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Biodiversity of macro-invertebrates in acid-sensitive waters: trends and relations to water chemistry and climate

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Heleen de Wit
Gaute Velle, Shad Kenneth Mahlum, Don T. Monteith, Heleen de Wit, Jens Arle, Arne Fjellheim, Marina Frolova, Jens Fölster, Natalja Grudule, Godtfred A. Halvorsen, Alan Hildrew, Jakub Hruska, Iveta Indriksone, Lenka Kamasova, Jiří Kopáček, Pavel Kram, Stuart Orton, Takaaki Senoo, Ewan M. Shilland, Evžen Stuchlík, Richard J. Telford, Lenka Ungermanova, Magda-Lena Wiklund, Richard F. Wright


This is a study of the international impact of acid emission reductions on vulnerable freshwater biodiversity of benthic macroinvertebrates. In order to properly attribute impacts it is necessary to also incorporate the potential effects of changes in temperature and precipitation. Most sites show an increasing number of species towards the present. This can be attributed to a decrease in acidification, while temperature has a secondary influence on diversity. We expect that the biodiversity will continue to increase in the future as acid deposition decreases. The widespread response of aquatic diversity resulting from emission reductions of acidifying components to the atmosphere demonstrates the potential of international policy for achieving positive effects on the state of the environment.