Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Effects of Simulated Acidic Rain on Yields of Field-Grown Crops

Lance S. Evans, Keith F. Lewin, Elizabeth A. Cunningham and Mitchell J. Patti
The New Phytologist
Vol. 91, No. 3 (Jul., 1982), pp. 429-441
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2432167
Page Count: 13
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Effects of Simulated Acidic Rain on Yields of Field-Grown Crops
Preview not available

Abstract

Experiments were performed to determine the effects of simulated acidic rainfall on yields of radish (Raphanus sativa L.), garden beet (Beta vulgaris L.), kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) grown under standard agronomic practices. The experimental design allowed the detection of statistically significant differences among means that differed from each other by less than 10%. The plants were exposed to small additions of simulated rain at pH levels of 5.7, 4.0, 3.1 and 2.7. The spray-to-wet simulated rain applications were similar in volume to the median of all ambient rainfall showers. Some plants received no simulated rainfall and all were exposed to ambient rainfall at Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, N.Y), which had a mean weighted pH of 4.06 during the summer of 1980. Root mass of radish was not significantly affected by simulated acidic rainfall. The absence of a decrease in root yields in radish was coincident with an absence of visible foliar injury. Beet plants treated with simulated rain applications of pH 4.0, 3.1 and 2.7 showed significant decreases in yield compared with yields under both the ambient rainfall only and pH 5.7 simulated rain treatments. Root yields of beet exposed to simulated rain at pH 5.7, 4.0, 3.1 and 2.7 were 110, 79, 84 and 86% of those receiving ambient rainfall only. Foliar injury on beet was attributed to exposure both to simulated acidic rain of pH 4.0, 3.1 and 2.7 and to several consecutive ambient rainfalls which had an average pH of 3.9. This is the first experiment showing visible foliar injury due to either ambient rainfalls or simulated rain above pH 3.1 under agronomic conditions. With kidney bean, there were no significant differences among treatments of such parameters as number of seeds per plant, mass of seeds per plant and number of pods per plant. There were also no significant differences among treatments for fresh mass or dry mass of alfalfa hay. These studies suggest that no generalizations about crop sensitivity with regard to either plant portion harvested (e.g. roots, fruits, leaves) or taxonomic considerations can be made at the present time.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
429
    429
  • Thumbnail: Page 
430
    430
  • Thumbnail: Page 
431
    431
  • Thumbnail: Page 
432
    432
  • Thumbnail: Page 
433
    433
  • Thumbnail: Page 
434
    434
  • Thumbnail: Page 
435
    435
  • Thumbnail: Page 
436
    436
  • Thumbnail: Page 
437
    437
  • Thumbnail: Page 
438
    438
  • Thumbnail: Page 
439
    439
  • Thumbnail: Page 
440
    440
  • Thumbnail: Page 
441
    441