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Factors affecting the susceptibility of Irish soft-water streams to forest-mediated acidification

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Hydrochemical sampling was carried out at forty seven sites on upland soft-water streams in the eastern region of Ireland. The majority of sites were circum-neutral during dry weather but became episodically acidic during heavy or prolonged rainfall. Sensitive sites were characterized by low alkalinity (< 200 eq L–1) and low non-marine hardness (< 120 eq L–1) values and high levels of natural acidity (DTOC). These sensitive, naturally acidic waters were shown to be susceptible to acid inputs from forestry. The high acidity levels associated with some afforested catchments were attributed to inputs of sulphates, nitrates and hydrological factors.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Zoology Department, University College Dublin, Ireland

Publication date: 1996-12-01

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