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Red Spruce forests on the western-facing slopes of the Park's High Peaks region are stunted and dying at a rapid pace. This slide shows the large kill-zone (colored red) in the spruce/fir forest of the High Peaks region. The decline of red spruce forests has been rapid and unmistakable over the past three decades. Acidity leaches aluminum out of the rock and soil and depletes the soil of vital minerals. Aluminum destroys the root hairs of trees, preventing them from absorbing the water and nutrients needed for survival. Normally, rainwater, with a natural pH of 5.6, is buffered by Alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the soil. However, acid rain washes those minerals out of the soil faster than weathering can replace them by breaking down rock. The Adirondacks are particularly vulnerable due to its anorthosite bedrock - a tough granite with few Alkaline minerals.

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