Tracing recovery from acidification in the Western Norwegian nausta watershed
TypePeer reviewed; Journal article
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A novel method, redundancy analysis (RDA), has been used to examine whether chemical recovery from acidification in the western Norwegian Nausta watershed produces detectable recovery within the community structure of the macro-zoobenthos. The RDA results have been compared with measures of recovery based on the changes detected using highly specialized and regionally defined biological acidity indices. We found that the beginning of biological recovery in the Nausta watershed was recognizable during the period 1989–1998. Recovery occurred in the upper reaches and in the tributaries. The multivariate approach proved to complement the acidity indices approach, and much biological information can be gained by their combined use. The RDA method is conservative, i.e. does not overestimate biological recovery, and it is not geographically constrained as are the acidity indices. We also found that seasonal climatic factors strongly influence the benthic community, and may confound the detection of the biological recovery process.