Chemical and biological recovery in acid-sensitive waters: trends and prognosis

Garmo, Oyvind and De Wit, Heleen and Hogasen, Thor and Lund, Espen and Wright, Richard and Aherne, Julian and Arle, Jens and Colombo, Luca and Fölster, Jens and Hruska, Jakub and Indriksone, Iveta and Jeffries, Dean and Kram, Pavel and Monteith, Don and Paterson, Allan and Rogora, Michela and Rzychon, Dorotha and Steingruber, Sandra and Stoddard, John and Talkop, Ret and Ulanczyk, Rafal Piotr and Vuorenmaa, Jussi (2015) Chemical and biological recovery in acid-sensitive waters: trends and prognosis. Project Report. Garmo O.A., De Wit H.A., Fjellheim A., Oslo.

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Abstract

We present a trend analysis of surface water chemistry in in acid-sensitive lakes and rivers in Europe and North America, for the period 2000 to 2011, combined with a prognosis for water chemistry in Europe in 2020. Also, trends in freshwater biology in acidified surface waters in Europe are presented. Declining emissions and deposition of sulphur between 2000 and 2011 have lowered sulphate concentrations in surface waters. The clearest indication that water chemistry is getting less hostile to acid sensitive organisms is increased pH. Several examples of partial biological recovery are presented, but also examples where communities of aquatic invertebrates show few signs of recovery. We expect that climate variability will confound effects of reduced sulphur emissions on chemical and biological recovery in the next decades.

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