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[en] Acid deposition models are inherently simplified representations of real world behaviour and their performance is best evaluated by comparison with observations. National and international acid rain policy assessments handle observed and modelled deposition fields in different ways. Here, both the observed and modelled deposition fields are seen as uncertain and the Generalised Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) framework is used to choose acceptable sets of model input parameters that minimise the differences between them. These acceptable sets of model parameters are then used to estimate deposition budgets to the UK and to provide a probabilistic treatment of excess deposition over environmental quality standards (critical loads). - Uncertainties in modelled depositions of S and N to the UK are quantified and their implications for planned emissions reductions considered
[en] Plants in the field are subjected to numerous environmental stresses. Lengthy continuation of such environmental stresses or a rapid increase in their intensity is harmful to vegetation. Assessments of the phytotoxicity of various stresses have been performed in many countries, although they have largely been based on estimates of leaf injury. We developed a novel method of detecting plant stresses that is more sensitive and specific than those previously available. This method is based on the detection of mRNA expression changes in 205 ozone-responsive Arabidopsis expressed sequence tags (ESTs) by cDNA macroarray analysis. By using this method, we illustrated shifts in gene expression in response to stressors such as drought, salinity, UV-B, low temperature, high temperature, and acid rain, as distinct from those in response to ozone. We also made a mini-scale macroarray with 12 ESTs for diagnosis of the above environmental stresses in plants. These results illustrate the potential of our cDNA macroarray for diagnosis of various stresses in plants
[en] The interaction of atmospheric sulphur (S) was investigated within the canopies of two boreal forests in Québec, Canada. The net canopy exchange approach, i.e. the difference between S–SO4 in throughfall and precipitation, suggests high proportion of dry deposition in winter (up to 53%) as compared to summer (1–9%). However, a 3.5‰ decrease in δ18O–SO4 throughfall in summer compared to incident precipitation points towards a much larger proportion of dry deposition during the warm season. We suggest that a significant fraction of dry deposition (about 1.2 kg ha−1 yr−1, representing 30–40% of annual wet S deposition) which contributed to the decreased δ18O–SO4 in throughfall was taken up by the canopy. Overall, these results showed that, contrary to what is commonly considered, S interchanges in the canopy could be important in boreal forests with low absolute atmospheric S depositions. - Highlights: ► We investigated sulphur interactions with the canopy of two boreal forests, Québec. ► Sulphur interchanges within the canopy were large and vary with seasons. ► About 1.2 kg S–SO4 ha−1 yr−1 was taken up by the canopy during warm seasons. ► This represents 30–40% of annual wet S–SO4 deposition. ► Canopy uptake must be considered for sulphur budget estimations in boreal forests. - The equivalent of 30–40% of annual wet S–SO4 deposition was taken up by the canopy of two boreal forests during warm seasons.
[en] In developed countries, exposure to wood or coal smoke occurs predominantly from neighbourhood emissions arising from household heating. The effect of this exposure on child health is not well characterized. Within a birth cohort study in New Zealand we assessed healthcare events associated with exposure to neighbourhood smoke from household heating. Our outcome measure was non-accidental presentations to hospital emergency departments (ED) before age three years. We matched small area-level census information with the geocoded home locations to measure the density of household heating with wood or coal in the neighbourhood and applied a time-weighted average exposure method to account for residential mobility. We then used hierarchical multiple logistic regression to assess the independence of associations of this exposure with ED presentations adjusted for gender, ethnicity, birth weight, breastfeeding, immunizations, number of co-habiting smokers, wood or coal heating at home, bedroom mold, household- and area-level deprivation and rurality. The adjusted odds ratio of having a non-accidental ED visit was 1.07 [95%CI: 1.03–1.12] per wood or coal heating household per hectare. We found a linear dose-response relationship (p-value for trend = 0.024) between the quartiles of exposure (1st as reference) and the same outcome (odds ratio in 2nd to 4th quartiles: 1.14 [0.95–1.37], 1.28 [1.06–1.54], 1.32 [1.09–1.60]). Exposure to neighbourhoods with higher density of wood or coal smoke-producing households is associated with an increased odds of ED visits during early childhood. Policies that reduce smoke pollution from domestic heating by as little as one household per hectare using solid fuel burners could improve child health. - Highlights: • Exposure to domestic heating woodsmoke is associated with emergency department visits in the first three years of life. • One less woodstove per hectare could prevent 9000 emergency department visits/year for children <3 years old in New Zealand. • A low cost census-based environmental indicator for measuring spatial variations in exposure to woodsmoke is proposed.
[en] Ramalina maciformis and Ramalina lacera were exposed to different solutions and UV-B to seek for alterations in the PSII photosynthetic quantum yield (F v/F m), in response to chemicals and radiation. For R. maciformis, significant alterations of the F v/F m ratio occurred only in response to different bisulphite solutions. The F v/F m ratio decreased most in R. maciformis and R. lacera following exposure to 5 and 1 mM bisulphite, respectively. Significant differences in F v/F m ratios were observed for R. lacera in response to different solutions and light at different wavelengths, this being synergistic. The PSII system was unaffected by simulated acid rain in both lichens. R. maciformis, in particular, may survive limited acid rain exposure owing to high Ca oxalate accumulation. The F v/F m ratio decreased most in R. lacera following short-term exposures to CuSO4, suggesting that this species is more sensitive to Cu ions under acidic conditions. - Lichens in the eastern Mediterranean tolerate acid rain owing to high Ca content in the thallus, but are sensitive to bisulphite
[en] Anthropogenic emissions of acid precursors have enhanced global occurrence of acid rain, especially in East Asia. Acid rain directly suppresses leaf function by eroding surface waxes and cuticle and leaching base cations from mesophyll cells, while the simultaneous foliar uptake of nitrates in rainwater may directly benefit leaf photosynthesis and plant growth, suggesting a non-linear direct effect of acid rain. By synthesizing data from literature on acid rain exposure experiments, we assessed the direct effects of acid rain on leaf photosynthesis across 49 terrestrial plants in China. Our results show a non-linear direct effect of acid rain on leaf photosynthetic rate, including a neutral to positive effect above pH 5.0 and a negative effect below that pH level. The acid rain sensitivity of leaf photosynthesis showed no significant difference between herbs and woody species below pH 5.0, but the impacts above that pH level were strongly different, resulting in a significant increase in leaf photosynthetic rate of woody species and an insignificant effect on herbs. Our analysis also indicates a positive effect of the molar ratio of nitric versus sulfuric acid in the acid solution on leaf photosynthetic rate. These findings imply that rainwater acidity and the composition of acids both affect the response of leaf photosynthesis and therefore result in a non-linear direct effect. - Highlights: • The direct effect of acid rain on leaf photosynthesis was assessed. • Acid rain exerted a non-linear direct effect on leaf photosynthesis. • The effect was neutral or positive at pH 5.0 and negative below it. • Herbs and woody species showed similar sensitivity below pH 5.0. - By synthesizing data from literature on acid rain exposure experiment in China, we found a non-linear direct effect of acid rain on leaf photosynthetic rate.
[en] Perturbations of rainwater chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) fluorescence induced by changes in rainfall intensity and pH were investigated by field observations and laboratory pH titrations. Microbial humic-like fluorophores dominated the rainwater CDOM pool, followed by tryptophan-like and tyrosine-like substances. Increased rainfall intensity had notable dilution effects on all six fluorescent components (C1-C6) identified using parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis, the effect being especially pronounced for the microbial humic-like C1, tryptophan-like C3, and tyrosine-like C5. The results also indicated that increasing pH from 7 to 9 led to decreased fluorescence intensity (Fmax) of all the six components, while a pH increase from 5 to 7, resulted in increasing Fmax of terrestrial humic-like C2, tyrosine-like C5, and tryptophan-like C6 and decreasing microbial humic-like C1, tryptophan-like C3, and fulvic-like C4. Two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2D-COS) demonstrated that synchronous fluorescence responded first to pH modifications at fulvic-like wavelength (λEx/λEm = ∼316/416 nm), followed by tyrosine-like wavelength (λEx/λEm = ∼204/304 nm), tryptophan-like wavelength (λEx/λEm = ∼226/326 nm), microbial humic-like wavelength (∼295/395 nm), and finally terrestrial humic-like wavelength (∼360/460 nm). Our results suggest that a decrease in areas affected by acid rain in South China occurring at present may possibly result in apparent compositional changes of CDOM fluorescence. The decreased rainfall in South-West China and increased rainfall in North-West China during the past five decades may possibly accordingly result in increased and decreased Fmax of all the six components identified in South-West and North-West China, respectively. - Our results indicated that the changes in rainfall intensity as well as pH may lead to major shifts in apparent fluorescent composition of CDOM molecules in rainwater.
[en] The addition of calcium carbonate to catchments or watercourses – liming – has been used widely to mitigate freshwater acidification but the abatement of acidifying emissions has led to questions about its effectiveness and necessity. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of liming streams and rivers on two key groups of river organisms: fish and invertebrates. On average, liming increased the abundance and richness of acid-sensitive invertebrates and increased overall fish abundance, but benefits were variable and not guaranteed in all rivers. Where B-A-C-I designs (before-after-control-impact) were used to reduce bias, there was evidence that liming decreased overall invertebrate abundance. This systematic review indicates that liming has the potential to mitigate the symptoms of acidification in some instances, but effects are mixed. Future studies should use robust designs to isolate recovery due to liming from decreasing acid deposition, and assess factors affecting liming outcomes. -- Highlights: •In a systematic review and meta-analysis, we asked how river liming affected fish and invertebrates. •On average, liming increased fish abundance. •Liming also increased average abundance and richness of acid-sensitive invertebrates. •However, benefits were variable and not guaranteed in all acidified rivers. -- A systematic review showed lime application to acidified rivers increased average fish abundance, and abundance and richness in acid-sensitive invertebrates, but not always
[en] Continuous monitoring of precipitation in East Central Florida has occurred since 1978 at a sampling site located on the University of Central Florida (UCF) campus. Monthly volume-weighted average (VWA) concentration for several major analytes that are present in precipitation samples was calculated from samples collected daily. Monthly VWA concentration and wet deposition of H+, NH4+, Ca2+, Mg2+, NO3-, Cl- and SO42- were evaluated by a nonlinear regression (NLR) model that considered 10-year data (from 1978 to 1987) and 20-year data (from 1978 to 1997). Little change in the NLR parameter estimates was indicated among the 10-year and 20-year evaluations except for general decreases in the predicted trends from the 10-year to the 20-year fits. Box-Jenkins autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models with linear trend were considered as an alternative to the NLR models for these data. The NLR and ARIMA model forecasts for 1998 were compared to the actual 1998 data. For monthly VWA concentration values, the two models gave similar results. For the wet deposition values, the ARIMA models performed considerably better. - Autoregressive integrated moving average models of precipitation data are an improvement over nonlinear models for the prediction of precipitation chemistry composition
[en] Rigorous studies of recovery from soil acidification are rare. Hence, we resampled 97 old-growth beech stands in the Vienna Woods. This study exploits an extensive data set of soil (infiltration zone of stemflow and between trees area at different soil depths) and foliar chemistry from three decades ago. It was hypothesized that declining acidic deposition is reflected in soil and foliar chemistry. Top soil pH within the stemflow area increased significantly by 0.6 units in both H2O and KCl extracts from 1984 to 2012. Exchangeable Ca and Mg increased markedly in the stemflow area and to a lower extent in the top soil of the between trees area. Trends of declining base cations in the lower top soil were probably caused by mobilization of organic S and associated leaching with high amounts of sulfate. Contents of C, N and S decreased markedly in the stemflow area from 1984 to 2012, suggesting that mineralization rates of organic matter increased due to more favorable soil conditions. It is concluded that the top soil will continue to recover from acidic deposition. However, in the between trees areas and especially in deeper soil horizons recovery may be highly delayed. The beech trees of the Vienna Woods showed no sign of recovery from acidification although S deposition levels decreased. Release of historic S even increased foliar S contents. Base cation levels in the foliage declined but are still adequate for beech trees. Increasing N/nutrient ratios over time were considered not the result of marginally higher N foliar contents in 2012 but of diminishing nutrient uptake due to the decrease in ion concentration in soil solution. The mean foliar N/P ratio already increased to the alarming value of 31. Further nutritional imbalances will predispose trees to vitality loss. - Highlights: • Beech showed no sign of recovery from acidification though S deposition decreased. • Release of historic S increased foliar S contents. • Top soil recovered but reversal will be delayed in the deeper mineral soil. • Foliar nutrition (Ca, Mg, K, P) declined due to decreasing soil solution concentrations. • Further nutritional imbalances will predispose trees to vitality loss.