Biomonitoring of Air Pollution Using Mosses and Lichens: A Passive and Active Approach ‒ State of the Art Research and Perspectives


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Series: Air, Water and Soil Pollution Science and Technology
BISAC: TEC010010

Air pollution has been recognized as the world’s top problem in many strategic environmental policies. However, it is still inadequately corroborated by regulatory monitoring due to the balance between costs and practicable constraints. The variability in air pollution patterns additionally emphasizes a need for feasible approaches to extensive screening of pollutants. To achieve highly temporally — and spatially — resolved measurements, biomonitoring, i.e., the use of living organisms to determine changes in the environment has been utilized in the investigating of a complementary method to regulatory measurements.

The book Biomonitoring of Air Pollution Using Mosses and Lichens: A Passive and Active Approach ‒ State of the Art Research and Perspectives aims to give reviews of research over the last decade of the most recommended organisms for monitoring airborne inorganic and organic pollutants. Naturally growing mosses and lichens have been used as passive biomonitors of long-term atmospheric deposition of the pollutants across remote areas. To overcome scarcity of these biomonitors in anthropogenically devastated areas, an active biomonitoring approach has been investigated. Specifically, the use of moss and lichen bags represents a convenient technique for easily performed biomonitoring of short-term and small-scale pollutant distribution, especially in urban and industrial areas. As a new direction in biomonitoring, magnetic properties of the biomonitors have been investigated as a valuable proxy for ambient particle pollution.

This book moves beyond the attempt to promote biomonitoring as an effective approach for screening air quality that should be considered for implementation into laws and regulations against air pollution. Finally, the authors review the latest research in the field of air pollution biomonitoring, which is vital for everyone engaged in solving environmental issues. (Imprint: Nova)


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface: Biomonitoring of Air Pollution using Mosses and Lichens ‒ General Aspects

Chapter 1. Monitoring Long-Term and Large-Scale Deposition of Air Pollutants based on Moss Analysis
M. V. Frontasyeva, E. Steinnes and H. Harmens (Department of Neutron Activation Analysis and Applied Research, Division of Nuclear Physics, Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russian Federation, and others)

Chapter 2. Passive Moss Biomonitoring: Atmospheric Deposition of Radionuclides – Methodological Aspects and Practical Limitations
Eiliv Steinnes (Department of Chemistry, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway)

Chapter 3. Is Moss Bag Biomonitoring Suitable Method for Assessment of Intricate Urban Air Pollution?
Gordana Vuković and Mira Aničić Urošević (Institute of Physics Belgrade, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia)

Chapter 4. Nonmetal (C, N, P, S) Air Pollution: Assessment by Passive and Active Moss Biomonitoring
Grzegorz P. Kosior (Department of Ecology, Biogeochemistry and Environmental Protection, Wrocław University, Wrocław, Poland)

Chapter 5. May Lichen Biomonitoring of Air Pollution Serve for the Implementation of Waste Management Policies?
Stefano Loppi and Luca Paoli (Department of Life Sciences, University of Siena, Siena, Italy)

Chapter 6. Biomonitoring of Airborne Persistent Organic Pollutants using Lichens
Sofia Augusto, Vertika Shukla, Dalip Kumar Upreti, Luca Paoli, Andrea Vannini, Stefano Loppi, Cristina Nerín, Celia Domeño and Marta Schuhmacher (TecnATox, Chemical Engineering Department, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Spain, and others)

Chapter 7. Comparison of Lichen and Moss Bags as Monitoring Devices of Airborne Trace Elements and PAHs
Flavia De Nicola, Paola Adamo and Simonetta Giordano (Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie, Università del Sannio, Benevento, Italy, and others)

Chapter 8. Enviromagnetic Biomonitoring: New Directions in Air Quality Assessment using Mosses and Lichens
Hanna Salo (Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku, Finland)



“Bioindication/biomonitoring by moss and lichens is one of the most successful techniques within the field of monitoring water and air pollution. This book provides a comprehensive overview of active and passive monitoring of various toxic substances by moss and lichens. It is a valuable contribution that underpins the scientific reliability of low-cost pollution monitoring.” – Dr. habil. Harald G. Zechmeister, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

“This book gives a state-of-the-art overview of the current knowledge on the use of mosses and lichens as active and passive biomonitors of persistent pollutants. The authors of the eight chapters have long research experience and international reputation in the field of biomonitoring, and they constitute an assurance of the scientific quality of the book. In my opinion, this update on the methodology of active and passive biomonitoring of persistent atmospheric pollutants will be very useful for experts and practitioners.” – Professor Dr. Roberto Bargagli, Head of PhD School on “Environmental, Geological, and Polar Sciences and Technologies” & Department Physical, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Siena, Siena, Italy

“The use of lichens and mosses is recognized as one of the most successful techniques for characterizing pollutants in the atmosphere. This book reviews the applications of this tool to multiple scenarios of air pollution, and it is an important contribution that disseminates scientific support to all stakeholders working in environmental issues.” – Dr. Pedro Pinho, CERENA – Centro de Recursos Naturais e Ambiente & cE3c – Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Change, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

“Leading experts in their fields offer a complete and up-to-date account of all various air pollutants. This excellent book is extremely valuable and is a ‘must-have’ for all students and beginning PhD students, professionals, and senior scientists in the field of moss and lichen bio-monitoring. The book clearly describes future perspectives and the potential of involving moss and lichen monitoring techniques in national and international air monitoring programs. It is without doubt that this book offers an important step forward toward a new and more complete monitoring of air pollution. This is THE next book to read for everybody involved in air pollution monitoring, and THE reference for moss and lichen bio-monitoring!” – Professor Dr. Ir. Roeland Samson, Head of Laboratory of Environmental and Urban Ecology, Department of Bioscience Engineering, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium

Additional Information

The audiences of the proposed publication are scientists/research groups in the field of Environmental Sciences, predominantly in Ecology, Atmospheric Science/Air pollution and Chemistry. The proposed book is of interest for undergraduate/graduate/PhD students and lecturers. In addition, since the book is focused on biomonitoring as a simple tool for estimating patterns of atmospheric pollution, it could influence environmental policy makers/state and city authorities contributing by the process of building new implementations.

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