Acid and Mercury Deposition Effects on Forest and Freshwater Aquatic Ecosystems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

2 Scopus citations


Acidic deposition is comprised of sulfuric and nitric acids and ammonium. Although released naturally to the atmosphere, humans greatly increase emissions of these compounds by the burning of fossil fuels and agricultural activities. Acidic deposition has impacted soils, forests, streams, and lakes in eastern North America, northern and central Europe, and southeastern China. Human activities have also increased atmospheric mercury deposition globally. Atmospheric deposition of ionic mercury can be converted to methyl mercury largely by bacteria that process sulfate. Methyl mercury bioaccumulates along aquatic and terrestrial food chains by a factor of a million to 10 million, resulting in exposure to humans and wildlife and potential health effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biodiversity
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780123847195
ISBN (Print)9780123847201
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Acid neutralizing capacity
  • Acidic deposition
  • Aluminum
  • Base saturation
  • Episodic acidification
  • Mercury
  • Methyl mercury
  • Methylation
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Soil
  • Sulfate
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Trophic transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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