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Title: The effects of acid rainfall and heavy metal particulates on a boreal forest ecosystem near the Sudbury smelting region of Canada

Author: Hutchinson, T. C.;

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. 745-765

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Sulphur dioxide emissions have occurred on a gigantic scale at Sudbury from nickel-copper smelters. Soil erosion has followed the destruction of large areas of forest. Rainfall has been found highly acidic, frequently less than pH 3.0 in 1971. Metal accumulation in the soils (to distances of 50 km) have occurred for nickel and copper. The combination of heavy metal particulate fall-out and acid rainfall has caused soils to become toxic to seedling survival and establishment. Erosional loss has contaminated lakes and water courses with consequent long distance transport of metal loads. The very low soil pH's are associated with mobility of toxic aluminum compounds in these soils. The effects of high acidity and high sulphur and heavy metals have been to cause fundamental changes in soil organic matter structure. These profound and damaging changes may be only indicative of the extreme local conditions or may be a harbinger of what can be anticipated in other acid rain areas.

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Hutchinson, T. C. 1976. The effects of acid rainfall and heavy metal particulates on a boreal forest ecosystem near the Sudbury smelting region of Canada. 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. 745-765

 


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