Acid Rain Effects

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One way researchers can better understand some of the impacts of acid rain is by studying how acid rain affects plant health. For instance, studying the fascinating ways plants interact with acid rain can give botanists and other researchers a better understanding of certain plant species. Therefore, one intriguing question arises: In what ways does acid rain hinder plants’ ability to function, grow, and remain healthy? Although it is known that acid rain has harmful effects on various nonliving things, such as eroding structures, it also has similar harmful effects on living things. For instance, through direct contact with the leaves, and indirect contact through the soil, acid rain affects plants by leaching nutrients, exposing them to…show more content…
In a study of sugar maple trees in the Northeast, it was found that sugar maple trees in acidic soils produced fewer seedlings that actually survive (“Acid rain” 1). A stable soil, with the proper composition, is very critical when it comes to plant health. For instance, a change in the chemical composition of the topmost soil layer, regardless of how small it might be, can be enough to harm plants and decrease their growth rate (Mello 60). Moreover, the soil is responsible for providing the plants with various nutrients and minerals that are necessary for plants to function. However, during acidic precipitation, the acid rain can interact with the soil and affect the nutrients in the soil, which can lead to destructive outcomes. For instance, as acid rain seeps into the soil, it is neutralized by minerals such as calcium, which serves as a buffer in the soil (Mello 61). In fact, in a study on a soil in a Chinese forest, it was found that soils have a natural buffering capacity (Qiu 5). As a result, minerals that help neutralize acid rain can get used up and not be available for the…show more content…
In South China, a study was conducted to analyze the impact of acid rain on two types of soils – the Plinthudult and Paleudalfs soils (Dai 4216). Firstly, acid rain reduces the soil fertility of all soils due to all of the toxic metal ions present, as well as the soil’s resulting nutrient deficiency. However, this study led to the finding that the extent to which acid rain affects soil can be attributed to the soil’s chemical composition. For instance, the Plinthudult soil can be found in areas where there is heavy rainfall. Because of this, the Plinthudult soil “contains large proportions of 1:1 – type clay minerals and hydrous oxides of iron and aluminum,” which makes it more susceptible to fluctuations in pH. Due to its environment, the Plinthudult soil evolved to have a low buffering capacity (Dai 4217). As a result, acidic precipitation is able to easily change its

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