Istituto di Biofisica     
Scerbo R., Ristori T., Possenti L., Lampugnani L., Barale R., Barghigiani C. Lichen (Xanthoria parietina) biomonitoring of trace element contamination and air quality assessment in Pisa Province (Tuscany, Italy). In: Science of the Total Environment, vol. 286 (1-3) pp. 27 - 40. Elsevier, 2002.
In the northern part of Pisa Province (Tuscany, Italy), the use of lichens as both airborne trace element biomonitors and air quality bioindicators is described. The following elements were analysed in Xanthoria parietina: As, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, V, Zn and Hg, and the results are compared with those we previously obtained in Livorno Province (Tuscany) using the same lichen species. The results identify spots of different environmental metal contamination and air quality. Median values of Pb, V and Ni concentrations were much lower than those of Livorno Province, with maximum values even nine times lower. Arsenic contamination was also lower, while Cd, Hg and Zn levels were similar in the two areas. In Pisa Province, the highest levels of contamination were recorded for Zn, Pb, Cr and Ni, and a degree of agreement was found between air quality and metal concentrations in lichens. The air quality in Pisa Province is better than in Livorno Province, even if the different climatic and orographic features of the two areas may influence the presence of lichen species and thus an assessment of air quality.
DOI: 10.1016/S0048-9697(01)00959-7
Subject Lichens
Heavy metals
Atmospheric contamination

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