Moss serves as a cheap pollution monitor: Scientists

According to Japanese scientists, delicate mosses found on rocks and trees in cities around the world can be used as low-cost bioindicator to monitor urban pollution and to measure the impact of atmospheric change.
As a bioindicator, mosses respond to pollution or drought-stress by changing its shape, density or disappearing.  This characteristic will allow scientists to calculate atmospheric alterations and air pollution.

Key Facts

Mosses are a common flowerless plant found in all cities especially in damp (humid) or shady locations. It generally absorb water and nutrients from their immediate environments, so it can reflect changes to ecosystems. So it can be used as potential bioindicators.
In the study, Japanese researchers studied the effect of nitrogen pollution, air quality and drought-stress on moss. They found that drought-stress tends to occur in mosses found in areas with high levels of nitrogen pollution, which has negative impact on health and biodiversity. It can be cost effective and important for getting information about atmospheric conditions especially effect of nitrogen pollution and air quality in urban area.


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