Lichen and moss bags as monitoring devices in urban areas. Part II: trace element content in living and dead biomonitors and comparison with synthetic materials.

Research paper by P P Adamo, P P Crisafulli, S S Giordano, V V Minganti, P P Modenesi, F F Monaci, E E Pittao, M M Tretiach, R R Bargagli

Indexed on: 14 Jun '06Published on: 14 Jun '06Published in: Environmental Pollution


Lobes of the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea (L.) Zopf and shoots of the moss Hypnum cupressiforme Hedw. were subjected to different treatments (water washing, oven drying, HNO3 washing, NH4-oxalate extraction) to assess the influence of vitality on accumulation efficiency, during a 6-week exposure in bags in two Italian cities, Trieste and Naples. No trend emerged between treatments, in terms of accumulation ability, for major and trace elements. Only water-washed lichens showed an increased C and N content after exposure in both cities. Element concentrations generally reached higher values in mosses than in lichens, especially for Al, Fe, and Zn (both cities), and for Cu, Mg and Na (Naples). Surface development strongly influenced accumulation capacity of the biomonitors. Quartzose and cation exchange filters revealed, on a weight basis, a poor performance. In urban environments, surface interception of atmospheric particulate seems to play a major role in accumulation, irrespective of organism vitality.