Benefit of Sulfur Deposition Reductions for Brook Trout in the National Forests of Southern Appalachia

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William A Jackson (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Steve Patch

Abstract: Prior to 1990, many mountain streams in Southern Appalachia were on a course to become unsuitable for healthy brook trout populations because of air pollution. By 2010, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 significantly reduced air pollution in the eastern United States. The reduction of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions circumvented widespread damage to aquatic organisms in Southern Appalachia. Though the year is unknown, more than 80% of streams will become suitable for brook trout and other acid-sensitive aquatic organisms. However, there still needs to be additional emissions reductions to protect acid-sensitive wildernesses and other forested catchments.The USDA Forest Service has management responsibility for a majority of the sensitive forests. Acid deposition accelerates the loss of nutrient cations, like calcium, from forest soils. Nutrient cations can become deficient in a catchment, if additions from the atmosphere and soil weathering are less than the amount removed by acid deposition and timber harvesting. Harvesting timber from acid sensitive catchments could undermine improvements gained by recent air pollution reductions. This document summarizes modeling results, delineated by National Forest proclamation boundaries, for scenarios with and without timber harvesting, and reducing sulfur deposition by an additional 50%.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
pollution, Appalachia, USDA Forest Service, brook trout

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