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Acid rain and sugar maple decline

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Maple Syrup Digest. February: 18-23.


Through the increased combustion of fossil fuels, humans have dramatically increased pollutant additions of sulfur and nitrogen into the atmosphere where it conbines with water to form sulfuric and nitric acids, creating acid rain (Driscoll et al. 2001). Incoming acid rain has various impacts on human and natural systems, including the accelerated degradation of built infrastructure (e.g., buildings, bridges, and monuments). However, the most pervasive influence of acid rain is that it disrupts nutrient cycling within ecosystems, speeding the loss of beneficial cations (positively charged elements like calcium (Ca), magnesium, (Mg) and potassium (K)) and mobilizing potentially toxic ones like aluminum (Al).


Schaberg, Paul G. 2017. Acid rain and sugar maple decline. Maple Syrup Digest. February: 18-23.

Last updated on: May 12, 2017