O3 :: Lichens (general)

Latin name: 

Lichens (general)

Impact Type: Direct exposure to pollutant

Key Concerns:

There would appear to be little evidence to link O3 and damage to lichens communities (Balaguer et al. 1996, Bates et al. 1996, Calatayud et al. 2000, Tarhanen et al. 1997, 2000) However, Scheidegger and Schroeter (1995) did find that, under experimental conditions (180 µg m-3 day and 80 µg m-3 night), biophysical and physiological, as well as structural impairment occurred in Anaptychia ciliaris, Collema nigrescens, Evernia prunastri, Hypogymnia bitteri, Lobaria pulmonaria, Pseudevernia furfuracea and Usnea rigida.

Additional Comments:

Studies suggest that SO2 concentrations and acid deposition are the main threats to lichen populations, rather than ambient ozone levels (Bates et al. 1996, van Dobben et al. 2001). 

Critical Load/level: 

Critical Load/ Level

No estimate available


Balaguer, M.; Valladares, F.; Ascaso, C.; Barnes, J.D.; DelosRios, A.; Manrique, E.; Smith, E.C. 1996 Potential effects of rising tropospheric concentrations of CO2 and O-3 on green-algal lichens New Phytologist 132 132, 641-652.
Ross, L.J.; Nash, T.H. 1983 Effect of ozone on gross photosynthesis of lichens Environmental and Experimental Botany 23 71-77
Tarhanen, S.; Holopainen, T.; Oskanen, J. 1997 Ultrastructural changes and electrolyte leakage from ozone fumigated epiphytic lichens. Annals of Botany 80 611-621
Tarhanen, S.; Poikolinen, J.; Holopainen, T.; Oskanen, J. 2000 Severe photobiont injuries of lichens strongly associated with air pollution New Phytologist 147 579-590
Van Dobben, H.J.; Wolterbeek, H.T.; Wamelink, G.W.W.; Ter Braak, C.J.F. 2001 Relationship between epiphytic lichens, trace elements and gaseous atmospheric pollutants Environmental Pollution 112 163-169

Species group: