Urban Barcode Project Team SR Tenafly Lichens Biodiversity
Urban Barcode Project
Research Topic:
Biodiversity & trade
Taxonomic Group Studied:


Biodiversity of Lichens in Tenafly, NJ, as Indicators of Air Pollution
Gabrielle Eimbinder, Yuanning Hui
Tenafly High School, Other
Helen Coyle


8% of our world is covered in lichens, according to a research performed by Dr. Johan Asplund and Dr. David A. Wardle in 2016. Lichens are composite organisms composed of algae and fungi, and they are essential to the environment. Not only are they numerous and thus have a key role in oxygen production, as the Nation Park Service website states, but also are bio-indicators of air pollution. For example, prior research done by S. Munzi, et al. (2013) showed that the lichens species Xanthoria parietina is found to be insensitive to nitrogen after long term exposure to such pollutants. Thus, if we see more species of pollution-tolerating lichens in an area, we can deduce that the location is more heavily polluted. Tenafly is a suburban town in New Jersey, near the Hudson River. This project seeks to investigate the extent to which air pollution affects lichen biodiversity in Tenafly. We will use the sensitivity to air pollution of lichens.


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