Repeated soil surveys provide opportunities to quantify the effect of long-term environmental change. In recent decades, the topics of forest soil acidification as a consequence of acidic deposition, the enrichment of forest ecosystems with nitrogen, and the loss of carbon due to climate change have been discussed. We used two forest soil surveys that were 20 years apart, in order to establish the direction and magnitude of changes in soil carbon, nitrogen, and soil acidity. Soils have been initially sampled in the late 1980s. The plots were revisited twenty years later. Archived soil samples from the first survey were reanalyzed with the same protocol as the new samples. We found changes in the stocks of soil organic carbon, soil nitrogen, and soil pH. However, the changes were inconsistent. In general, as many sites have gained soil organic carbon, as sites have lost carbon. Most soils have been slightly enriched with nitrogen. The soil pH has not changed significantly. We conclude that changes in the evaluated soil chemical properties are mainly driven by forest management activities and ensuing forest stand dynamics, and atmospheric deposition. We have no convincing evidence that climate change effects have already changed the soil organic carbon stock, irrespective of bedrock type.
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