Last updateFri, 11 Mar 2016 6pm

Is the Primavera Forest healthy? Researchers study effects of acid rain

A pall of brown smog hangs above “The City of Roses” almost every day of the year.

During the rainy season, winds from the east prevail, blowing the contaminated rainfall straight into huge Bosque la Primavera, located due west of Guadalajara. What effect does it produce?

“We don’t know, and this is the problem,” says Dr. José Luis Zavala, a biology professor at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara (UAG) who also runs a project to measure the possible impact of acid rain on the Primavera Forest.

What Zavala does know is that a change in the acidity of soil can have serious effects which might surprise most people. 

“Certain metals in the soil are normally non-bioavailable, meaning they can’t hurt vertebrates,” he says. “But these metals become soluble if the pH of the soil changes.”

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