Standard Article

Acid Rain

  1. Heinz Rennenberg,
  2. Arthur Gessler

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001316



How to Cite

Rennenberg, H. and Gessler, A. 2001. Acid Rain. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001


The term ‘acid rain’ describes the process of wet deposition of acidic compounds (e.g. sulfuric acid, nitrous acid and/or organic acids) in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In particular, acidic deposition has different, adverse, effects on terrestrial vegetation, mainly due to soil acidification and the uptake of substances which disturb the pH levels within plant cells or produce radicals.


  • SO2;
  • NOx;
  • terrestrial ecosystems;
  • cation leaching;
  • pH stat;
  • sulfite oxidation