Authors: LUCIO LUCADAMO, ANNA CORAPI, LUANA GALLO
Abstract: The potential environmental impact of a biomass power plant (BPP) was evaluated by transplanting thalli of the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea (L.) Zopf in the surrounding area for 3 months. Four meteorological stations were placed at four sites to monitor local winds. At the end of the period, thalli were retrieved and electrical conductivity percentage (EC%), lipid peroxidation, lichen vitality, photosynthetic efficiency, chlorophylls, xanthophylls+carotenoids, OD435/OD415, and concentrations of some elements frequently emitted by BPPs were measured. A univariate-multivariate analysis revealed clusters of sites with dissimilar mean values of ecophysiological parameters. They were merged, when not significantly differing, and classified as different homogeneous ecophysiological zones, one of which was considered an internal control for pigments, revealing a "complete recovery gradient" for the photobiont. The parameter "potential number of times the winds passing through the BPP zone reach each site" was calculated. It showed a significant negative correlation with spatial variation of pigment amounts. As regards the mycobiont, both EC% and lipid peroxidation resulted in the formation of two zones with different degrees of increase compared to the lichen origin area (lack of complete recovery). Most of the elements emitted by traffic and BPP correlated with EC% and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, except Ti, which was negatively correlated with OD435/OD415.
Keywords: Biomass power plant, local wind monitoring, multivariate-univariate techniques, internal control, pigment levels, mycobiont damage
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