The local authority has a plan to expand the road network of the city, and they’ve asked us to carry out some air quality tests to check pollution levels in the city. We do this by monitoring the lichen on trees, walls and pavements in different traffic zones
Lichen – little plants that combine algae and fungi – are living monitors of air quality. They can take the cold, the beating sun, lots of water, and incredible dryness. But one thing they can’t handle very well is air pollution.
The burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil releases the gas sulphur dioxide into the air. Lichens are one group of plants which are sensitive to the presence of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. If air is very badly polluted with sulphur dioxide there may be no lichens present, just green algae may be found. If the air is clean, shrubby, hairy and leafy lichens become abundant. A few lichen species can tolerate quite high levels of pollution and are commonly found on pavements, walls and tree bark in urban areas. The most sensitive lichens are shrubby and leafy while the most tolerant lichens are all crusty in appearance.
There are three types of lichen: Crusty Leafy Shrubby
There are many different lichens in each group. The presence or absence of each type of lichen indicates the level of air pollution.
I have a task that needs completing, and I’d really like your help.
I would like your help to complete an online environmental study with the information we have gathered about sulphur dioxide levels and types of lichen.
I’ve included the resources you need to complete the task, including documents, images, videos and templates. They should give you plenty of ideas and information.
Follow the instructions, and when you’re ready, complete your task. All this should take you about 45 minutes.
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