Lichens are sensitive to the presence of ammonia (NH3) in the environment. However, in order to use them as reliable indicators in biomonitoring studies, it is necessary to establish unequivocally the occurrence of certain symptoms following the exposure to NH3 in the environment. In this paper, we simulated an episode of acute air pollution due to the release of NH3. The biological effects of acute air pollution by atmospheric NH3 have been investigated using N-sensitive (Flavoparmelia caperata) and N-tolerant (Xanthoria parietina) species. Lichen samples were exposed to ecologically relevant NH3 concentrations for 8 weeks, simulating three areas of impact: a control area (2 μg/m(3)), an area of intermediate impact (2-35 μg/m(3)) and an area of high impact (10-315 μg/m(3)), with a peak of pollution reached between the fourth and fifth week. Ammonia affected both the photobiont and the mycobiont in F. caperata, while in X. parietina only the photosynthetic performance of the photobiont was altered after exposure to the highest concentration. In the photobiont of F. caperata we recorded chlorophyll degradation as indicated by OD435/415 ratio, decrease of the photosynthetic performance (as reflected by the maximum quantum yield of primary photochemistry FV/FM and the performance index PIABS); in the mycobiont, ergosterol reduction, membrane lipid peroxidation (as reflected by the increase of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances), alteration (decrease) of the secondary metabolite usnic acid. No effects were detected on caperatic acid and dehydrogenase activity. In X. parietina, the only signal determined by NH3 was the alteration of FV/FM and the performance index PIABS. The results suggest that physiological parameters in N-sensitive lichens well reflect the effects of NH3 exposure and can be applied as early indicators in monitoring studies.

Effects of acute NH3 air pollution on N-sensitive and N-tolerant lichen species

Paoli, Luca
Primo
;
2015

Abstract

Lichens are sensitive to the presence of ammonia (NH3) in the environment. However, in order to use them as reliable indicators in biomonitoring studies, it is necessary to establish unequivocally the occurrence of certain symptoms following the exposure to NH3 in the environment. In this paper, we simulated an episode of acute air pollution due to the release of NH3. The biological effects of acute air pollution by atmospheric NH3 have been investigated using N-sensitive (Flavoparmelia caperata) and N-tolerant (Xanthoria parietina) species. Lichen samples were exposed to ecologically relevant NH3 concentrations for 8 weeks, simulating three areas of impact: a control area (2 μg/m(3)), an area of intermediate impact (2-35 μg/m(3)) and an area of high impact (10-315 μg/m(3)), with a peak of pollution reached between the fourth and fifth week. Ammonia affected both the photobiont and the mycobiont in F. caperata, while in X. parietina only the photosynthetic performance of the photobiont was altered after exposure to the highest concentration. In the photobiont of F. caperata we recorded chlorophyll degradation as indicated by OD435/415 ratio, decrease of the photosynthetic performance (as reflected by the maximum quantum yield of primary photochemistry FV/FM and the performance index PIABS); in the mycobiont, ergosterol reduction, membrane lipid peroxidation (as reflected by the increase of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances), alteration (decrease) of the secondary metabolite usnic acid. No effects were detected on caperatic acid and dehydrogenase activity. In X. parietina, the only signal determined by NH3 was the alteration of FV/FM and the performance index PIABS. The results suggest that physiological parameters in N-sensitive lichens well reflect the effects of NH3 exposure and can be applied as early indicators in monitoring studies.
Paoli, Luca; Maslaňáková, Ivana; Grassi, Alice; Bačkor, Martin; Loppi, Stefano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/945636
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