Deposition of Acidifying Compounds in Sweden

Summary

The Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) has monitored deposition of acidifying compounds in Sweden. The monitoring programmes were initiated by various air quality protection associations, and regional forest and environmental authorities. The purpose is to quantify sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) deposition to forests, and to illustrate possible acidification of the soil. Actual deposition of S and N is compared with critical loads. Deposition is investigated by precipitation studies in open field areas and by throughfall studies in forest stands. Soilwater chemistry is examined in the forest stands and used as indication of soil conditions. For most of the study sites, data on needle loss, forest growth, and soil chemistry are available from the National Board of Forestry. All available data are combined in a computer database for evaluation. Evaluation of data during 1985-94 shows that regional deposition monitoring illustrates the size and distributional pattern of S and seasalts. Monitoring data can identify certain regions receiving heavy loads of N, which can be found mainly in southern Sweden. Soilwater analyses indicates that large areas in Sweden have heavily acidified forest soils, low pH-values, low levels of calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), and potassium (K+), and raised levels of inorganic aluminium (iAl). Forest sites in the coastal regions of southern and south-western Sweden also showed raised inorganic N levels in soilwater. The relationship between deposition load and effects on soil chemistry is recognised by a correlation between S deposition and iAl levels in soilwater. Another correlation was found between N deposition (throughfall) and N levels in soilwater.

Coworkers: Gunnar Malm

Keywords: Deposition, Acidifying Compounds, Swedish Throughfall Monitoring Network, SWETHRO, Krondroppsnätet

Year: 1993

Report number: A1120

Authors: Eva Hallgren Larsson, Johan Knulst, Gunnar Malm, Olle Westling

Published in: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Water, Air and Soil Pollution 85:2271-2276, 1995