Baylor study links phosphorus level with declines in stream water quality
A new Baylor University study funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that concentrations of phosphorus above 20 parts per billion (ppb) are linked to declines in water quality and aquatic plant and animal life. The study, which is the first to use the new Baylor Experimental Aquatic Research (BEAR) stream facility, demonstrates with certainty that an amount of phosphorus over a certain level does cause negative changes observed in many Texas streams, according to a Baylor news release.
Dr. Ryan King, associate professor of biology at Baylor, led the study. The team of researchers collected water nutrient samples and measured algae and aquatic vegetation growth over a 2-year period from 26 different streams in Texas. They compared phosphorus levels to how much algae and aquatic vegetation was present. The researchers then conducted controlled experiments at the BEAR facility by dosing the streams with various phosphorus levels.