Forest decline and acid rain. Some facts and fallacies.

  • M.L. Carey Forest and Wildlife Service, Sidmonton Place, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Republic of Ireland.
Keywords: Acid rain, forest decline, soil fertility, sulphur dioxide, Elatobium abietinum, Lophodermium spp, Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii, air pollution, nitrous oxide, ozone, environment, forest ecology.


The acid rain controversy and forest decline in Europe are reviewed. Although forest damage is extensive. There are suggestions that much of it may be due to factors other than changes in atmospheric chemistry. A combination of elevated ozone levels, acid mists, fogs and frosts, following drought years, seems the most plausible hypothesis in areas worst affected. Low soil fertility may accentuate the problem. Rainfall acidity is less in Ireland compared with the rest of Europe and projected emissions of sulphur dioxide from generating stations appear to be of little consequence for Irish forests.
How to Cite
Carey, M. (1987) “Forest decline and acid rain. Some facts and fallacies.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 21July2024).