Dissolved oxygen (DO) is an important indicator of water quality, and oxygen levels that are too high or too low can harm aquatic ecosystems. A biologist noticed that fish were dying in a local lake and was concerned that the DO levels were too low to support aquatic life due to extremely high temperatures that summer. To measure the DO levels, she brought back several lake water samples to her laboratory to measure the DO concentration as a function of temperature. To do this, she heated several samples of lake water to various temperatures and then measured the DO concentration in each sample. Some samples were kept at the outdoors temperature. Which of the following is the independent variable?
The independent variable is the variable that is controlled during an experiment to see how it influences the dependent variable. In this case, the temperature of the water was changed to see how it influenced the DO concentration.