Thirty-two Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands in southern Sweden were studied for a period of 12 years to evaluate acidification-induced chemical changes in the soil. Soil, at 20-30 cm depth in the mineral layer, was sampled three times during this period (1988, 1993 and 1999). The results show that pH(BaCl2) in mineral soil decreased by, on average, 0.17 units between 1988 and 1999, accompanied by an increase in aluminium (Al) concentration and a decrease in base saturation in the soil. In 1999, the base saturation was below 5% in 58% of the 32 sites compared with 16% in 1988 and 7% in 1993. Concentrations of calcium (Ca), potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) are low and decreasing. Based on C/N ratios in humus, 45% of the sites may be subjected to leaching of considerable amounts of nitrate. The results show that the acidification of coniferous forest soils in southern Sweden is continuing, and that the negative effects on the nutrient status in soil are extensive. The results are compared with reference values for productive, long-term sustainably managed boreal coniferous or mixed forest soils and implications for long-term sustainability are discussed.