The specific sensitivity of lichens to air pollutants enables us to use them for monitoring the effects of airborne toxic gases, such as sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxides. The monitoring can be carried out by mapping the epiphytic lichen biodiversity and the exposure of sensitive lichen species to the environment. Because of their anatomical structure and the relatively high absorption layer of lichens they are able to accumulate heavy metals and radionuclides. Thus the spatial distribution of manmade radionuclides and of heavy metals originating from traffic and industrial processes can be demonstrated by using lichens as monitoring organisms.
LICHENS AS BIOINDICATORS OF AIR POLLUTANTS // Electronic periodical “Herald of the International Academy of Sciences. Russian Section”, 2018. Issue #1: 49—52