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Acidification trends in Swedish lakes: an assessment of past water chemistry conditions using lake sediments
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
1993 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents temporal perspectives of lake acidification in Sweden. Sediment records have been used to study timing, trends and causes of acidification, and two different techniques for assessing past lake-water acidity are presented.

A new technique for pH prediction, based on near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy of surface sediments, is developed. This study shows that there is a pH related fraction of lake sediments that can be recorded by NIR analysis. Relationships between NIR spectra of surface sediment samples and measured lake-water pH values, and between NIR spectra of sediment cores and historical pH values inferred by diatom analysis, are modelled by partial least squares regression. The prediction errors of the models are comparable to those obtained by modelling of diatom and lake-water pH data. By further development NIR spectroscopy can become useful for inferring past pH, as well as several other lake-water parameters, from sediment cores.

Diatom-based predictive models, using multivariate calibration methods, are developed for inferences of lake-water pH, alkalinity and colour. These models are used to provide a regional assessment of recent lake acidification in the provinces of Västerbotten and Norrbotten, northern Sweden. The study shows that a pH decline has occurred in some southeastern lakes, but that most of the lakes have not faced significant changes in lake-water pH, alkalinity and colour. The inferred water chemistiy changes are discussed in relation to atmospheric deposition and land-use.

In a study of eight acid-sensitive Swedish boreal-forest lakes a past-analogue approach is used to test whether contemporary expansion of conifers could cause lake acidification. Water chemistry changes associated with the natural pre-historic colonization and expansion of spruce in Sweden (≈3000 years B.P.), at times of background atmospheric acidity, are inferred to evaluate the acidification ability of spruce per se on surface waters. This study shows that under natural, unpolluted conditions spruce colonization and expansion did not cause lake acidification.

In a synthesis of palaeolimnological acidification research in Sweden a general model for pH- development for acid clear-water lakes in southern Sweden is presented. The pH-development from the last deglaciation to present time can be divided into four different periods; (i) a natural long-term acidification period (12000 B.P. - 2300 B.P., or later), with a gradual decrease in pH resulting from declining fluxes of base cations from catchment soils; (ii) a human induced alkalization period (2300 B.P. - 1900 A.D.), with a pH increase due to human activities in the catchments; (iii) the recent acidification period (about 1900 A.D. - present), when pH decreased towards 4.5 due to acid deposition and possibly ceased land-use; and (iv) the liming period (1970s - present), when pH often increases to values above 7 following lime treatment to counteract acidification. The implications of these past pH changes for the concept of contemporary lake acidification and for liming policy are outlined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1993. , p. 15
Keywords [en]
Palaeolimnology, acidification history, alkalization, acid deposition, land-use, lake sediments, near infrared spectroscopy, diatoms, multivariate calibration, Sweden
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140821ISBN: 91-7174-838-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-140821DiVA, id: diva2:1150627
Projects
digitalisering@umuAvailable from: 2017-10-19 Created: 2017-10-19 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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