Air quality monitoring with a lichen network: Baseline data

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  • A network of 56 permanent plots, radiating from the periphery of the Syncrude Lease, was established during the summer of 1976. This network will allow continuous quantitative monitoring of the lichen flora using photographic techniques. Since lichens are highly sensitive to air pollutants such as SO they are capable of showing damage or reduced growth long before it is detectable in other vegetation. This \"early warning system\" may indicate that unnatural biological changes are beginning to take place in the ecosystem and appropriate action, if necessary, may then be taken to minimize further biological changes. It is recommended that, partial resurveys of the grid network should be conducted annually during the first years of the Syncrude plant's operation. These partial resurveys will be relatively economical since only 21 plots, all accessible by road, need be examined. If no adverse changes in the lichen flora are detected during partial resurveys, several years may then elapse before a subsequent partial resurvey is necessary. Complete resurveys will only be required if a partial resurvey indicates adverse changes are occurring. Collections of lichens and mosses during 1975 and 1976 have resulted in a known flora of 121 species of lichens and 136 species of mosses for the Fort McMurray region. Seventeen species of lichens and three species of mosses apparently are new to the flora of Alberta.

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    Conditions of Use Peterson, W.L. and G.W. Douglas, 1977. Air quality monitoring with a lichen network: Baseline data. Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta. Environmental Research Monograph 1977-5. 79 pp. Permission for non-commercial use, publication or presentation of excerpts or figures is granted, provided appropriate attribution (as above) is cited. Commercial reproduction, in whole or in part, is not permitted without prior written consent. The use of these materials by the end user is done without any affiliation with or endorsement by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Reliance upon the end user's use of these materials is at the sole risk of the end user.