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Additional resources for Acid Rain: Report number 14
SO2 and NO2 are both sufficiently soluble to dissolve readily in the extracellular water once they have entered a leaf. g. sulphite and nitrite) than occurs during normal metabolism. The function of the cuticle on the surface of the aerial parts of plants is mainly that of reducing excessive loss of water to the atmosphere, but it can also serve as an effective barrier to the entry of pollutants when stomatal pores are closed. From purely physical considerations we would expect pollutant uptake to be highly correlated with stomatal opening, and this has been shown for some tree species but not for others.
Thus hydrogen-ion concentration is the determinant of the direction of the reaction, although the extent of the exchange is a function of the amount of acid in solution. This exchange increases the acidity retained on the solid but decreases the acidity of the surrounding solution. Within a terrestrial ecosystem, particularly within the soil, there are various buffering mechanisms that serve to resist the change in acidity of the system as further acidity is added. Classic buffering is provided by weak acids, such as carbonic acid and most organic acids, whose dissociation (hydrogen-ion activity) reduces in response to external addition of hydrogen ions.
Both O3 and acid precipitation, which is derived from chemical transformations of SO2 and NOx, penetrate into areas remote from the origin of their precursors. 1 Effects of urban pollution on plant growth Studies of the impact of current ambient air pollution on the performance of plants have produced results that are difficult to reconcile with those of experiments in which plants are subjected to artificial fumigations. 2). The mean concentrations of SO2 in these experiments were, in general, considerably less than have been shown to influence plant growth in fumigation experiments.
Acid Rain: Report number 14 by Watt Committee on Energy Publications