Water samples were collected from unpolluted waters in southern and northern Sweden to show the range of natural trace metal concentrations. The results do not indicate any significant differences in metal levels between the two study areas. Negative correlations with pH exist for total concentrations of Cd, Pb, Al, Mn and Zn. The dissolved (dialysable) metal fractions also increase with increasing acidity. The concentration of humic substances influences the distribution of Fe, Mn, Al, Pb, Cr, Co and As, as shown by positive correlations with water colour.
Increasing alkalinity has a limiting effect upon concentrations and annual fluctuations of Cd and Pb, and to some extent on Zn, in running waters.
Keywordsforest water ecosystems metals fresh water natural levels acidification humic substances fractionation
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