Biomonitoring of urban air quality in Kaunas City (Lithuania) using transplanted lichens
Keywords: lichen transplants, urban environment, air pollution
AbstractThe aim of the study was to evaluate air quality using an active biomonitoring method. The lichens Ramalina farinacea and Evernia prunastri were transplanted to urban sites in Kaunas City, Lithuania. Changes in chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, phaeophytization ratio, electrical conductivity were determined after one, two and three months. After stimulation of chlorophyll synthesis the increase in chlorophyll content was observed after one month with its decrease during the next months. No significant variation in content of chlorophyll was observed in comparison with control and this could be attributed to variables of air pollution which did not exceed threshold levels. There was no interspecific difference in the response of the two lichen species in the physiological parameters, but Ramalina farinecea was more sensitive to cell membrane damage than Evernia prunastri in the studied urban environment. The study provides information that one month of transplantation is not enough in order to determine air quality status in urban environment.