- One of the major strengths of the ECN is the co-located measurement of weather, pollutant deposition and soil solution chemistry.
- Using a combination of data from ECN and Forest Level II sites, the dynamic links between changes in the chemistry of deposition (e.g. of sulphur compounds), weather parameters and soil solution chemistry, were explored.
- A focus was Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC), which has been increasing in UK upland surface waters and poses a significant problem for the water industry.
- Large reductions in sulphur deposition correlated with soils becoming less acidic and DOC concentrations increasing in surface organic layers, suggesting that the widespread increase of DOC in surface waters has its origins soil processes.
- These findings should benefit the refinement of ecosystem process models and could help water quality managers to predict – and therefore respond to - future changes in DOC.
Reference: Sawicka, K., et al. (2016). Fine-scale temporal characterization of trends in soil water dissolved organic carbon and potential drivers. Ecological Indicators, 68, 36-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.02.008.