Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 130, Issue 1–4, pp 1379–1384 | Cite as

Acidification and Liming of River Vikedal, Western Norway. A 20 Year Study of Responses in the Benthic Invertebrate Fauna

  • Arne Fjellheim
  • Gunnar G. Raddum


This paper deals with benthic invertebrate population responses to acidification and liming in the lower part of River Vikedal. In 1979 the river showed signs of increasing acidification. Highly sensitive invertebrates like the mayfly Baetis rhodani were present in the river in low abundance, but disappeared in the subsequent years. In order to re-establish a non-toxic water quality for fish, liming of the spring snowmelt to a minimum of pH 5.7 was started in 1987. During the later years liming has been successively increased. The invertebrate fauna showed a slow, but positive, response during the first years after liming, especially during autumn. B. rhodani recolonized the river in low density, but the spring cohort was still weak. Since 1994 the lime dosage was increased to secure a minimum pH of 6.3 during spring snowmelt. This has resulted in an overall increased biodiversity in the limed section of the river. Several acid-sensitive species, like both cohorts of B. rhodani and freshwater snails have colonized this part of the river. Simultaneously biodiversity in the unlimed reference sites has slightly improved during the last years. This is correlated with decreased sulphur deposition and improved surface water chemical conditions.

acidification liming benthic invertebrate response long term trends 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arne Fjellheim
    • 1
  • Gunnar G. Raddum
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Bergen, Institute of ZoologyBergen

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