Current issue: 54(2)
Air-borne Cu and Zn from a brass foundry at Gusum, SE Sweden, have considerably disturbed the lichen and bryophyte vegetation in the coniferous forest environment. The occurrence of lichens on Norway spruce twigs decreased rapidly with increasing Cu concentrations in Hypogymnia physodes above 90 ppm (background value 10–15). The epiphytic vegetation is reduced within 2–3 km from the foundry. Only stunted individuals occur in the close vicinity of the pollution source.
The cover of one of the quantitatively most important mosses, Hylocomnium splendens, is greatly reduced by the heavy-metal deposition. Cover values of 20–50% are not uncommon in distant sites (Cu concentration 15–35 ppm). There is a significant negative correlation between Cu concentration in the moss and its cover. The moss cannot survive much more than ca. 130 ppm Cu (and 360 ppm Zn). Live individuals are no more found within 1.5 km from the foundry.