Four species of lichen (Cladina rangiferina, Evernia mesomorpha, Hypogymnia physodes, and Parmelia sulcata) were sampled at six locations in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness three times over a span of 11 years and analyzed for concentrations of 16 chemical elements to test the hypotheses that corticolous species would accumulate higher amounts of chemical elements than terricolous species, and that 11 years were sufficient to detect spatial patterns and temporal trends in element contents. Multivariate analyses of over 2770 data points revealed two principal components that accounted for 68% of the total variance in the data. These two components, the first highly loaded with Al, B, Cr, Fe, Ni and S, and the second loaded with Ca, Cd, Mg and Mn, were inversely related to each other over time and space. The first component was interpreted as consisting of an anthropogenic and a dust component, while the second, primarily a nutritional component. Cu, K, Na, P, Pb and Zn were not highly loaded on either component. Component 1 decreased significantly over the 11 years and from west to east, while component 2 increased. The corticolous species were more enriched in heavy metals than the terricolous species. All four elements in component 2 in H. physodes were above enrichment thresholds for this species. Species differences on the two components were greater than the effects of time and space, suggesting that biomonitoring with lichens is strongly species dependent. Some localities in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness appear enriched in some anthropogenic elements for no obvious reasons.
Additional Publication Details
Changes in element contents of four lichens over 11 years in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, northern Minnesota