, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 40–48 | Cite as

Acidification Remediation Alternatives: Exploring the Temporal Dimension with Cost Benefit Analysis

  • Göran Bostedt
  • Stefan Löfgren
  • Sophia Innala
  • Kevin Bishop


Acidification of soils and surface waters caused by acid deposition is still a major problem in southern Scandinavia, despite clear signs of recovery. Besides emission control, liming of lakes, streams, and wetlands is currently used to ameliorate acidification in Sweden. An alternative strategy is forest soil liming to restore the acidified upland soils from which much acidified runoff originates. This cost–benefit analysis compared these liming strategies with a special emphasis on the time perspective for expected benefits. Benefits transfer was used to estimate use values for sport ffishing and nonuse values in terms of existence values. The results show that large-scale forest soil liming is not socioeconomically profitable, while lake liming is, if it is done efficiently—in other words, if only acidified surface waters are treated. The beguiling logic of “solving” an environmental problem at its source (soils), rather than continuing to treat the symptoms (surface waters), is thus misleading.


Cost-benefit analysis Forest soil liming Surface water liming Acidification recovery Aquatic ecosystem services 



We are grateful to the Swedish Forest Agency, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency through the PlusMinus program, and the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment program from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences for their financial support. We thank the participants in the June 2007 workshop on the effects of forest soil liming at Sunnersta Mansion in Uppsala for their input.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Göran Bostedt
    • 1
  • Stefan Löfgren
    • 2
  • Sophia Innala
    • 1
  • Kevin Bishop
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forest EconomicsSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of Aquatic Science and AssessmentSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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