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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 884-893
    Received: Dec 20, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): garty@post.tau.ac.il
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Photosynthesis, Chlorophyll Integrity, and Spectral Reflectance in Lichens Exposed to Air Pollution

  1. J. Garty *a,
  2. O. Tamirb,
  3. I. Hassidb,
  4. A. Eshelb,
  5. Y. Cohenb,
  6. A. Karnielic and
  7. L. Orlovskyc
  1. a Dep. of Plant Sciences and Institute for Nature Conservation Research, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv Univ., Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
    b Dep. of Plant Sciences, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv Univ., Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
    c The Remote Sensing Lab., J. Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion Univ., Sede-Boker Campus 84990, Israel


The major objective of the present study was to identify the relationship of physiologial parameters of the photosynthetic system with the elemental content of the lichen Ramalina lacera (With.) J.R. Laund. Thalli of R. lacera were collected in an unpolluted site and transplanted in a national park and an industrial region in Israel for 8 mo. Analyses of photosynthetic activity, chlorophyll integrity, spectral reflectance, and amount of 11 metals were performed after this period of exposure. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), indicative of the spectral reflectance response of the thallus, correlated with photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll and K content and correlated inversely with amounts of Ba, Cr, Cu, and Ni. The NDVI appears to enable the detection of early signs of pollutant-induced stress before changes in other physiological parameters become apparent. Elevated amounts of Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Zn in lichens transplanted to an industrial area and the correlation of Mn and Ni, Mn and V, Ni and V, Fe and Mn, Fe and V, and Fe and Zn point for the greater part to metal processing in a steel smelter. Correlations of Cr and Ni, Cu and Ni, Zn and Cu, Cu and Mn, and Zn and Ni could be related to metal processing in the industrial area but indicate also vehicular activity as a possible originator.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:884–893.