Bio-monitoring in Western North America: What Can Lichens Tell Us About Ecological Disturbances?

Chapter

Abstract

Throughout modern history, many habitats across western North America have faced continuous anthropogenic disturbances. Mining, forestry, agriculture, grazing, industrial and residential development, and air pollution have altered natural habitats to varying degrees. Lichens have been considered ‘a canary in the coalmine’ and can provide important insights into the biological impact of human-related disturbances. Here, we discuss the role of lichens as bio-monitors in the intermountain region of western North America.

Keywords

Air pollution Bio-accumulation Bio-indicator Climate change Eutrophication Mining 

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© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Committee on Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biology and M.L. Bean Life Science MuseumBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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