Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)

SO2 :: Usnea species

Impact Type: Direct exposure to pollutant

Key Concerns:

Usnea spp. are highly sensitive to SO2, and are also believed to be sensitive to acidic deposition (Seaward & Hitch 1982). Hawksworth & Rose (1970a) suggest that some species can tolerate up to 40 µg m-3 SO2 (U. subfloridana), U. ceratina and rubiginea can tolerate up to 35 µg m-3 SO2, and that U. florida under 30 µg m-3 SO2, with U. artculata and filpendula only found in area with pure air.

SO2 :: Sphagnum moss

Impact Type: Direct exposure to pollutant

Key Concerns:

The virtual absence of Sphagnum species from the blanket bogs of the southern Pennines has been attributed to high SO2 pollution (Ferguson & Lee 1983a,b). Of the 18 species of Sphagnum reported in the area in 1913, only 5 were recorded in 1964 (Tallis 1964) and of those only S. recurvum is common today (Press et al. 1983).

SO2 :: Orange-fruited elm-lichen

Impact Type: Direct exposure to pollutant

Key Concerns:

The Orange-fruited elm-lichen (Caloplaca luteoalba) used to be relatively widespread in the UK, but has suffered a severe decline in the last century. It is now largely confined to the dry bark of mature elm trees (Biodiversity Steering Group 1995). It is probably sensitive to SO2, however there is no published research as to the effects of air pollution on this species.

Additional Comments:

None 

SO2 :: Marsh clubmoss

Impact Type: Direct exposure to pollutant

Key Concerns:

Marsh clubmoss is a perennial species of wet heaths, often on bare peaty soil, and occasionally on the margins of lochs, it is thought to be vulnerable to excess atmospheric SO2 (Biodiversity Steering Group 1995).

Additional Comments:

There is no published research on the effects of air pollution on this species.

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