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Boston College High School, Boston, Massachusetts


John Walsh


Brian Cincotta, Michael Falvey, Matt Hoar, Jean-Phillipe Innocent, Ben Jamieson, Brett Kenney, Max Larkin, Tim Mulhall, Christian O’Neill, Kevin Ouellette, Chris Traft


Germany Brook is a first-order stream that originates in Westwood and travels two miles emptying into Ellis Pond in Norwood. Earlier sampling conducted by volunteers affiliated with the Neponset River Watershed Association on the lower reaches of the stream had indicated marginal water quality characterized by high nutrient and bacterial levels. In order to assess the potential impact of surrounding land uses on water quality in the stream, the benthic macroinvertebrate community was sampled at two stations during October, 2005.

It was hypothesized that the upstream station should have better water quality than its downstream counterpart as the upper reaches of the stream are surrounded by wetlands and low density residential development while the second site drained land with a higher amount of impervious surface, as well as, a municipal landfill (now closed). However, although both sites were demonstrably impacted, the downstream site was found to harbor a significantly more abundant and less pollution tolerant macroinvertebrate community than the upstream one. Specifically, the downstream site had a notably lower (5.19) Major Group Biotic Index than the upstream site (7.82) with 57.7% of its macroinvertebrate community consisting of organisms with tolerance values of 3 or less versus 3.4 % for the upstream station. It was felt that poorer water quality at the upstream site might reflect the greater impact of seasonally lower water flows on the upper reaches of the stream.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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