Last changed: 08 July 2021

ForestPOPs included two closely related projects: I) Legacy and emerging pollutants in boreal environments and II) POPs in Swedish snow and boreal catchment waters.

Persistent organic pollutants, POPs, are efficiently distributed through air and can be transported long distances from their source before they re-enter the terrestrial environment. A significant portion of airborne diffuse pollutants ends up in the forest as POPs are attracted to organic carbon and vegetation. This forest filter effect is amplified in cold climates, and boreal forests accumulate therefore large amounts of pollutants.

In this project, researchers examined how mobile the environmental pollutants are in these environments and how the mobility differs for compounds with different physicochemical properties.

Questions adressed included:

  • Does the environmental pollution remain in soil and vegetation until it is degraded, or is it transported away into the streams and lakes and then further out to sea?
  • How do the spring flood and other extreme hydrological situations impact the mobility?
  • How do landscape type, vegetation type and soil properties affect the terrestrial retention?


  • Formas
  • Oscar and Lili Lamms Minne


  • Jakob Gustavsson
  • Minh Anh Nguyen
  • Karin Wiberg
  • Martyn Futter
  • Lutz Ahrens
  • Sarah Josefsson

Collaborating partners are the Department of Soil and Environment, The Department of Forest Ecology and Management and Stockholm University.