Air Pollution and Forests: An Update

By Kaufman, Wallace; Gray, Gerald J. | American Forests, May-June 1989 | Go to article overview

Air Pollution and Forests: An Update


Kaufman, Wallace, Gray, Gerald J., American Forests


n the tranquil Vermont hills a few miles south of the Canadian border lies Dave Marvin's 800acre farm, where life has been getting tense. Marvin worries about the growing number of dying sugar maples he has seen in the last five years. He knows that U.S. Forest Service studies have been unable to link New England hardwood problems with acid rain or other air pollution.

"I'm not saying I can take you to a tree and tell you acid rain killed it," Marvin says, but he is sure he can't accept the Forest Service's no-link conclusions. "If the Forest Service and other scientists are wrong," he says, "I've lost everything. If I'm wrong, we've lost very little."

Marvin's feeling about his maples is very much like the feeling citizens all over America have about what seems to be an increasing number of dead trees and dying forests. And like Marvin, the public feels government has been too slow to act.

Both President Bush and William Reilly, the conservationist Bush has named head of the Environmental Protection Agency, have put air pollution list. Most scientists and government experts also feel it's important to start cleaning up now. Those who are most deeply immersed in the details of both forestry and budget struggles, however, are afraid headlines like "The Rain That Kills" and "Rain in Northeast Surprisingly Acid"' will lead to throwing money at the problem to appease public opinion while neglecting research and action in areas where results might be sure and important.

The effectiveness of our attack on air pollution may depend on whether the public and politicians have the patience to let the bandwagons roll by until they can absorb complex findings from chemical and biological research.

To learn what air pollution might be doing to forests, the Forest Service has joined forces with the Environmental Protection Agency. Their joint effort, the Forest Response Program (FRP), began in 1985 as part of the multi-agency National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program. FRP's research is done by four regional cooperatives, one national atmospheric research group, and the National Vegetation Survey.

With a budget of $17 to $18 million a year, the FRP is not the Manhattan Project of forestry, but program manager Gerard Hertel is getting the kind of scientific teamwork that won the war. While the effort may not produce any bombshells, after only three years its work has begun to reshape our understanding of how acid rain and air pollution in general affect trees and forests.

The results already surprise many, cheer some, and distress people who like simple answers.

THE NEWEST FINDINGS

EASTERN HARDWOODS: The Eastern Hardwoods Research Cooperative has produced the first study to document ozone concentrations in forested areas of north-central Pennsylvania and to determine the relationship between ozone dose and hardwood seedling growth in this region." Scientists found that ozone followed the sulfur-deposition pattern and exceeded EPA standards of 120 ppb (parts per billion) on some occasions at three different sites.

One of this group's most important findings was a direct correlation between the pattern of air pollution stretching from Minnesota to Ohio and sulfur levels on the forest floor. Scientists say this is the first concrete proof that soil sulfate levels are significantly raised by air pollution. Sulfur precipitation went as high as 31 pounds per acre per year in Ohio to less than 22 pounds per acre in northern Minnesota. The job now is to demonstrate what effects this extra sulfur may have on the health of forests.

Despite widespread reports to the contrary-including Dave Marvin's observations and definite sugar-maple decline in southern Quebec- preliminary surveys have shown no significant decline of sugar maples and other hardwoods in the Lake States or New England. A 1987 survey conducted by the Forest Service and the state of Vermont reported that -less than 0. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Air Pollution and Forests: An Update
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.