Skip to Main Content
Lichen elements as pollution indicators: evaluation of methods for large monitoring programmesAuthor(s): Susan Will-Wolf; Sarah Jovan; Michael C. Amacher
Source: The Lichenologist. 49(04): 415-424.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
Download Publication (639.0 KB)
DescriptionLichen element content is a reliable indicator for relative air pollution load in research and monitoring programmes requiring both efficiency and representation of many sites. We tested the value of costly rigorous field and handling protocols for sample element analysis using five lichen species. No relaxation of rigour was supported; four relaxed protocols generated data significantly different from rigorous protocols for many of the 20 validated elements. Minimally restrictive site selection criteria gave quality data from 86% of 81 permanent plots in northern Midwest USA; more restrictive criteria would likely reduce indicator reliability. Use of trained non-specialist field collectors was supported when target species choice considers the lichen community context. Evernia mesomorpha, Flavoparmelia caperata and Physcia aipolia/stellaris were successful target species. Non-specialists were less successful at distinguishing Parmelia sulcata and Punctelia rudecta from lookalikes, leading to few samples and some poor quality data.
- Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationWill-Wolf, Susan; Jovan, Sarah; Amacher, Michael C. 2017. Lichen elements as pollution indicators: evaluation of methods for large monitoring programmes. The Lichenologist. 49(04): 415-424. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0024282917000299.
KeywordsEvernia mesomorpha, Flavoparmelia caperata, metals, nitrogen, Parmelia sulcata, Physcia aipolia/stellaris, Punctelia rudecta, Sulphur.
- Lichen elemental content bioindicators for air quality in upper Midwest, USA: A model for large-scale monitoring
- Chapter 6 - Lichen species to bioindicate air quality in Eastern United States from elemental composition: lessons from the Midwest
- Lichen elemental indicators for air pollution in Eastern United States forests; a pilot study in the upper Midwest
XML: View XML