Detailed studies by a large community of scientists for more than three decades have provided considerable insight into the ways in which atmospheric deposition alters ecosystems. When it was first identified, acidic deposition was viewed as a simple problem that was limited in scope. Scientists know now that acids and acidifying compounds largely enter ecosystems from atmospheric deposition and are transported through soil, vegetation, and surface waters, resulting in a range of adverse ecosystem effects.

In this article, information is synthesized on patterns of acidic deposition, and the effects of atmospheric deposition of sulfur and nitrogen on sensitive forest and freshwater resources.

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