acid rain


Summary: Acidic water usually pH 2.5 to 4.5, which poisons the ecosystem and adversely affects plants, fishes, and mammals. It is caused by industrial pollutants, mainly sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, emitted into the atmosphere and returning to earth in the form of acidic rain water.

Top Publications

  1. Liang G, Liu X, Chen X, Qiu Q, Zhang D, Chu G, et al. Response of soil respiration to acid rain in forests of different maturity in southern China. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:e62207 pubmed publisher
    The response of soil respiration to acid rain in forests, especially in forests of different maturity, is poorly understood in southern China despite the fact that acid rain has become a serious environmental threat in this region in ..
  2. Zhang J, Ouyang Y, Ling D. Impacts of simulated acid rain on cation leaching from the Latosol in south China. Chemosphere. 2007;67:2131-7 pubmed
    b>Acid rain is a problem of increasing agricultural, environmental, and ecological concerns worldwide. This study investigated impacts of simulated acid rain (SAR) on cation leaching from the Latosol in south China...
  3. Krusche A, de Camargo P, Cerri C, Ballester M, Lara L, Victoria R, et al. Acid rain and nitrogen deposition in a sub-tropical watershed (Piracicaba): ecosystem consequences. Environ Pollut. 2003;121:389-99 pubmed
    ..Therefore, soils in this basin are poorly buffered and, in areas of forest over sandy soils, acidification may be a problem. ..
  4. Liu T, Fu B, Niu L, Chen J, Wang W, He J, et al. Comparative proteomic analysis of proteins in response to simulated acid rain in Arabidopsis. J Proteome Res. 2011;10:2579-89 pubmed publisher
    ..and MALDI-TOF MS was performed to characterize the responses of Arabidopsis thaliana plants to simulated acid rain (SiAR) stress, which is a global environmental problem and has become a serious issue in China in recent years...
  5. Liu T, Wu F, Wang W, Chen J, Li Z, Dong X, et al. Effects of calcium on seed germination, seedling growth and photosynthesis of six forest tree species under simulated acid rain. Tree Physiol. 2011;31:402-13 pubmed publisher
    ..We investigated the effects and potential interactions between simulated acid rain (SiAR) and three calcium (Ca) levels on seed germination, radicle length, seedling growth, chlorophyll content, ..
  6. Liu T, Wu P, Wang L, Zhou Q. Response of soybean seed germination to cadmium and acid rain. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011;144:1186-96 pubmed publisher
    Cadmium (Cd) pollution and acid rain are the main environmental issues, and they often occur in the same agricultural region...
  7. Liu T, Jiang X, Shi W, Chen J, Pei Z, Zheng H. Comparative proteomic analysis of differentially expressed proteins in ?-aminobutyric acid enhanced Arabidopsis thaliana tolerance to simulated acid rain. Proteomics. 2011;11:2079-94 pubmed publisher
    b>Acid rain is a worldwide environmental issue that has seriously destroyed forest ecosystems...
  8. Zheng S, Zheng X, Chen C. Leaching behavior of heavy metals and transformation of their speciation in polluted soil receiving simulated acid rain. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e49664 pubmed publisher
    Heavy metals that leach from contaminated soils under acid rain are of increasing concern. In this study, simulated acid rain (SAR) was pumped through columns of artificially contaminated purple soil...
  9. Pabian S, Ermer N, Tzilkowski W, Brittingham M. Effects of liming on forage availability and nutrient content in a forest impacted by acid rain. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e39755 pubmed publisher
    ..Responses to liming by forbs and plant nutrients show promise for improving vegetation health and forage quality and quantity for deer. ..

More Information


  1. Chen J, Wang W, Liu T, Wu F, Zheng H. Photosynthetic and antioxidant responses of Liquidambar formosana and Schima superba seedlings to sulfuric-rich and nitric-rich simulated acid rain. Plant Physiol Biochem. 2013;64:41-51 pubmed publisher
    ..differential responses occur in photosynthesis and antioxidant system for seedlings of Liquidambar formosana, an acid rain (AR)-sensitive tree species and Schima superba, an AR-tolerant tree species treated with three types of pH 3...
  2. Liu T, Niu L, Fu B, Wu F, Chen J, Wang W, et al. A transcriptomic study reveals differentially expressed genes and pathways respond to simulated acid rain in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genome. 2013;56:49-60 pubmed publisher
    b>Acid rain, as a worldwide environmental issue, can cause serious damage to plants. In this study, we provided the first case study on the systematic responses of arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh...
  3. Chestnut L, Mills D. A fresh look at the benefits and costs of the US acid rain program. J Environ Manage. 2005;77:252-66 pubmed
    The US Acid Rain Program (Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments) has achieved substantial reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from power plants in the United States...
  4. Zhang J, Wang J, Zhao Z, Chen Y, Dou W. [Effects of simulated acid rain on physiological and biochemical characters of eggplant, the host plant of Tetranychus cinnabarinus]. Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao. 2005;16:450-4 pubmed
    ..melongena), the host plant of carmine spider mite Tetranychus cinnabarinus, to different pH values simulated acid rain. The results showed that with the increasing acidity of simulated acid rain, the CAT activity and the contents ..
  5. Lee Y, Park J, Im K, Kim K, Lee J, Lee K, et al. Arabidopsis leaf necrosis caused by simulated acid rain is related to the salicylic acid signaling pathway. Plant Physiol Biochem. 2006;44:38-42 pubmed
    Arabidopsis leaves treated with simulated acid rain (SiAR) showed phenotypes similar to necrotic lesions caused by biotic stresses like Pseudomonad infiltration...
  6. Wang C, Xing D, Zeng L, Ding C, Chen Q. Effect of artificial acid rain and SO2 on characteristics of delayed light emission. Luminescence. 2005;20:51-6 pubmed
    The structure and function of chloroplast in plant leaves can be affected by acid rain and air pollution. The photosystem II in a plant is considered the primary site where light-induced delayed light emission (DLE) is produced...
  7. Jiang H, Korpelainen H, Li C. Populus yunnanensis males adopt more efficient protective strategies than females to cope with excess zinc and acid rain. Chemosphere. 2013;91:1213-20 pubmed publisher
    ..To investigate sex-related adaptive responses of Populus yunnanensis seedlings when exposed to excess zinc (Zn), acid rain (AR) and their combination (Zn+AR), we analyzed growth parameters, Zn accumulation and allocation, ..
  8. Busch G, Lammel G, Beese F, Feichter J, Dentener F, Roelofs G. Forest ecosystems and the changing patterns of nitrogen input and acid deposition today and in the future based on a scenario. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2001;8:95-102 pubmed
    ..More than 33% of forest ecosystems on acid sensitive soils will receive acid loads which exceeds their buffering capacity. About 25% of forest areas with exceeded acid loads will receive critical nitrogen loads. ..
  9. Hames R, Rosenberg K, Lowe J, Barker S, Dhondt A. Adverse effects of acid rain on the distribution of the Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina in North America. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002;99:11235-40 pubmed
    ..Soc. London Ser. B 268, 25-29] and the role played by the atmospheric deposition of pollutants, in particular, acid rain [Graveland, J. (1998) Environ. Rev. 6, 41-54]...
  10. Li W, Gao J. Acid deposition and integrated zoning control in China. Environ Manage. 2002;30:169-82 pubmed
    ..mix dominated by coal and inefficient energy utilization processes have led to increasingly serious problems of acid rain and sulfur dioxide pollution...
  11. Kováčik J, Klejdus B, Backor M, Stork F, Hedbavny J. Physiological responses of root-less epiphytic plants to acid rain. Ecotoxicology. 2011;20:348-57 pubmed publisher
    ..albida (Bromeliaceae) and two lichens (Hypogymnia physodes and Xanthoria parietina) exposed to simulated acid rain (AR) over 3 months were studied. Pigments were depressed in all species being affected the most in Tillandsia...
  12. Neves N, Oliva M, da Cruz Centeno D, Costa A, Ribas R, Pereira E. Photosynthesis and oxidative stress in the restinga plant species Eugenia uniflora L. exposed to simulated acid rain and iron ore dust deposition: potential use in environmental risk assessment. Sci Total Environ. 2009;407:3740-5 pubmed publisher
    ..These gases may come into contact with atmospheric moisture and produce acid rain. The effects of the acid rain on vegetation, combined with iron excess in the soil, can lead to the ..
  13. Lawrence G, Sutherland J, Boylen C, Nierzwicki Bauer S, Momen B, Baldigo B, et al. Acid rain effects on aluminum mobilization clarified by inclusion of strong organic acids. Environ Sci Technol. 2007;41:93-8 pubmed
  14. Larssen T, Lydersen E, Tang D, He Y, Gao J, Liu H, et al. Acid rain in China. Environ Sci Technol. 2006;40:418-25 pubmed
  15. Chapman P, Clark J, Reynolds B, Adamson J. The influence of organic acids in relation to acid deposition in controlling the acidity of soil and stream waters on a seasonal basis. Environ Pollut. 2008;151:110-20 pubmed
  16. Stevens C, Dise N, Gowing D. Regional trends in soil acidification and exchangeable metal concentrations in relation to acid deposition rates. Environ Pollut. 2009;157:313-9 pubmed publisher
    ..In particular, exchangeable aluminium and lead both show increased levels above a soil pH threshold of about 4.5, strongly related to the deposition flux of acid compounds. ..
  17. Kaushal S, Likens G, Utz R, Pace M, Grese M, Yepsen M. Increased river alkalinization in the Eastern U.S. Environ Sci Technol. 2013;47:10302-11 pubmed publisher
  18. Groudev S, Spasova I, Nicolova M, Georgiev P. Generation of polluted waters from mining wastes in a uranium deposit. Pol J Microbiol. 2005;54 Suppl:7-11 pubmed
    ..Their activity depended on some essential environmental factors such as temperature, pH, and water, oxygen and nutrient contents in the dump. ..
  19. Salahi A, Geranfar S, Korori S. Nitrogen deposition in the greater Tehran metropolitan area. ScientificWorldJournal. 2001;1 Suppl 2:261-5 pubmed
    ..The amount of NO3- in warm seasons is twofold that of cold seasons, and there was a significant difference between cold and warm seasons. Annual wet deposition of ammonia (NH3) was 10 kg/ha/year in the Chitgar Parkland. ..
  20. Han G, Liu C. Strontium isotope and major ion chemistry of the rainwaters from Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China. Sci Total Environ. 2006;364:165-74 pubmed
    ..The coal-combustion industries are probably the major atmospheric contaminant sources in Guiyang city. ..
  21. Yao W, Byrne R. Spectrophotometric determination of freshwater pH using bromocresol purple and phenol red. Environ Sci Technol. 2001;35:1197-201 pubmed
    ..5 < or =pH < or =8.5. The precision of pH measurements using phenol red in well-buffered freshwaters is on the order of +/-0.001 or better. ..
  22. Keller W, Heneberry J, Dixit S. Decreased acid deposition and the chemical recovery of Killarney, Ontario, lakes. Ambio. 2003;32:183-9 pubmed
    ..It is clear that continuing assessments of the recovery of Killarney lakes, within a multiple-stressor framework, are needed. ..
  23. Beier C, Moldan F, Wright R. Terrestrial ecosystem recovery--modelling the effects of reduced acidic inputs and increased inputs of sea-salts induced by global change. Ambio. 2003;32:275-82 pubmed
    ..Future recovery of soils and runoff at acidified catchments will thus depend on the amount and rate of reduction of acid deposition, and in the case of systems near the coast, the frequency and intensity of sea-salt episodes as well. ..
  24. Bindler R, Korsman T, Renberg I, Högberg P. Pre-industrial atmospheric pollution: was it important for the pH of acid-sensitive Swedish lakes?. Ambio. 2002;31:460-5 pubmed
    b>Acid rain has caused extensive surface water acidification in Sweden since the mid-20th century. Sulfur emissions from fossil-fuel burning and metal production were the main sources of acid deposition...
  25. Larssen T, Holme J. Afforestation, seasalt episodes and acidification--a paired catchment study in western Norway. Environ Pollut. 2006;139:440-50 pubmed
    ..The results indicate that acid pulses induced by episodic inputs of seasalts are exacerbated by land use change from native birch to planted spruce. ..
  26. Nduka J, Orisakwe O, Ezenweke L, Ezenwa T, Chendo M, Ezeabasili N. Acid rain phenomenon in niger delta region of Nigeria: economic, biodiversity, and public health concern. ScientificWorldJournal. 2008;8:811-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Oil exploration and other anthropogenic sources may be responsible for the acid rain in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
  27. Mai W, Yan J, Wang L, Zheng Y, Xin Y, Wang W. Acute acidic exposure induces p53-mediated oxidative stress and DNA damage in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) blood cells. Aquat Toxicol. 2010;100:271-81 pubmed publisher
    b>Acid rain and inputs of acidic effluent can result in increased acidity in aquatic ecosystems, where it is known to have a significant impact and possibly, to cause the decline of some populations of aquatic organisms...
  28. Driscoll C, Driscoll K, Roy K, Mitchell M. Chemical response of lakes in the Adirondack Region of New York to declines in acidic deposition. Environ Sci Technol. 2003;37:2036-42 pubmed
    ..Extrapolation of rates of ANC increase suggests that the time frame of chemical recovery of Adirondack Lakes will be several decades if current decreases in acidic deposition are maintained. ..
  29. Löfgren S, Zetterberg T. Decreased DOC concentrations in soil water in forested areas in southern Sweden during 1987-2008. Sci Total Environ. 2011;409:1916-26 pubmed publisher
    ..Hence, opposite to the conclusion for surface waters, the solubility of organic matter seems to decrease in uphill soils, as a result of the acidification recovery. ..
  30. Hao J, Tian H, Lu Y. Emission inventories of NOx from commercial energy consumption in China, 1995-1998. Environ Sci Technol. 2002;36:552-60 pubmed
    ..great concern because of their impact on local air pollution as well as on regional environmental risks such as acid rain, eutrophication, tropospheric ozone, fine particulate matter, and loss of biodiversity...
  31. Liu J, Song Z, Xu T. [Study on ionic composition of rainwater at Guangzhou and the primary factors of rainwater acidity]. Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2006;27:1998-2002 pubmed
    ..The measurement of pH values shows that 85% of these rain events were acid rain. The ionic composition analysis indicates that NO3-, SO4(2-), NH4+ and Ca2+ are dominant ions in the rainwater...
  32. Wang Y, Wang Y, Li Z, Yu P, Xiong W, Hao J, et al. [Relationships between soil moisture and needle-fall in Masson pine forests in acid rain region of Chongqing, Southwest China]. Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao. 2012;23:2632-40 pubmed
    ..variation of soil moisture and its effects on the needle-fall in Masson pine (Pinus massoniana) forests in acid rain region of Chongqing, Southeast China, with the corresponding soil moisture thresholds determined...
  33. Strand L, Abrahamsen G, Stuanes A. Leaching from organic matter-rich soils by rain of different qualities: I. Concentrations. J Environ Qual. 2002;31:547-56 pubmed
    ..Moench] or heather [Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull]. The lysimeters received either "acid rain" (pH 4.3) or "normal rain" (pH 5.3)...
  34. Marin E, Pérez Amaral T, Rua A, Hernandez E. The evolution of the pH in Europe (1986-1997) using panel data. Chemosphere. 2001;45:329-37 pubmed
    ..In general, the policies of governments to reduce pollutant emissions seem to be effective. ..
  35. Lukina N, Nikonov V. Assessment of environmental impact zones in the Kola Peninsula forest ecosystems. Chemosphere. 2001;42:19-34 pubmed
    ..Elevated levels of S, Ni, Cu and K and reduced levels of Mg, Mn and Zn were found in the needles of different age classes. ..
  36. Barton J. Canada-wide standards and innovative transboundary air quality initiatives. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2008;71:74-80 pubmed
    ..In particular, the Canada-wide strategies for smog and acid rain were developed by Canadian governments, strategies that improve and protect air quality at home, while Canada-U...
  37. De Schrijver A, Staelens J, Wuyts K, Van Hoydonck G, Janssen N, Mertens J, et al. Effect of vegetation type on throughfall deposition and seepage flux. Environ Pollut. 2008;153:295-303 pubmed
    ..nigra plots. We discuss our hypothesis that the P. nigra forests already evolved to a situation of N saturation, while the other vegetation types did not. ..
  38. Zeng Q, Huang X, Zhou Q. [Effect of acid rain on seed germination of rice, wheat and rape]. Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2005;26:181-4 pubmed
    Rice, wheat and rape seeds were treated with simulated acid rain at pH 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 5.0 levels for 7 days in order to understand the effects of acid rain on seed germination of various acid-fast plant...
  39. Sverdrup H, Martinson L, Alveteg M, Moldan F, Kronnäs V, Munthe J. Modeling recovery of Swedish ecosystems from acidification. Ambio. 2005;34:25-31 pubmed
    ..More than 7000 lakes are limed regularly in Sweden and it is unlikely that this practice can be discontinued in the near future without adverse effects on lake chemistry and biology. ..
  40. Kjøller C, Postma D, Larsen F. Groundwater acidification and the mobilization of trace metals in a sandy aquifer. Environ Sci Technol. 2004;38:2829-35 pubmed
    The acidification of groundwater due to acid rain impact and the mobilization of the trace metals Ni, Be, Cd and Co was studied in a noncalcareous sandy aquifer. The groundwater is acidified down to pH 4...
  41. Jiang T, Zhan X, Xu Y, Zhou L, Zong L. [Roles of calcium in stress-tolerance of plants and its ecological significance]. Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao. 2005;16:971-6 pubmed
    ..from soil has dramatically increased for decades due to the increase of nitrogen input and/or the extension of acid rain, while calcium input into soil has declined substantially for the replacement of superphosphate by ammonium ..
  42. Oulehle F, Hleb R, Houska J, Samonil P, Hofmeister J, Hruska J. Anthropogenic acidification effects in primeval forests in the Transcarpathian Mts., western Ukraine. Sci Total Environ. 2010;408:856-64 pubmed publisher
    ..9) (Bc=Ca+Mg+K) was found in the upper mineral soil at Pop Ivan. This suggests that the spruce forest ecosystems in the area are vulnerable to anthropogenic acidification and to the adverse effects of Al on forest root systems. ..
  43. Sun Z, Wang L, Zhou Q, Huang X. Effects and mechanisms of the combined pollution of lanthanum and acid rain on the root phenotype of soybean seedlings. Chemosphere. 2013;93:344-52 pubmed publisher
    Rare earth pollution and acid rain pollution are both important environmental issues worldwide...
  44. Snucins E, Gunn J, Keller B, Dixit S, Hindar A, Henriksen A. Effects of regional reductions in sulphur deposition on the chemical and biological recovery of lakes within Killarney Park, Ontario, Canada. Environ Monit Assess. 2001;67:179-94 pubmed
    ..There are many factors that can affect biological recovery rates of damaged lakes, but it is expected that biological recovery will lag considerably behind observed chemical recovery rates. ..
  45. Gimeno L, Marin E, del Teso T, Bourhim S. How effective has been the reduction of SO2 emissions on the effect of acid rain on ecosystems?. Sci Total Environ. 2001;275:63-70 pubmed
    ..This suggests that the reduction of SO2 emissions has not been effective as an abatement strategy. ..
  46. Camargo J, Alonso A. Ecological and toxicological effects of inorganic nitrogen pollution in aquatic ecosystems: A global assessment. Environ Int. 2006;32:831-49 pubmed
    ..Additionally, human health and economy would be safer from the adverse effects of inorganic nitrogen pollution. ..
  47. Badea O, Bytnerowicz A, Silaghi D, Neagu S, Barbu I, Iacoban C, et al. Status of the Southern Carpathian forests in the long-term ecological research network. Environ Monit Assess. 2012;184:7491-515 pubmed publisher
    ..4%. High diversity and evenness specific to the stand type's structures and local climate conditions were observed within the herbaceous layer, indicating that biodiversity of the vascular plant communities was not compromised. ..
  48. Ledy K, Giamberini L, Pihan J. Mucous cell responses in gill and skin of brown trout Salmo trutta fario in acidic, aluminium-containing stream water. Dis Aquat Organ. 2003;56:235-40 pubmed
    ..In addition, the examination of wild populations suggested the occurrence of adaptive mechanisms, information that might be of importance in the context of river recovery programs. ..
  49. Lomans B, Pol A, Op den Camp H. Microbial cycling of volatile organic sulfur compounds in anoxic environments. Water Sci Technol. 2002;45:55-60 pubmed
    ..A methanogen was isolated that is able to grow on DMS as the sole carbon source. A large survey of sediments slurries of various origin demonstrated that both isolates are commonly occurring inhabitants of anaerobic environments. ..
  50. Qiu D, Liu X. [Effects of simulated acid rain on chloroplast activity in Dimorcarpus longana Lour. cv. wulongling leaves]. Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao. 2002;13:1559-62 pubmed wulongling leaves when treated with < pH 3.5 acid rain. The decline of Chl content was caused by the reduction of Chla, while Chlb was less sensitive to the acid rain, ..
  51. Alebic Juretic A. Airborne ammonia and ammonium within the Northern Adriatic area, Croatia. Environ Pollut. 2008;154:439-47 pubmed publisher
    ..Ammonium's contribution to total nitrogen (NO3(-)+NH4+) deposition is approximately two thirds, even for a remote Site 3. ..
  52. Kirby C, McInerney B, Turner M. Groundtruthing and potential for predicting acid deposition impacts in headwater streams using bedrock geology, GIS, angling, and stream chemistry. Sci Total Environ. 2008;393:249-61 pubmed publisher
    ..65% of the 101 km of Tuscarora stream lengths examined in this study were impaired. ..
  53. Rogers N, Carson K, Glenn A, Dilworth M, Hughes M, Poole R. Alleviation of aluminum toxicity to Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae by the hydroxamate siderophore vicibactin. Biometals. 2001;14:59-66 pubmed
    b>Acid rain solubilises aluminum which can exert toxic effects on soil bacteria. The root nodule bacterium Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viciae synthesises the hydroxamate siderophore vicibactin in response to iron limitation...