OPAL Air survey - Field Studies Council

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OPAL Air Survey

What is air?

  Air is a mixture of gases Nitrogen 78.09%, Oxygen 20.95%, 1% other

Why is it important?

Animals

Life on earth

Plants Humans

Inhale : Oxygen (O2)

Humans

Exhale : Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Air pollution Sources : Vehicles Factories Houses Aerosols Farming Effects: Smog Acid rain Climate change

Nitrogen pollution  Sources: Car fumes, factories, fertilisers  Problem: Producing too much nitrogen  Effects: Acid rain, harming ecosystems, contributing to global warming

Where do you find the most nitrogen pollution?

Countryside Suburban City

Bio-indicators  Bio-indicators are living organisms that can be used to monitor the health of an environment or ecosystem.

Examples include:  Canaries used by coal miners  Invertebrates in streams e.g. Mayfly nymph

I have a flattened body What is a lichen?

I have no roots I have no stem I have no leaves

Lichens – Two lives in one   A lichen is a partnership between a fungus and an alga. The fungus (mycobiont) provides protection and the alga (photobiont) provides food.

 Reproduce by fragmentation or through soredia

Symbiosis or controlled parasitism ?

By existing together they can live in places they couldn’t survive on their own.

Where do lichens grow?

• Anywhere – even in the most extreme environments Hot African deserts Rocky shores Cold Alpine peaks

Lichen biodiversity • 18,000 identified worldwide 1,700 in Britain Bushy Leafy Crusty • Some lichens are more tolerant to pollution than others I nitrogen!

I hate nitrogen!

Spot the lichen 1 2 3

Activity 1 – lichens on trees  Sample 4 deciduous trees – un shaded 1      Identify the tree species Measure the girth of the tree Identify all indicator lichens on one face of the trunk Look at the twigs of the tree – record lichens Record insects that you see 2 3 4

Tar spot     Fungus Rhytisma acerinum Sensitive to pollution Growth is reduced by sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen The more tar spot the less polluted the air Count as 2 spots

Make your results count Website : www.OPALexplorenature.org

Results can also be posted in for free!

Enjoy the survey!!!!

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