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Lawler, J.J., J. Rubin, B.J. Cosby, I.J. Fernandez, J.S. Kahl, and S.A. Norton. 2005. Predicting recovery from acidic deposition: applying a modified TAF (tracking and analysis framework) model to Maine (USA) high elevation lakes. Water Air Soil Pollut. 164:383-399. (A. Fairbrother) WED-04-130

We adapted a reduced-form model, built to predict the aquatic effects of alternative nitrogen and sulfur emissions scenarios on Adirondack lakes, New York, for use on high elevation lakes of Maine (HELM), USA. The Tracking and Analysis Framework (TAF) model was originally designed to evaluate the biotic, economic, and health effects of acid deposition. The TAF model developed in our study was used to assess the biotic effects of different levels of sulfate deposition resulting from alternative emissions scenarios. The aquatic portion of the model is based on a lumped-parameter watershed chemistry model, MAGIC (Model of Acidification of Groundwater in Catchments). The original TAF model was built by calibrating MAGIC to 33 lakes in the Adirondack Mountains. We calibrated MAGIC to 78 HELM lakes, and built reduced-form models from these MAGIC predictions. We evaluated TAF predictions of acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), a fish acid stress index (ASI), and the probability of fish presence in 2030 for four different SO2 emissions-reduction scenarios. The most dramatic emissions reduction scenario produced only modest increases in mean ANC (16.8 μeq/L ± 7.9 μeq/L) and slight increases in mean predicted probability of presence of acid-sensitive fish (0.07± 0.09) across all lakes. However, a small number of lakes were predicted to have more substantial increases in ANC and improvements in other conditions for acid-sensitive fish. Our results reflect the reality that many of the high elevation lakes of Maine historically had low ANC and that some were even acidic in pre-industrial times. Thus, ’recovery’ for most of the high elevation lakes of Maine will be modest under any scenario of reduced acidic deposition.

Keywords Cascades - nitrate - dissolved organic nitrogen - dissolved organic carbon - logging - watersheds - forest succession - nitrogen export

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