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.
- long-term trends