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The effect of the reunification of Germany on the water chemistry and ecology of selected rivers

Adams, Michael S ; Kausch, Hartmut ; Gaumert, Thomas ; Krüger, Karl-ernst

Environmental Conservation, 1996, Vol.23(1), pp.35-43 [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    The effect of the reunification of Germany on the water chemistry and ecology of selected rivers
  • Autor: Adams, Michael S ; Kausch, Hartmut ; Gaumert, Thomas ; Krüger, Karl-ernst
  • Assuntos: River; Pollution; Germany; Contaminants; Heavy Metals; Industrial Waste Loading; German Reunification
  • É parte de: Environmental Conservation, 1996, Vol.23(1), pp.35-43
  • Descrição: Summary We review several studies and provide new data previously unpublished to show that there has been a substantial decline in pollution of German riverine waters since the beginning of German political reunification in 1989. This reduction is notable in the Elbe, which originates in eastern Germany and the Czech Republic. Pollutants such as many of the chlorinated hydrocarbons have fallen substantially in concentration, while others such as arsenic have declined only slightly. Total nitrogen has declined by only a small amount, but ammonium has fallen substantially, while nitrates have increased. Nitrification is no longer a significant drain on oxygen in the tidal stretch of the Elbe, but decomposition of algae from the middle Elbe is now a greater problem in the lower Elbe. The river-bed sediments of the middle Elbe have a higher species diversity. Fisheries are improving, and concentrations of pollutants in fish such as eel and bream have declined significantly. The river Werra has also improved in quality due to reduction in salt loadings from earlier potash mining.

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