Chapter 8 Environment and elemental content of lichens

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Of the large number of lichen species, only a few were applied as biomonitors of trace element deposition, in the frame of the global attempt to assess the rate of atmospheric contamination. This chapter represents a list of selected studies dealing with the elemental content of lichens, sampled in both populated and unpopulated regions, either in situ or transplanted. Research performed on this topic in the 1990s is at the focus of the present review which examines the following subjects: (1) accumulation of chemical elements in lichens around point-emission-sources: power plants, oil refineries, industrial plants, mines and refuse incinerators; (2) elemental content of lichens and vehicular activity in proportion to the reduced usage of lead as a fuel additive; (3) lichen-biomonitoring of airborne elements in large-scale surveys; (4) lichen biomonitoring of airborne elements in remote areas, including Arctic and Antarctic regions. Of the 171 references cited in the present chapter, 141 (82%) were published in the years 1990-2000.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-276
Number of pages32
JournalTrace Metals in the Environment
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 2000


  • Air pollution
  • Biomonitoring
  • Elemental content
  • Large-scale surveys
  • Lichens
  • Point emission sources
  • Remote areas
  • Vehicular activity


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