Urban Barcode Project Team Team 1
Urban Barcode Project
Research Topic:
Wildlife & health
Taxonomic Group Studied:
Multiple - enter below


Examining the effect of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) to the plant biodiversity in Central Park
Bennett Choi, Jaden White
The Browning School, Manhattan
Akira Wong


The accumulation of phytoplankton into harmful algal blooms (HAB) is an increasing problem in Central Park freshwater bodies during summer months. Unsightly and fetid, they mar the park’s scenic lakes, but their negative effects on the biodiversity of the water and surrounding areas draw greater concern. The most common HAB phylum found in Central Park is cyanobacteria, and they produce various cyanotoxins, which not only damage a lake’s ecosystem, but also harm people, pets, and surrounding wildlife. Our team will collect plant samples from the area around eight water bodies in Central Park and run DNA barcoding to measure plant diversity. We also will collect water samples to measure pH, nitrates, phosphates, and ammonia levels in each of the water bodies, as changing water conditions also can affect plant diversity. Our data will be cross-referenced against the historical frequency of HABs in each of these water bodies. We hypothesize areas with more frequent occurrence of HABs,


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