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Research article2010Peer reviewedOpen access

Acidification Remediation Alternatives: Exploring the Temporal Dimension with Cost Benefit Analysis

Löfgren, Stefan; Innala, Sophia; Bishop, Kevin; Bostedt, Kjell Göran

Abstract

Acidification of soils and surface waters caused by acid deposition is still a major problem in southern Scandinavia, despite clear signs of recovery. Besides emission control, liming of lakes, streams, and wetlands is currently used to ameliorate acidification in Sweden. An alternative strategy is forest soil liming to restore the acidified upland soils from which much acidified runoff originates. This cost-benefit analysis compared these liming strategies with a special emphasis on the time perspective for expected benefits. Benefits transfer was used to estimate use values for sport ffishing and nonuse values in terms of existence values. The results show that large-scale forest soil liming is not socioeconomically profitable, while lake liming is, if it is done efficiently-in other words, if only acidified surface waters are treated. The beguiling logic of "solving'' an environmental problem at its source (soils), rather than continuing to treat the symptoms (surface waters), is thus misleading.

Keywords

Cost-benefit analysis; Forest soil liming; Surface water liming; Acidification recovery; Aquatic ecosystem services

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2010, Volume: 39, number: 1, pages: 40-48
Publisher: SPRINGER