Using maritime lichens to monitor Hong Kong coastline pollution
Professor Hodgkiss, Ivor John (Principal investigator)
Professor Seaward (Co-principal investigator)
Miss Fung (Co-Investigator)
HKU Project Code
UK/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme
Lichens are slow-growing plants which are extremely sensitive to changes in the environment, particularly pollution. Since the various species respond in different ways to a whole range of environmental factors; long-term and short-term changes, for good or ill, can be monitored with considerable accuracy. Monitoring pollution by means of chemical and physical apparatus is influenced by their period of operation, and the few pollutants they can measure. It is important to complement such data with biological monitoring. The potential for monitoring water-borne pollutants using lichens has not been fully developed. Hong Kong provides an ideal situation to explore this since there is an extensive shore-line supporting diverse lichen floras which have been, or are being, subjected to widely varying degrees of pollution and other environmental disturbances.