Urban Barcode Project Team Jennifer Doran
Urban Barcode Project
Research Topic:
Wildlife & health
Taxonomic Group Studied:


Biomonitoring: Lichen as Bioindicators of Air Pollution in Urban & Suburban Areas
Olivia Craig, Jonah Gurion
Rye Country Day School, Other
Jennifer Busuttil-Doran


Air pollution has many negative effects on the environment, from plant growth and development to biodiversity loss due to urbanization, heat islands, and climate change. Urban and Suburban areas of New York face different, but similar problems in air pollution. Cities tend to have higher levels of vehicle emissions due to population density whereas rural areas tend to have more agricultural wastes and pollutants from fertilizers and emissions from machinery. How might we utilize bioindicator species such as “lichens” to assess air quality in our local communities? We know lichens depend on atmospheric moisture, rain, fog, and dew for growth, and there are usually very few lichens around in industrial cities and towns compared to rural regions. Additionally, they can be a quick and cost-effective tool in giving us a window into the quality of our air in our local communities. This study aims to investigate the distribution and abundance of lichens species on tree trunks and branches


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