Hydration state of the Moss Hylocomium splendens and the Lichen Cladina stellaris governs uptake and revolatilization of airborne α- and γ‑Hexachlorocyclohexane

22 January 2014

The partitioning of α- and γ-hexachlorocyclohexane between air and the moss Hylocomium splendens and the lichen Cladina stellaris were studied under laboratory conditions. After cultivation of the sample material to obtain a common starting point free from outside influence, the material was divided into four different treatment categories with different hydration/desiccation regimes. The concentrations of the analytes were 3–5 times higher in the hydrated moss or lichen than in the desiccated material. The results are in contrast to how these compounds are taken up by pine needles in which there is a continuous accumulation, more rapid during periods with high temperatures and dry weather. In general, the different adaptations to water economy is a more important explanatory factor for the concentration of airborne hydrophobic pollutants in mosses, lichens, and vascular plants than their designation as “plants” in a broad sense. It is, therefore, not advisible to mix data from different organism groups for monitoring or modeling purposes.