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Water chemistry and dissolved organic carbon trends in lakes from Canada’s Atlantic Provinces: no recovery from acidification measured after 25 years of lake monitoring

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We analyzed chemistry trends for 66 Atlantic Canada lakes using data collected from 1983 to 2007, as well as from 1990 to 2007 and 2000 to 2007 for the original 66 and a further 25 lakes that were later added to the network. Though receiving the lowest acid deposition in eastern North America, the region’s waters are seriously affected by acid rain because of poorly buffering soils and bedrock. Earlier work had shown that despite large decreases in sulfate deposition, lake pH and calculated acid neutralization capacity (ANCc) had not increased as they had elsewhere in North America and Europe. Despite a 50% decrease in acid deposition, a further 10 years of lake chemistry data showed a regional increase in ANCc only at the beginning of the sampling period but no increase since the early 1990s. There were also no increases in pH and base cations in the region’s lakes. We show a regional increase in Gran titration ANC (ANCG) from 2000 to the present, which we ascribe to increases in dissolved organic carbon that is probably due to a regional increase in annual air temperatures.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/f2011-013

Affiliations: 1: Water Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada, P.O. Box 6227, Sackville, NB E4L 1G6. 2: Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T4.

Publication date: April 12, 2011

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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