Use of an epiphytic moss to biomonitor pollutant levels in southwestern Pennsylvania

Donald D. Davis, James R. McClenahen, Russell J. Hutnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A native epiphytic moss (Dicranum montanum Hedw.) growing on the trunks of northern red oak trees (Quercus rubra L.) was utilized to biomonitor atmospheric deposition within a mixed-hardwood forest along a ridgetop in southwestern Pennsylvania. Factor analysis and analysis of means revealed a location-related chemical signature in the forest moss that was spatially associated with local industrial/urban emissions, and especially with the metals/transition metals As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mo, Ni, Pb, and Zn. This study documented the usefulness of D. montanum as a biomonitor for pollutant deposition, the utilization of epiphytic stem mosses in capturing stemflow pollutants, and provides a baseline dataset for monitoring relative changes in emissions/ depositions in the study area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-392
Number of pages14
JournalNortheastern Naturalist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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