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Quite Amazing!

Note: In December, 1996, Amy outlined her experiment.

MOVIE:
Amy Begins Her Investigation

(3800k) Quicktime

Amy Introduces Her Investigation
(93k) RealAudio

lichens: any of various complex lower plants made up of an alga and a fungus growing together as a new organism

Purpose

I am investigating the effect of acid rain pollution on different samples of lichens, and as a result, seeing if these lichens can be used as bioindicators. I will do this using samples of crustose, foliose, and fruticose lichens.

greenish lichen on a log
crustose - crustlike, flaky
greenish lichen on a log
foliose - leaflike, papery thin
  
hanging, stalky lichen
fruticose-pendant - a variety of fruticose
bunchy, mosslike lichen
fruticose - stalked, branchlike

Predictions

I feel that out of the three types of lichens, the fruticose sample will be most susceptible to the acidic solution. This "beard lichen" is described as bushy and shrubby. Most commonly grown from trees, these lichens are known to grow where the air is clean and less polluted. I feel the foliose lichen sample will be the next most susceptible to the acidic solution. These lichens can be green, yellow, black, or orange and cling to rocks and trees. Foliose lichens are known to be able to survive in slightly polluted areas. The crustose lichen sample will be the least susceptible to the acidic solution. This type of lichen forms hard crusts on barks and rocks. They can survive in polluted areas and are the least developed lichen form.

Procedure

  1. I will order two samples of lichen sets that include portions of crustose, foliose, and fruticose lichens priced at $10.25 per set.
  2. I will take both of the sets and place each type of lichen into a different glass bowl with a lid.

    The jars look like fish bowls.

  3. I will use a sample of crustose, foliose, and fruticose as a control, watering it daily with ten sprays of normal water.

    The spray bottles look like ordinary plant misting bottles.

  4. I will take the remaining sample of crustose, foliose, and fruticose lichens and mist them daily with ten sprays of acidic solution.
  5. I will keep a daily chart of the progress of both the control and the manipulated lichen samples.
  6. I will take photographs for visual purposes to further record the progress of the samples.
  7. I will record all observations in my science fair notebook.

Note: In March, 1997, Amy published her results.

The Results


Bibliography

Hotlist of Online Resources

General Lichen Resources
Natural Perspective - Lichens
Lichens
Lichenland

Lichens as Bio-Indicators
Air Pollution, Lichens, and Mosses
Lichens as Bioindicators
Lichens and Bioaccumulation

Lichen Case Studies
Norwegian Study on Lichens and Pollution
Lichens of Barton Creek
Lichens and Air Quality in the Lye Brook Wilderness Area

Academic/Reference Resources
Ecophysiology of Lichens
Welcome to the World of Lichenology
Lichen Pictures
Links to Lichens and Lichenologists
Lists of Lichenologists

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