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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 6, p. 2015-2025
    Received: June 8, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): winterje@ene.gov.on.ca
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Impacts of Golf Courses on Macroinvertebrate Community Structure in Precambrian Shield Streams

  1. Jennifer G. Winter *a,
  2. Keith M. Somersb,
  3. Peter J. Dillona,
  4. Carolyn Patersona and
  5. Ron A. Reidb
  1. a Environ. and Resource Studies, Trent Univ. (c/o Dorset Environ. Science Centre, P.O. Box 39, Dorset, ON, Canada P0A 1E0)
    b Ministry of Environment, Dorset Environmental Science Centre, P.O. Box 39, Dorset, ON, Canada P0A 1E0


The influence of golf course operation on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in Precambrian Shield streams was evaluated using rapid bioassessment and the reference condition approach. Streams were sampled for water chemistry and invertebrates in 1999 and 2000, six on operational golf courses, and seven in forested reference locations. Correspondence analysis (CA) was used to determine the major patterns in the macroinvertebrate taxa, and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was used to evaluate relationships with environmental variables. The reference streams were used to define the normal range of variation for a variety of summary indices to evaluate the golf course streams. In all cases, golf course streams were higher in nutrients and dissolved ions and more alkaline than the forested reference streams. There was considerable variability in the macroinvertebrate fauna from the golf course streams, which was related to differences in golf course land management practices and to the potential influence of highway runoff. Of the management practices evaluated, fertilizer application rates in particular were important, as was the presence of ponds upstream on the course. Invertebrate taxa with higher abundances in golf course streams included Turbellaria, Isopoda, Amphipoda, Zygoptera, and Trombidiformes. Taxa more common in the reference streams included Ephemeroptera, Megaloptera, Culicidae, and Plecoptera. There were marked differences in the overall benthic macroinvertebrate community in three of the six golf course streams studied relative to the forested reference streams, suggesting that golf course land management on the Precambrian Shield can be associated with significant differences in macroinvertebrate community structure.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:2015–2025.