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Are there signs of acidification reversal in freshwater of the low mountain ranges in Germany?

Title data

Alewell, Christine ; Armbruster, Martin ; Bittersohl, Jochen ; Evans, Christopher D. ; Meesenburg, Henning ; Moritz, K. ; Prechtel, Annette:
Are there signs of acidification reversal in freshwater of the low mountain ranges in Germany?
In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. Vol. 5 (2001) Issue 3 . - pp. 367-378.
ISSN 1607-7938
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-5-367-2001

Abstract in another language

The reversal of freshwater acidification in the low mountain ranges of Germany is of public, political and scientific concern, because theseregions are near natural ecosystems and function as an important drinking water supply. The aim of this study was to evaluate the status andtrends of acidification reversal after two decades of reduced anthropogenic deposition in selected freshwaters of the low mountain ranges inthe Harz, the Fichtelgebirge, the Bavarian Forest, the Spessart and the Black Forest. In response to decreased sulphate deposition, seven outof nine streams investigated had significantly decreasing sulphate concentrations (all trends were calculated with the Seasonal Kendall Test).The decrease in sulphate concentration was only minor, however, due to the release of previously stored soil sulphur. No increase was foundin pH and acid neutralising capacity (defined by Reuss and Johnson, 1986). Aluminum concentrations in the streams did not decrease. Thus,no major acidification reversal can currently be noted in spite of two decades of decreased acid deposition. Nevertheless, the first signs ofimprovement in water quality were detected as there was a decrease in the level and frequency of extreme values of pH, acid neutralisingcapacity and aluminium concentrations in streams. With respect to nitrogen, no change was determined for either nitrate or ammoniumconcentrations in precipitation or stream water. Base cation fluxes indicate increasing net loss of base cations from all ecosystems investigated,which could be interpreted as an increase in soil acidification. The latter was due to a combination of continued high anion leaching andsignificant reduction of base cation deposition. No major improvement was noted in biological recovery, however, initial signs of recoverywere detectable as there was re-occurrence of some single macroinvertebrate species which were formerly extinct. The results of this studyhave important implications for water authorities, forest managers and policy makers: the delay in acidification reversal suggests a need forongoing intensive amelioration of waters, a careful selection of management tools to guarantee sustainable management of forests and thereduction of nitrogen deposition to prevent further acidification of soils and waters.Keywords: freshwater, acidification reversal, drinking water supply, forested catchments, Germany

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER9507
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Ecology
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 05:56
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2015 05:56
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/20260