Have increased dissolved organic carbon (DOC) losses from UK peat and organo-mineral soils been driven by the decline in acid rain?
Clark, J. M., Evans, C. D., Bottrell, S., Monteith, D. T., Rose, R., Ratcliffe, M. and Chapman, P. J. (2008) Have increased dissolved organic carbon (DOC) losses from UK peat and organo-mineral soils been driven by the decline in acid rain? In: After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress (Volume 1), 8-13 June 2008, Tullamore, Ireland, pp. 576-579.
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Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations have been rising in streams and lakes draining catchments with organic soils across Northern Europe. These increases have shown a correlation with decreased sulphate and chloride concentrations. One hypothesis to explain this phenomenon is that these relationships are due an increased in DOC release from soils to freshwaters, caused by a decline in pollutant sulphur and sea-salt deposition. We carried out controlled deposition experiments in the laboratory on intact peat and organomineral O-horizon cores to test this hypothesis. Preliminary data showed a clear correlation between the change in soil water pH and change in DOC concentrations, however uncertainty still remains about whether this is due to changes in biological activity or chemical solubility.