Biomonitoring of the urban air quality


Biomonitoring is a rapid and economical method that has commonly been used for assessing environmental quality and potentially detrimental effects of pollutants to the biosphere. Various bioindicators / biomonitors have been used for assessment of the state of natural ecosystems: higher plants, mosses, lichen, fung, animals, etc. The research at the Environmental Physics Laboratory has been focused on the use of some deciduous trees and mosses as biomonitors of urban trace elements pollution.

1. Biomonitoring of trace elements atmospheric deposition using tree leaves

Tree leaves are a common indicator of the environmental impact of point and line sources, or urban areas. Higher plants are not as suitable biomonitors as mosses and lichens, although, in highly polluted areas (industrial or urban environment) where lichens and mosses are often absent, trees can act as unique and appropriate bioindicators/biomonitors. Moreover, tree leaves are very efficient in trapping atmospheric particles, and they have a special role in reducing the level of fine, "high risk" respirable particulates (PM < 2.5 micrometers), that have potential to cause serious human health problems...

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2. Biomonitoring of trace elements atmospheric deposition using mosses

Mosses (bryophytes) have been recognized as the most effective type of organisms for biomonitoring of air quality based on their numerous anatomical and physiological features, widespread occurrence and tendency to accumulate and retain pollutants. These include indigenous naturally-occurring forms, moss transplants, moss bags and peat profiles. The first researches with moss as biomonitors in the Environmental Physics Laboratory have started in 2004...

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