An investigation of the impact of afforestation on stream-water chemistry in the Loch Dee catchment, SW Scotland

Nisbet, T.R.; Fowler, D.; Smith, R.I.. 1995 An investigation of the impact of afforestation on stream-water chemistry in the Loch Dee catchment, SW Scotland. Environmental Pollution, 90 (1). 111-120.

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The impact of conifer afforestation on stream-water chemistry was investigated in the acidified catchment of Loch Dee, SW Scotland. Long-term trends in stream-water chemistry were evaluated during a period of forest growth from age 6 to 17 years. A significant increase was observed for pH (0.2 units) and a significant decline for aluminium (0.05 mg litre-1), sulphate (1.2 mg litre-1) and nitrate (0.02 mg litre-1) concentrations. The long-term decrease in stream-water acidity was ascribed to the marked reductions in sulphur depositions during the 1970s and early 1980s. There was no evidence that this response had been attenuated by afforestation, the improvements in stream-water chemistry being of a similar magnitude to those recorded in nearby moorland lochs and exceeding that in an adjacent moorland-catchment stream. The lack of a clear forest acidification effect is consistent with deposition-model estimates which show the increased scavenging of occult and dry deposition by the growing forest to be small at this site (≤10%). Critical load calculations suggest that planned emission reductions will be sufficient to protect the catchment stream from further acidification by 2003. The additional deposition capture by the continued growth of the forest is predicted to delay this response by approximately 2 years

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Biogeochemistry & Ecosystem Function
ISSN: 0269-7491
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 13 May 2009 12:19 +0 (UTC)

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