This study of the lichens of three prairie parks being studied by the National Park
Service was designed 1) to collect lichens for lichen species lists, 2) to collect lichens for elemental analysis, 3) to study the health and distributions of species most sensitive to air pollution, and 4) to assess the effects of air quality on lichens. The parks were Effigy Mounds National Monument (EFMO), Homestead National Monument (HOME), and Wilson's Creek National Battlefield (WICR). Each park is treated in a separate section of this report. Eleven localities were studied in EFMO, three localities in HOME, and 10 localities in WI CR. Samples of two species were also collected at localities in each park for elemental analysis.
The lichen floras are reasonably diverse for each area. There were 79 species present in
EFMO, 19 species present in HOME, and 88 species present in WICR. Two undescribed
new species were found in WICR and one additional new species in EFMO. All of the
lichens found were in good health and with normal fertility. The lichens studied by elemental analysis showed elevated levels of soil contamination and some elevation of anthropogenic elements in HOME but all elements in EFMO and WICR were comparable to other clean areas. There seemed to be no indications of threatening air quality problems (primarily from sulfur dioxide) in these parks.
Recommendations are for periodic (5 year) restudy of the lichens by elemental analysis.
A complete lichen restudy of the lichen flora should be done every 10-15 years. The localities where undescribed species were found should receive protection. If construction or maintenance activities are planned within these areas a lichenologist should be consulted to prevent loss of species.
Wetmore CM, Bennett JP. Lichens and air quality in Three Prairie Parks, Effigy Mounds National Monument-Iowa, Homestead National Monument-Nebraska, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield-Missouri. Final Report. 1997:1-25.
1 PDF computer file (Working copy, includes handwritten corrections; 22 pages plus 1 page of tabular data, 3 maps, 1 picture)
Biological Resources Division
U. S. Geological Survey
Purchase Order #83160-6-0063
Wetmore, Clifford M.; Bennett, James P..
Lichens and air quality in Three Prairie Parks, Effigy Mounds National Monument-Iowa, Homestead National Monument-Nebraska, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield-Missouri: Final Report..
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