The benthic macroinvertebrate fauna of southern Saskatchewan, Canada, has received little attention relative to other regions of western North America. Therefore, little is known of the related aquatic ecosystem health and biogeography of regional aquatic insects. Here we present the results of an aquatic macroinvertebrate survey for the Pipestone Creek watershed in southeastern Saskatchewan. We qualitatively sampled aquatic macroinvertebrates in 5 sites on 4 dates through spring, summer, and fall 2006. Sampling produced 294 taxa of macroinvertebrates including 25 provincial range extensions to the southeast corner of the province. Presence/absence data of taxa grouped the sites into lentic and lotic sites. However, the relative proportions of the taxa varied greatly among sites, with no 2 sites having a community similarity greater than 50%. Functional feeding group analyses separated the sites into collector-dominated and scraper/grazer-dominated sites. However, the taxonomic make-up of the feeding groups varied among sites and also among dates. A modified Hilsenhoff Biotic Index of the site communities indicated that all were influenced by organic pollution. Results of this study suggest that although the watershed is enormously diverse, its biological communities are likely influenced by organic pollution. Further, range expansions of species found here, such as the stonefly Perlesta placida, have implications for invasion pathways and post-glaciation species islands in a prairie landscape.
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Vol. 68 • No. 2