Articles | Volume 7, issue 4
31 Aug 2003
31 Aug 2003

Modelling the recovery of acid-sensitive Finnish headwater lakes under present emission reduction agreements

M. Posch, M. Forsius, M. Johansson, J. Vuorenmaa, and J. Kämäri

Abstract. Abstract: Over the past two decades, substantial reductions in the deposition of acidifying substances (primarily sulphur) have occurred in most parts of Europe and, following recent agreements, this trend is likely to continue. The question arises as to how have sensitive ecosystems reacted, and will react in the future, to these reduced inputs of acidity? In this paper, the SMART dynamic acidification model predicts the possible recovery of 36 acid-sensitive Finnish headwater lakes, for which both catchment soil and water quality measurements were available. The model was calibrated to measurements by adjusting poorly known parameters; it was then used to simulate soil and water chemistry until 2030 under the ‘current legislation scenario’ resulting from implementing current European emission reduction agreements. Whereas most of the catchment soils show very little change in base saturation, the positive trends in lake ANC and the negative trends in lake sulphate concentrations, observed over the past decade, continue into the future, albeit at a slower pace. The model predicts that, during 2010–30, all lakes will have reached a positive ANC, a pre-requisite for the recovery of fish populations.

Keywords: acidification, lake, catchment, recovery, SMART model, Finland