Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Eville Gorham
    Date: 1976
    Source: In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 425-458
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Northeastern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.26 MB)

    Description

    The impact of acid precipitation reflects a usually deleterious balance between good and bad effects which may lead to serious and sometimes extreme degradation of aquatic as well as terrestrial ecosystems, particularly around metal smelters. Addition of hydrogen ions as sulfuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acid can alter and impoverish the species composition of biotic communities, and lead to severe leaching of beneficial metal cations such as calcium from ecosystems. Heavy metals and other trace elements which accompany acid precipitation may reach toxic levels, particularly where acid fallout leaches additional amounts from the soil into streams and lakes. Complex and often toxic hydrocarbons also comprise a little known organic component of acid precipitation. Alternatively, acid precipitation usually is enriched in plant nutrients such as nitrate-and ammonia-nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and sulfur; and at certain concentrations some of the associated trace elements may also be beneficial. Moreover the initial effect of soil leaching by acid fallout may be to enrich aquatic ecosystems in metal cations such as calcium. Basic materials in air pollution, biogenic ammonia from the soil, dust fall from arid regions, and soils rich in adsorbed metal cations or in carbonates may neutralize some of the harmful effects of acid precipitation upon ecosystems. However, associated heavy metals, other trace elements, and toxic hydrocarbons may still constitute serious problems in many environments.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Gorham, Eville. 1976. Acid precipitation and its influence upon aquatic ecosystems--an overview. In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 425-458

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/11456