Lanthanoids were studied in a boreal landscape where an abundance of acid sulfate soils and Histosols provide a unique opportunity to increase the understanding of how these metals behave in acidic soils and waters and interact with soil and aqueous organic matter. In the acid sulfate soils lanthanoids are mobile as reflected in high to very high concentrations in soil water and runoff (typically a few mg l-1 but up to 12 mg l-1) and abundant release by several relatively weak extractants (ammonium acetate EDTA, sodium pyrophosphate, hydroxylamine hydrochloride) applied on bulk soil. Normalisation with the lanthanoid pool in the underlying parent materials (sulphide-bearing sediments deposited in brackish water) and soil water showed that the extensive release/retention in the acidic soil was accompanied by large, and variable, fractionation trends across the lanthanoid series. In low-order streams draining these soils, the lanthanoid concentrations were high and, as indicated by frontal ultrafiltration and geochemical modelling, largely dissolved (< 1 kDa) in the form of the species LnSO4+ and Ln3+. In other moderately acidic stream waters (pH 4.3-4.6), organic complexation was predicted to be important in the <1 kDa fraction (especially for the heavy lanthanoids) and strongly dominating in the colloidal phase (1 kDa ' 0.45 'm). Along the main stem of a stream in focus (catchment area of 223 km2), lanthanoid concentrations increased downstream, in particular during high flows, caused by a downstream increase in the proportion of acid sulfate soils which are extensively flushed during wet periods. The geochemical models applied to the colloidal Ln-organic phase were not successful in predicting the measured fractionation patterns.