Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Timothy Modde


A comparative evaluation of the benthic macroinvertebrate fauna was conducted concurrently with a physiochemical investigation on Slate Creek, Pennington County, South Dakota in the Black Hills. Water quality differences between years and among stations were detected in Slate Creek from both physiochemical and macroinvertebrate evaluations. The primary sources of disturbance to the Slate Creek study site during the sampling period were landscaping activities within the Deerfield Park Resort development and livestock activity. Increased runoff and elevated stream flows in 1982 were responsible for the variation in water quality between years. Water quality differences among stations indicated significantly (P < 0.05) higher turbidity and temperature immediately below the development site in 1981 and 1982. Significantly (P < 0.05) higher fecal coliform bacteria counts were observed at station 5 for both years, resulting from increased livestock activity. Phosphates and nitrates were highest at stations 4 and 5 but were not significantly (P > 0.05) different from the other stations in either year. Conductivity, hardness, alkalinity, and pH were significantly (P < 0.05) lower at station 2 for both years due to natural variation within the watershed. Physiochemical differences between years and among stations resulted in subsequent changes in the macroinvertebrate fauna. Differences from above and below the development site were observed among both macroinvertebrate species and assemblages. Species with a higher tolerance to sedimentation were more abundant in downstream stations. Among the community indices utilized, the biotic index provided the greatest discrimination among stations and tended to group stations above and below the development site

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rivers -- Black Hills (SD and Wyo.)
Water -- Pollution -- Black Hills (SD and Wyo.)
Freshwater invertebrates -- Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 36-39)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only