Publication Year

Spring 1979





Document Type



Emissions into the atmosphere from man-related sources are changing precipitation quality and chemical climate over many parts of the United States, especially those areas downwind from highly urbanized and industrialized sections. Soils, vegetation and surface waters act as passive sinks for many elements found in the atmosphere (Oden, 1976). These elements are not fixed but are transferred from one component to the next at varying rates. High acidity in precipitation is a growing environmental problem (Oden, 1976, Cogbill, 1975b and USDI, 1973). Acids and other pollutants in the atmosphere which are washed out by rainfall can affect soil processes, plant growth, productivity and eventually species composition. The dynamic exchange of minerals between the biotic and abiotic components may be severely altered, thus reducing community stability. Precipitation was monitored for acidity at the UWM Field Station as part of a study (Kobriger, 1975) to obtain data on mineral cycling and productivity of a maple-beech forest located on a ridge crest in the northwestern portion of the upland deciduous forest of the UWM Field Station. Precipitation samples were also collected on The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus to examine comparable urban values.