Lichens as Indicators of Air Quality

Lichens are a symbiotic association between fungi and photosynthetic organisms such as green algae. Their abundance and diversity can be an indirect assessment of air quality. In 2009-10, we received funding from the Pa Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Wild Resource Conservation Program to study the application of lichens as indicators of air quality and habitat alteration in southwestern Pennsylvania. Lichen surveys were conducted throughout Allegheny, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.

The results of the study are available below in a series of presentations and publications.
Continued Research:  Diversity and Distribution of Lichens
We continue surveying sites throughout southwestern Pennsylvania to examine the diversity and distribution of lichens in the area. One such study was funded by a McKinley Research Grant from Pymatuning Ecology Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh to survey lichens in Crawford County, PA. The results of the study is available below.

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