Moss, Lichens and Phytobenthos Bioindicators of Pollution
Nicoletta Guerrieri*, Laura Fantozzi, Arianna Orrù
Journal Title: Open Access Journal of Waste Management & Xenobiotics
The use of lichens, mosses and phytobenthos as biomonitors of air and water pollution by heavy metals is discussed on the basis of the literature and the author’s own experience. The usefulness of the available monitoring techniques is critically evaluated. Moss and lichens are considered very useful biodindicators especially for large-scale studies of heavy-metal deposition from the atmosphere. National and international organization standardized and shared monitoring protocols. We analysed the recent literature from 2019 to April 2020 and selected some significant case studies that contribute to an improvement of the analytical methods and to a development of new tools. A wide literature reports monitoring of air pollution with moss and lichens, both natural and transplanted. The use of transplanted moss as bioindicator of water pollution is less represented in the available literature. Phytobenthos represents a new frontier in the aquatic ecosystem monitoring and even if a standardized method has not yet been finalized, it represents a potential very useful biomonitor of metals, emergent pollutants and also microplastics in aquatic environment. New tools, new technologies are emerging from recent literature and the relationship between environment and human health starts to be studied from a different point of view.