Emissions from two zinc smelters in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, have caused widespread destruction of the forest on Blue Mountain. There have been striking changes in the species composition and structure of the community of vascular plants, as well as population reductions of lichens, mosses, arthropods inhabiting the letter, and amphibians. Reductions in the populations of decomposers of organic matter have led to an accumulation of litter on the forest floor. Zinc poisoning was diagnosed in a white-tailed deer, and lead poisoning was diagnosed in a shrew. White-tailed deer also contained high concentrations of cadmium.
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Damage to the forest ecosystem on Blue Mountain from zinc smelting