UZAIR NIAZ IHSAN ULLAH Pollution Pollution Indicators Pollution indicator species Question answers The change in the environment caused by natural or artificial input of harmful contaminants into the environment, that cause instability, disruption or harmful effects to the ecosystem. A pollution indicator is anything that show us if pollution has happened . Pollution indicators are plants and animals that, by their presence, abundance, or chemical composition, demonstrate some distinctive aspect of the character or quality of the environment. Indicator species Living organisms can be used as indicators of pollution: Lichens can be used as air pollution indicators. Invertebrate animals can be used as water pollution indicators. Lichens Unlike trees, grasses and flowers, lichens are not a single plant They are actually composed of two organisms living together in a symbiotic relationship… A blue-green algae which photosynthesises to make food, and a fungus which creates a “body” in which both partners live Lichens (cont….) Lichens are very sensitive to sulphur dioxide (SO2) pollution in the air – from industry and burning fossil fuels, especially coal Different species lichens give clues about air pollution. Lichens grow slowly, they indicate long-term purity of the air. Types There are about 30,000 species of lichen worldwide, covering 8% of the land surface. There are 3 main types… Crusty Leafy Shrubby/bushy low Shrubby lichen high Leafy lichen Crusty lichen Lichens (cont….) Clean air - shrubby, hairy and leafy lichens become abundant. Some pollution - more tolerant crusty lichens are present In extreme cases of high pollution- no lichens at all Animals as pollution indicators Invertebrate animals are good indicators of water pollution. Some can live in very polluted water others can only live in clean water. We can determine if the water is polluted by collecting a sample of suspected water and analysis the type of animals that are in the sample. Clean water Stone fly nymph Freshwater shrimp Sludge worm Very polluted water Mayfly nymph Pond skater Rat-tailed maggot Fish as a good pollution indication Fish need oxygen to live in the water. Water pollution effects the oxygen level in the water. If the water is so polluted the oxygen levels will fall and fish will die. This is how fish are a good indicator or pollution.