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Copper Smelter Effluent Effects on Sonoran Desert Vegetation
- Wood, Charles W., Jr., Nash, Thomas N., III
- Ecology 1976 v.57 no.6 pp. 1311-1316
- annuals, cacti and succulents, cadmium, copper, effluents, grasses, highlands, iron, lead, perennials, shrubs, soil, species diversity, vegetation, zinc, Arizona, Sonoran Desert
- The vegetation of an Arizonan upland community near a recently inactivated copper smelter at Superior, Arizona was studied. Vegetational parameters of species diversity, density, and cover were inversely related to concentrations of Cu, Cd, Pb, Fe, and Zn in the soil. Near the smelter, annuals, herbaceous perennials, grasses, cacti, and some shrubs were almost entirely absent. The most probable cause of the observed vegetational changes is effluents particularly SO_2 and Cu, emitted by the copper smelter over its 47—yr history.