Main content area

Amphibian recovery after a decrease in acidic precipitation

Dolmen, Dag, Finstad, AndersGravbrøt, Skei, JonKristian
Ambio 2018 v.47 no.3 pp. 355-367
Bufo bufo, Rana temporaria, acid deposition, amphibians, arithmetics, buffering capacity, lakes, pH, ponds, Norway, Scandinavia
We here report the first sign of amphibian recovery after a strong decline due to acidic precipitation over many decades and peaking around 1980–90. In 2010, the pH level of ponds and small lakes in two heavily acidified areas in southwestern Scandinavia (Aust-Agder and Østfold in Norway) had risen significantly at an (arithmetic) average of 0.14 since 1988–89. Parallel with the general rise in pH, amphibians (Rana temporaria, R. arvalis, Bufo bufo, Lissotriton vulgaris, and Triturus cristatus) had become significantly more common: the frequency of amphibian localities rose from 33% to 49% (n = 115), and the average number of amphibian species per locality had risen from 0.51 to 0.88. In two other (reference) areas, one with better buffering capacity (Telemark, n = 21) and the other with much less input of acidic precipitation (Nord-Trøndelag, n = 106), there were no significant changes in pH or amphibians.