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Since the discovery of acid rain in the 1970's, scientists have been concerned that deposition of acids could cause depletion of calcium in forest soils. Research in the 1980's showed that the amount of calcium in forest soils is controlled by several factors that are difficult to measure. Further research in the 1990's, including several studies by the U.S. Geological Survey, has shown that (1) calcium in forest soils has decreased at locations in the northeastern and southeastern U.S., and (2) acid rain and forest growth (uptake of calcium from the soil by roots) are both factors contributing to calcium depletion.
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Soil-calcium depletion linked to acid rain and forest growth in the eastern United States