Lichen species to bioindicate air quality in Eastern United States from elemental composition: lessons from the midwest.
This study was conducted to evaluate the recommendations of Will-Wolf and others (in press) using data from other studies. The 1994-2005 distribution patterns of all five tested macrolichen bioindicator species with respect to pollution load and nearby forest cover in the NE and MidA regions using lichen community data for subsets of FIA plots, were evaluated. It was found that the distribution patterns of lichen elemental bioindicator species with respect to pollution and land cover in NE and MidA US regions supported recommendations from an upper Midwest study, but also suggested the need for additional evaluations. One additional recommendation from this study is to evaluate Punmis as an elemental bioindicator for the MidA region. It appears from evaluation of 1994-2005 species distributions that considering nearby forest cover will be more helpful to predict bioindicator species representation at plots in the MidA region than in the NE region. Reliable and cost-effective plot-level bioindicators for air quality are needed to improve assessment of the environmental health of eastern US forests, especially in the absence of other reliable indicators for local air quality across a wide region.