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From legacy effects of acid deposition in boreal streams to future environmental threats

Laudon, Hjalmar and Sponseller, Ryan A. and Bishop, Kevin (2021). From legacy effects of acid deposition in boreal streams to future environmental threats. Environmental Research Letters. 16 , 015007
[Journal article]

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Abstract

Few environmental issues have resulted in such a heated policy-science controversy in Sweden as the 1990s acidification debate in the north of the country. The belief that exceptionally high stream acidity levels during hydrological events was caused by anthropogenic deposition resulted in a governmentally funded, multi-million dollar surface-water liming program. This program was heavily criticized by a large part of the scientific community arguing that the acidity of northern streams was primarily caused by naturally occurring organic acids. Here, we revisit the acid deposition legacy in northern Sweden two decades after the culmination of the controversy by examining the long-term water chemistry trends in the Svartberget/Krycklan research catchment that became a nexus for the Swedish debate. In this reference stream, trends in acidic episodes do show a modest recovery that matches declines in acid deposition to pre-industrial levels, although stream acidity continues to be overwhelmingly driven by organic acidity. Yet there are legacies of acid deposition related to calcium losses from soils, which are more pronounced than anticipated. Finally, assessment of these trends are becoming increasingly complicated by new changes and threats to water resources that must be recognized to avoid unnecessary, expensive, and potentially counterproductive measures to adapt and mitigate human influences. Here we make the argument that while the acidification era is ending, climate change, land-use transitions, and long-range transport of other contaminants warrant close monitoring in the decades to come.

Authors/Creators:Laudon, Hjalmar and Sponseller, Ryan A. and Bishop, Kevin
Title:From legacy effects of acid deposition in boreal streams to future environmental threats
Series Name/Journal:Environmental Research Letters
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:16
Article number:015007
Number of Pages:10
Publisher:IOP PUBLISHING LTD
ISSN:1748-9326
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Keywords:legacy of acid deposition, recovery of episodic acidification, boreal streams, long-term monitoring, natural acidity, calcium depletion, brownification
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110453
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110453
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1088/1748-9326/abd064
Web of Science (WoS)000607950600001
ID Code:22823
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:22 Mar 2021 14:43
Metadata Last Modified:22 Mar 2021 14:51

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