UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


UCARE Research Products

Date of this Version

Spring 4-30-2020

Document Type



Poster presentation, UCARE Research Fair, Spring 2020, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright 2020 by the authors.


This study seeks examine the effects of elevated phosphate levels on the larval stage of the Western Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium). Hypothesis: Additional phosphate in the water will cause the larval salamanders to have a slower metamorphosis rate than the control group with no additional phosphates. This hypothesis is based off of research that showed that additional nitrogen in the water caused a slower growth rate in the Western Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) (Griffis-Kyle, 2007).

The hypothesis was rejected. The dates the larvae morphed alternated between treatment and control. The treatment metamorphosis was not slowed. Temperature was found to not be significantly correlated to morphing. Further studies are needed to determine the effects of phosphate on larval salamanders. There is some data suggesting increased phosphate levels may influence metamorphosis of the larvae. However, contrary to the hypothesis this data suggests that the increase in phosphate may have caused metamorphosis to occur. Despite this only one salamander suggests this data which is not significant enough to say that the phosphate levels influenced metamorphosis.