How is the Boreal Shield affected by acid rain?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Boreal Shield Ecozone is an geographical area in Canada, and the most important due to its size and diversity of land, wildlife, and vegetation.

Acid Rain is the production of sulfuric, nitric, or other acids in evaporated water vapor due to industrial pollution; this acid rain then falls and damages natural and man-made structures and land.

Acid content in rain is typically neutralized by alkaline content in the soil and bedrock where it falls. However, the Boreal Shield has a markedly low alkaline content, and so higher-than normal acid content in the rain can be more harmful to the environment than in other areas. Plants and animals that are not adapted to high-acid rain die off, and rocks and mountains erode faster because of the corrosive acid. The worst damage has been to the freshwater lakes, where acid rain falls and is collected by rivers and streams, changing the acidity of the lakes and killing or driving away local fish and wildlife. Since this area has historically been very important in fishing and hunting, this damage can cause human populations to dwindle as the animals and plants die off.

While acid rain has been mitigated in recent years by government intervention and industrial renovation, wind and climate system means that acid rains are not confined to the place of their generation.

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