Acid Deposition

Acid Deposition :: Coastal and Floodplain Grazing Marsh


[For Acid Deposition processes see overview ]

Effects and implications

  • Effects are likely to be small as these habitats are generally brackish and alkaline.

Overview: evidence, processes and main impacts

Coastal and floodplain grazing marsh form some of the last remaining unimproved grasslands. They lie inland of saltmarshes (which are inundated by tides on a regular basis).




The relationship between acidity and the species composition of diatoms has been recognised for many decades (e.g. Hustedt 1937-39; Nygaard 1956). They serve as good indicators to changes in environmental parameters such as pH and nutrient availability. They also have short generation times and the community composition reacts relatively quickly to changes in the environmental conditions.

Acid deposition :: Woolly Hair Moss

Impact Type: Deposition of pollutant

Key Concerns:

The marked decline of Racomitrium lanuginosum in the southern Pennines since the industrial Revolution (Tallis 1987) may be associated with acid deposition, deposition of sulphate and sulphuric acid in rain and cloud droplets, (Ferguson & Lee 1983a, Thompson & Baddeley 1991). There is also evidence of decline in Scotland where critical loads are exceeded (Fowler et al. 2001). Direct negative effects on mosses are possible with the leaching of base cations from cell membrane s.

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