from each cubitainer and analyzed for chlorophyll-α. The results showed that lakes were co-limited by nitrogen and phosphorus, and generally continued to be after fertilization. The data on the phytoplankton’s nutrient limitations provided the US Forest Service with information that can be used to develop a fertilization plan. Algal cells typically require between 10-20 mole of N per mole of P to promote growth, however, some of the fertilizers used by the USFS fall outside this range. The USFS needs to be consistent and use a balanced fertilizer (10-20:1) on all their lakes. Further research should also be performed to optimize the amount of fertilizer applied to each lake.


Algae, Algal, Phytoplankton, Nutrient Limitation, Fishery