The Effects of Pollutants (copper & lead) on Nerita Melanotragus and Water Quality

Earth and Environmental Sciences
Izabel Castillo

Dr. Tara Archuleta

"Past researchers have concluded that indicator species portray signs that give off vital information of the environment they live in: data concerning climate, pollution, resources. Nerita Melanotragus, or black Netrite snails were sentenced to an experiment in which a verdict could be made on the matter. Exploring the dangers of pollution in still water for wildlife remained the main goal of the experiment. In the past, scientists have observed odd behavior of species of snails in a natural climate: rivers, streams, etc. Asking the question, can black netrite snails be used as indicator species in a polluted environment, steered the execution in finding the answer. Three tanks, equally filled with the water and rocks from the same source the only difference across the tanks were the controlled variables: source of pollution in the form of pennies or aluminum or lack thereof for the remaining tank. Two snails to a tank were observed daily, weekly water tests calculating the amount of certain pollutants such as lead and copper were done at the closing of the experimental week (Saturday-Friday). My research can, perhaps save whole ecosystems. Inspiring further inquiry over the subject of indicator species to predict pollutants and other hazards in an ecosystem that would go unnoticed otherwise. The results going to families or big corporations involved with underwater ecosystems could benefit from the knowledge of the limitations of the essential organisms in their respective biospheres."

Project presentation

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Lab journal excerpts

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Research paper

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3 thoughts on “The Effects of Pollutants (copper & lead) on Nerita Melanotragus and Water Quality

  1. The use of snails for testing is unique. Snails are a good choice because they are readily available and can have many things tested on them. Pennies are also readily available for use as copper in an experiment. You were very resourceful which makes this project easier to understand. It is interesting how some of the snails did not show obvious signs of death before dying.

  2. *Warning* snails were lost during this experiment! Ha! Very creative, great job!

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