The effects of air pollution on lichen biodiversity (LB) were monitored in Liguria (northwest Italy). A systematic sampling strategy was adopted in order to avoid the influence of spatial autocorrelation on the results. An eight LB class scale permitted to point out the levels of naturality/alteration in the region. The comparison of these results with the ones obtained by mean of physico-chemical methodologies shows a good accordance. The results of this study suggest the possibility of designing an integrated monitoring network, in which biological monitoring will allow to estimate the level of alteration in remote areas, which account for most of this region and which are currently not covered by measurements with automatic systems. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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