Characterisation of Heavy Metals in Lichen Species Hypogymnia physodes and Evernia prunastri due to Biomonitoring of Air Pollution in the Vicinity of Copper Mine

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Faculty of Agriculture, Goce Delčev University, POB 201, 2000 Štip, Macedonia

2 Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Sts. Cyril and Methodius University, POB 162, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia

3 Geological Survey of Slovenia, Dimičeva ulica 14, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


Lichen species (Hypogymnia physodes and Evernia prunastri) were used for biomonitoring the
possible air pollution with heavy metals in the vicinity of copper mine in the eastern part of the Republic of
Macedonia. The contents of 18 elements were analysed by ICP-AES and ETAAS techniques. For data
processing basic statistical methods and multivariate exploratory (factor and cluster analysis) techniques were
applied. Three geogenic and one anthropogenic group of elements were singled out from factor analysis. Maps
of spatial distribution of elements from the anthropogenic group showed an increased content of the anthropogenic
elements only in close vicinity to the mine. A maximum value obtained for Cu content was 130 mg/kg and for
Pb content was 120 mg/kg. Lichen talus of the collected species showed high retention power for accumulation
of the anthropogenic group of elements compared to moss species sampled from the same study area (r=0.86
and r=0.68). Here we show that lichens can be use as biomonitors for atmospheric distribution of anthropogenicintroduced