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Pollution-indicator Species. Learning objectives: to know that certain species of plants & animals can tell us (indicate) how polluted an area is. to know that lichen is an indicator species, also known as bio-indicators. Lichen. Lichen. Lichen. Lichen. Lichen – what is it?.

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pollution indicator species

Pollution-indicator Species

Learning objectives:

to know that certain species of plants & animals can tell us (indicate) how polluted an area is.

to know that lichen is an indicator species, also known as bio-indicators

lichen what is it
Lichen – what is it?

Lichen is 2 organisms living together; a fungus and an alga (plant).

They come in different sizes & shapes.

Some are more tolerant to pollution than others, so their presence or absence can tell us a lot about the level of pollution in an area.

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Lichen (Usnea subfloridana) growing on a branch of a fir tree. This lichen is a good indicator of air quality, as it is intolerant of high sulphur dioxide concentrations. A lichen is a symbiotic organism comprising a fungus and an alga. The alga produces nutrients for the fungus by photosynthesis. Photographed in western Scotland.

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Lichen (Lecanora). This lichen is a good indicator of air quality, as it is tolerant of high sulphur dioxide concentrations.

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Lichen (Xanthoria). This lichen is a good indicator of air quality, as it is tolerant of high nitrogen.

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Info

Usnea – only found where acid gases are low

Lecanora – tolerant of high sulphur levels

Xananthoria & Physcia – tolerate high nitrogen levels

Acid gases – sulphur dioxide & nitrogen oxides from burning fossil fuels

Fertilisers – high in nitrogen