A decade of monitoring at Swiss Long-Term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF) sites: can we observe trends in atmospheric acid deposition and in soil solution acidity?

  • Elisabeth Graf PannatierEmail author
  • Anne Thimonier
  • Maria Schmitt
  • Lorenz Walthert
  • Peter Waldner


Trends in atmospheric acid deposition and in soil solution acidity from 1995 or later until 2007 were investigated at several forest sites throughout Switzerland to assess the effects of air pollution abatements on deposition and the response of the soil solution chemistry. Deposition of the major elements was estimated from throughfall and bulk deposition measurements at nine sites of the Swiss Long-Term Forest Ecosystem Research network (LWF) since 1995 or later. Soil solution was measured at seven plots at four soil depths since 1998 or later. Trends in the molar ratio of base cations to aluminum (BC/Al) in soil solutions and in concentrations and fluxes of inorganic N (NO3–N + NH4–N), sulfate (SO4–S), and base cations (BC) were used to detect changes in soil solution chemistry. Acid deposition significantly decreased at three out of the nine study sites due to a decrease in total N deposition. Total SO4–S deposition decreased at the nine sites, but due to the relatively low amount of SO4–S load compared to N deposition, it did not contribute to decrease acid deposition significantly. No trend in total BC deposition was detected. In the soil solution, no trend in concentrations and fluxes of BC, SO4–S, and inorganic N were found at most soil depths at five out of the seven sites. This suggests that the soil solution reacted very little to the changes in atmospheric deposition. A stronger reduction in base cations compared to aluminum was detected at two sites, which might indicate that acidification of the soil solution was proceeding faster at these sites.


Acid deposition Acidification Soil solution ICP-Forests 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Graf Pannatier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Thimonier
    • 1
  • Maria Schmitt
    • 1
  • Lorenz Walthert
    • 1
  • Peter Waldner
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland

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