Bryophytes and Lichens of North America: Diversity, Function and Importance
Berryman, Shanti .
Mapping the characteristics of air pollutant deposition patterns using epiphytic lichens as bioindicators in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of northeastern Alberta.
Rapid industrial development in the Athabasca Oil Sands (AOS) region of northeastern Alberta has resulted in increased nitrogen- and sulphur-based emissions. The understanding of the current deposition field for these pollutants in the region is limited. Lichens have been shown to be affordable and effective biomonitors for nitrogen and sulphur in the AOS region as documented in a 2002 lichen pilot study. A new research program will be implemented in August 2008 to map the characteristics of air pollutant deposition patterns using epiphytic lichens as bioindicators in the AOS. Collections of two lichen species (Hypogymnia physodes and Evernia mesomorpha) will be made at 312 forested sites within a 150 km radius surrounding the oil sands operations. All lichen samples will be analyzed for total nitrogen and sulphur. A spatially explicit predictive model will be developed to map patterns of nitrogen and sulphur concentrations in lichen in the AOS region based on a suite of potentially influential variables. Lichen chemistry data will be compared to modeled deposition values of nitrogen and sulphur from the California Puff Atmospheric Gaussian Diffusion model to evaluate the reliability of the model predictions for the region. A sub-set of lichen samples from sites with high and low levels of nitrogen and sulphur (~30% of total sites) will be analyzed for a suite of trace metals for source apportionment analysis. Receptor modeling and source apportionment analysis will identify specific source types in the region that contribute to elemental enrichment in lichen, such as emissions from diesel fleets, upgrading stacks, tailings impoundments, in-situ operations, light vehicle traffic, and potential biogenic sources. Results from this biomonitoring program will provide a realistic understanding of nitrogen and sulphur deposition patterns in the region and can provide a basis for future research and biomonitoring programs.
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1 - 1426 Santa Cruz Drive, Santa Fe, NM, 87505, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 2:20 PM