Long-term trends in stream chemistry and biology in North-East Scotland: Evidence for recovery

C. Soulsby*, D. Turnbull, S. J. Langan, R. Owen, D. Hirst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Since 1983 stream chemistry and macroinvertebrate ecology were monitored in ten streams draining the eastern Cairngorms. All streams have exhibited a decline in sulphate concentrations in response to reduced acid deposition; in the more acidic systems this has been reflected by a parallel increase in acid neutralizing capacity (ANC). In some streams this coincides with an increase in the abundance of acid-sensitive mayflies which may provide evidence for biological recovery. In the most chronically acidified systems no increased abundance has been observed despite significant increases in ANC. This suggests that further reductions in deposition and sufficient time for a reversal of soil acidification is required before any biotic recovery occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-694
Number of pages6
JournalWater, Air, & Soil Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 1995



  • acidification
  • hydrochemistry
  • long-term trends
  • macroinvertebrates
  • recovery
  • reversibility
  • Scotland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution

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