Given the success of these
previous studies and the need to expand coverage of these biomonitoring
efforts, a new project was undertaken in 2002 to accomplish the
- establish additional
permanent study sites in nine national
parks in the NCR.
- collect floristic and
elemental data systematically within
each permanent study site so that a baseline of lichen biomonitoring
information is available.
- assign species to
categories based on existing
information about pollution sensitivity.
- compare data from new sites
with previously collected data
- resample each site at
five year intervals.
The management questions
addressed by this study are:
- What is the present distribution of species richness in
lichen communities sampled in the largest parks of NCR?
- How do community distribution, species richness and
relative species abundance compare with what should be found in
ecologically similar areas along the Potomac River?
- What evidence is there for changes in air quality over time?
- What evidence is there for present-day pollution hot spots?
What are the implications when pollution thresholds are exceeded?