Scientific Colloquium
April 12, 2017, 3:30 p.m.

"Lichens and Mosses as Global Indicators of Ecosystem Health"  

In 2016, moss monitoring burst into public awareness with national news of metal contamination in Portland, Oregon neighborhoods. The Oregon Dept. of Conservation responded with instrumented measurements and improvements to the regulation of the glass blowing industry. The study, led by US Forest Service research scientists, is part of a long legacy of biomonitoring conducted by the agency to assess and map air pollution. In fact, lichens and mosses are used world-wide to assess fertilizing and acidifying air pollutants, metals, persistent organic compounds, to indicate intensity of climate change on the landscape, and to track changes in biodiversity. In this talk you will be introduced to the beauty and diversity of lichens and mosses and how to ‘read the trees’ to assess environmental health. Dr. Geiser will show examples from studies conducted by the agency across the US and in collaboration with European researchers.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Linda Geiser is the National Program Leader for the US Forest Service Air Program. From 1989-2014 she served as an ecologist for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska national forests. She has studied lichen response to air pollution and climate, using lichen community surveys, lichen elemental analysis, and passive sampling to assess air quality status and trends in national forests and parks throughout the western US. She is an author of over 60 related scientific articles and books including Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest (2009) and Biology of Lichens–Symbiosis, Ecology, Environmental Monitoring, Systematics and Cyber Applications (2010). She contributed to Pardo et al. (2010) Assessment of Nitrogen Deposition Effects and Empirical Critical Loads of Nitrogen for Ecoregions of the US and was lead author for the ecological effects chapter of the Landers et al. (2008) Western Airborne Contaminants Assessment Project report. Nature and lichens are her passion and she enjoys sharing that joy with others.

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