SO2 :: Pollution lichen

Latin name: 
Lecanora conizaeoides

Impact Type: Direct exposure to pollutant

Key Concerns:

Lecanora conizeoides, also known as the Pollution Lichen, is tolerant of SO2 and occurs in industrial areas where other lichens are absent (Hawksworth & Rose 1970a, Richardson 1988, Bates et al. 1990, van Dobben et al. 2001). L. conizeoides benefits directly from exposure to SO2 rather than indirectly through reduction in completion (Bates et al. 1996). As L. conizeoides is so well adapted to the industrial environment, it maybe possible to use it as a 'reverse' biomonitor by mapping its presence in areas of high air pollution and using its decline as an indication of improving air quality (van Dobben et al. 2001).

Additional Comments:

Prior to the industrial revolution, when SO2 emissions became much larger, L. conizeoides was a rather uncommon species. It is thought that this lichen was originally associated with volcanic springs. 

Critical Load/level: 
Critical Load/ Level

No estimate available

Bates, J.W.; Farmer, A.M.; Bell, J.N.B. 1990 Epiphyte recolonization of oaks along a gradient of air pollution in south-east England, 1979-1990. Environmental Pollution 68 81-99
Richardson, D.H.S. 1988 Understanding the Pollution Sensitivity of Lichens Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 96 31-43
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: 

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