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Lichens and Pollution - an Introduction
 

Lichens and Pollution - an Introduction

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Introductory presentation provided via the OPAL (Open Air Laboratory) project.

Introductory presentation provided via the OPAL (Open Air Laboratory) project.

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    Lichens and Pollution - an Introduction Lichens and Pollution - an Introduction Presentation Transcript

    • Lichens and Pollution … Is our air clean?Activities follow the information on the OPAL air survey web pages -http://www.opalexplorenature.org/ Compiled by Jacqui Middleton, 2010.
    • WHAT IS A LICHEN?o Lichens are made up of two different organisms living together: A fungus and an alga .o The fungus provides the body in which the alga can live protected from light and drought.o The alga makes the food for the
    • Many lichens do not like air pollutionThere are many types of air pollution:o Smoke from chimneyso Car fumeso Dust and fertiliser from fieldso Fumes from factories and power stationsAll of these types of air pollution contain NITROGEN – many lichens do not like too much NITROGEN.
    • What do our air-monitor lichens look like?• Leafy lichens Parmelia family – brown, yellow-green Xanthoria – Physcia – with and grey-green leafy lichens – have orange leafy longish hairs short hairs on their underside lichens on the edges• Bushy lichensEvernia - Green top &White underside Usnea – like a Hypogymnia – a puffy wirey beard lichen with no hairs
    • Our air- monitorlichens will tell us howclean our air is.
    • Looking for our lichens - 1 • We are going to find the 4 best lichen trees in the school grounds. • Each group will choose one tree and measure its girth using a tape measure (or a piece of string and a ruler).
    • Looking for our lichens - 2• We are going to look for the 1 2 3 different lichens on the trunk of a tree up to our heads .• We are also going to say how much of each type of lichen is on the tree and will tell our group leader.• 0 = no lichens• 1 = enough lichens to cover a quarter of a sheet of A4• 2 = enough lichens to cover 1 2 3 half a sheet of A4• 3 = enough lichens to cover a A4 sheet of whole sheet or more paper
    • Looking for our lichens - 3•We are going to look for lichens on twigs•We are going to look for algae (dark green or orange powder)•Your group leader will make a note of what you see on your group’s record sheet.
    • What do the results mean? • Places with clean air have more pollution sensitive bushy lichens (e.g. Usnea and Evernia) • Places that have a lot of nitrogen will have a lot of the orange leafy lichens (Xanthoria) • Places that have quite clean air will have lots of the green and brown leafy lichens (Parmelias) • If both are growing together then the air might be changing
    • After we come back in … • The oldest children will set up air pollution tubes to put outside. • Everyone else will make drawings and/or write about what we did to put up on our display or into our Wildlife Club display book. • Please stay with your groups today.For more information and downloads concerning these activities go tothe OPAL air survey web pages - http://www.opalexplorenature.org/