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The effects of golf course runoff on macroinvertebrates and nutrient levels in the Carp Lake and Maple Rivers.

By Angela Bramble, Joshua S. Jones and Raymond Govus


General EcologyThe effect of fertilizer runoff from nonpoint sources is an issue for water quality. This study focused on two rivers in Northern Lower Michigan, the Maple River and the Carp Lake River and the possible effects of fertilizer runoff from golf courses adjacent to those rivers. The purpose was to measure the proportion of macroinvertebrates, particularly Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera, which serve as indicators of aquatic ecosystem health and also to measure nutrient levels on the rivers to determine water quality. Samples of macroinvertebrates and nutrients were taken at three locations on each river; upstream from the golf course, at the golf course, and downstream from the golf course. Temperature, pH, alkalinity, conductivity, chlorophyll A, and dissolved oxygen samples were also taken at the same sites on each river to ensure consistency. We found no significant difference between sites on the same river for the majority of our variables. There was, however, significance between the Maple River and the Carp Lake River in our variables tested. We found a significant difference in total Nitrogen levels between the two rivers and a significant difference from upstream and downstream at sites on each river, suggesting that the golf courses were sources of Nitrogen enrichment.

Topics: Natural Resources and Environment, Science
Year: 2009
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