How does acid rain affect the ecosystem?


Kevin Lucia , Contributor

The Effects of Acid Rain on Ecosystems

Acid rain can affect multiple parts of an ecosystem such as wildlife, fish, plants, tree, and the nitrogen pollution.

The ecological effects of acid rain are most clearly seen in aquatic environments, such as streams, lakes, and marshes where it can be harmful to fish and other wildlife. As it flows through the soil, acidic rain water can leach aluminum from soil clay particles and then flow into streams and lakes. The more acid that is introduced to the ecosystem, the more aluminum is released.

Furthermore, Acid rains also leaches aluminum from the soil.  That aluminum may be harmful to plants as well as animals. Acid rain also removes minerals and nutrients from the soil that trees need to grow.

Not all acidic deposition is wet. Sometimes dust particles can become acidic as well, and this is called dry deposition. When acid rain and dry acidic particles fall to earth, the nitric and sulfuric acid that make the particles acidic can land on statues, buildings, and other manmade structures, and damage their surfaces. The acidic particles corrode metal and cause paint and stone to deteriorate more quickly. They also dirty the surfaces of buildings and other structures such as monuments.