- Air pollution and pollution patterns have become a hot topic over the last several years. Many studies have been launched due to the increasing concern with air quality. As urban areas grow, atmospheric heavy metal pollution grows proportionally. Reducing atmospheric heavy metal pollution, and consequent health issues, requires monitoring and tracking in specific locations. Mosses receive all of their nutrients directly from the atmosphere thus, they can be used as biomonitors . The tissue concentrations of moss samples correlate with atmospheric metal content and are indicative of local air quality . Mosses as passive air monitors are inexpensive, easy to collect and allow high-resolution spatial variations to be captured.
A study recently completed in the Portland and Corvallis areas found significant variability in metal concentration among the moss samples on the same tree
. This preliminary study did not focus on spatial variability and thus the importance of placement on the tree was not determined. This is what motivated the current study.
This research project will investigate the spatial variability in metal concentrations using the previously validated Orthotrichum lyellii model at different locations on a subject tree. Additionally, the study will document the bioaccumulation and retention rates of various heavy metals.