Lichens are sensitive to atmospheric pollution, such as nitrogen because they receive all their nutrients and water from deposition. Nitrogen deposition can increase the load of nutrients. Certain species of lichen are more tolerant of nitrogen than others. Scientists often monitor lichen communities as they can act as bioindicators of ecological health. If an increase in nitrogen tolerant species in combination with a decrease in nitrogen sensitive species occurs this may indicate an increase in nitrogen deposition. A shift in lichen species composition and/or their health exemplifies the potential beginning of ecosystem decline due to nitrogen deposition. For this reason, lichen are already used as bioindicators of pollution by biologists and ecologists. For this project, we will test for nitrate concentrations on the edge of various bodies of water in Central Park and compare it to the relative populations of various species of Lichen of varying nitrogen resistances.