, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 233–256 | Cite as

Modelling the hydro-geochemistry of acid-sensitive catchments in Finland under atmospheric deposition and biomass harvesting scenarios

  • Julian Aherne
  • Maximilian Posch
  • Martin Forsius
  • Jussi Vuorenmaa
  • Pekka Tamminen
  • Maria Holmberg
  • Matti Johansson
Original Paper


The dynamic hydro-geochemical Model of Acidification of Groundwater in Catchments (MAGIC) was used to predict the response of 163 Finnish lake catchments to historic and future atmospheric deposition (1880–2100) and future tree harvesting practices. Deposition was assumed to follow current legislated European emission reduction policies (CLe) and a scenario based on maximum (technically) feasible reductions (MFR). Future harvesting was assumed to shift from stem-only harvesting (SOH) to whole-tree harvesting (WTH) owing to the potential increased utilisation of biofuels. Despite the modest changes in atmospheric deposition under CLe (compared to current day), these reductions are predicted to halt the decline in soil base saturation; however, further reductions are required to improve soil and lake water chemistry. The MFR scenario predicted a significant long-term improvement in soil base saturation leading to continued long-term recovery in surface waters (all lakes with ANC > 0 by 2100). However under the WTH scenario, significant long-term impacts (re-acidification) were predicted for soil and surface water chemistry (14 lakes with ANC < 0 by 2100). To some extent the long-term negative impacts were reduced under MFR, indicating that increased utilisation of biofuels will necessitate ‘trading emissions for timber’, or soil amendment, to maintain ecosystem quality and sustainable forest growth. The current practice of SOH is close to the sustainable maximum harvesting under current (legislated) atmospheric deposition in Finland.


Acidification Lakes MAGIC Sulphur Base cations Calibration Tree harvesting 



This study was carried out as part of the Commission of European Communities project EUROLIMPACS (Integrated project to evaluate impacts of global change on European freshwaters ecosystems, GOCE-CT-2003-505540, This research was undertaken, in part, thanks to funding from the Canada Research Chairs Program and an NSERC Discovery grant. Noora Veijalainen (Finnish Environment Institute) is acknowledged for providing runoff estimates from the Finnish Watershed Simulation and Forecasting system, and Mike Starr (University of Helsinki) for providing mineral soil data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Aherne
    • 1
  • Maximilian Posch
    • 2
  • Martin Forsius
    • 3
  • Jussi Vuorenmaa
    • 3
  • Pekka Tamminen
    • 4
  • Maria Holmberg
    • 3
  • Matti Johansson
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Resource StudiesTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada
  2. 2.Coordination Centre for Effects (CCE)PBLBilthovenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)HelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA)VantaaFinland
  5. 5.United Nations Economic Commission for EuropeGenevaSwitzerland

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