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Acid Rain: Hypothesis and Experiment

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Acid Rain: Hypothesis and Experiment

J. Wayne Payne

South University Online

BIO 1020 S02

Instructor: Catherine Raven

Acid Rain: Hypothesis and Experiment

"The ecological effects of acid rain are most clearly seen in the aquatic, or water, environments, such as streams, lakes, and marshes." (EPA, 2008) I reside in the upper west portion of South Carolina, on the edge of the Piedmont region, bordering on the North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains. This area is loaded with lakes, ponds and streams that have been susceptible to the increase is acid precipitation as well as increased acidity of its soil.

An increasing dependency on large manufacturers and the reduction of forest and wetlands is decreasing both the local fish and wildlife, and depleting the beauty of a once pristine environment. Companies such as BMW and Michelin have brought many jobs, but their large machines have increased the need for energy, which is often produced by coal or fossil fuel burning facilities. Our lakes and streams have not been reduced by land development, but are constantly affected by Corp of Engineers raising and lowering levels to produce power.

Fish and wildlife are not only losing habitat, but the reduction of open lands and the effects of acid rain and manmade pollutants are affecting their size, health and their ability to reproduce. "Generally, the young of most species are more sensitive to environmental conditions than adults. At pH 5, most fish eggs cannot hatch. At lower pH levels, some adult fish die. Some acid lakes have no fish." (EPA, 2008)

One needs to drive less than 50 miles from Greenville to reach Grandfather Mountain, which once sported thousands of acres of beautiful trees. The mountain is now a wasteland of leafless tress that looks like giant toothpicks rising from the hillsides. This is a result of acid precipitation and episodes of drought over recent decades.

References:

http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/effects/surface_water.html, last updated on December 01, 2008.

Simon, E. J., J. B. Reece, J. L. Dickey. (2010). Campbell Essential Biology with Physiology, 3rd Edition. Boston, Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

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