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Acidification of mountain lakes: paleolimnology and ecology, remote mountain lakes as indicators of air pollution and climate change


AL:PE acidification of mountain lakes: palaeolimnology and ecology

Author(s): CEC (CEC Bruxelles (BE))
Published in: Report: EN (1996) 8pp. (euroabstract 35/276), 1996, Page(s) 8

Exploitable results

The acidification of mountain lakes: palaeo-limnology and ecology (AL:PE) project, is a multi-disciplinary, multi-national project coordinated by research groups in London and Oslo. Its chief objective is to compare the pollution status of remote, sensitive, mountain lakes throughout Europe at sites with differing air quality using chemical, biological (diatoms, invertebrates, zoo-plankton and fish) and palaeo-limnologic techniques. Quality control systems are used to standardise methods between laboratories to ensure that all data are of high analytical standard and are comparable. AL:PE sites are located in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland and Russia. Conclusions so far include: -Sensitive sites in areas of low sulphur deposition are not acidified. -Sensitive sites in areas of high sulphur deposition are acidified. -Nitrate levels increase towards the centre of Europe and contribute increasingly to lake acidification. -Contamination from carbonaceous particles, trace metals and persistent organic compounds show similar patterns of impact as acid deposition and even the most remote sites show some recent contamination. -However, there has been no apparent biological change at these sites, and these are therefore most suitable for studies of climate variability and change. -Certain sites towards the northern and southern periphery of Europe show elevated mercury levels in fish which warrants specific future investigation.