Using Lichens to Find Air Pollution Hot Spots

Lichen Training Manual 2010/2011(Good Neighbour Campaign/GNC, Environment Hamilton, 2010)

Also discussed here: (6 min You-Tube video, GNC)

And here: Arboreal Lichens:Preliminary Indicators of Hamilton Air Quality(48 page pdf, Dan McCarthy and Hague Vaughan, Upwind / Downwind Air Quality Conference, Hamilton, Ontario, 2004)

And here: Students Take Lead in City-Wide Pollution Study (MediaDesk, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Jun. 6, 2011)

And here: Anthropogenic Environmental Aerosols:Measurements and Biological Implications(350 page pdf, Pierre Madl, PhD dissertation, University of Salzburg, Oct. 2009)

And here: Highway exhaust aerosols and their effects on alpine lichen populations(1 page pdf, Abstract, E. Heinzelmann, P. Madl and W. Hofmann, Anthropogenic Environmental Aerosols: Measurement and Biological Implications, 2009)

And here: Ecological Effects of Roads – A review(40 page pdf, Andreas Seiler, Introductory Research Essay No 9, Department of Conservation Biology, SLU, Uppsala, 2001)

And here: Air Quality and Lichens – A Literature Review(Jenifer Hutchinson, Debbie Maynard, and Linda Geiser USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region Air Resource Management Program, Dec. 16,1996)

Today we review a project to analyse the air quality in a neighbourhood of Hamilton, Ontario, using a technique developed by George Sorger from McMaster University to link growth in two forms of lichen on maple or ash trees to air pollution levels. The preliminary results show the potential for identifying concentrations of air pollutants in an urban environment year by year without the need for expensive equipment or highly skilled technicians which are usually required.

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE


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