Plants as Traits of a Healthy Environment

Air Quality Sensitive: Sulfur dioxide and heavy metals affect lichens and mosses. Environmental air quality can be determined by monitoring their health.

Aquatic plants like macrophytes respond to water quality changes. Their presence or absence can indicate nutrient, contaminant, and water quality.

Plants can indicate soil health. Changes in plant species composition, growth patterns, or indicator species can indicate soil contamination or nutrient imbalances.

Some plants can accumulate and endure high pollution levels. Plant species' ability to absorb and concentrate contaminants helps phytoremediation identify problem regions.

Deforestation and Habitat Loss: Monitoring plant health and variety in an ecosystem can show the effects of deforestation. Plant community changes may indicate ecological instability.

Changes in plant distribution and flowering seasons can indicate climatic change. Observing these changes helps scientists track ecological shifts and biological reactions to warming.

The existence and spread of invasive plant species can signal environmental issues. Indigenous plants may be outcompeted by invasive species, causing biodiversity loss.

Mycorrhizal Fungi Associations: Plant-fungi associations can indicate soil health and nutrient cycling. Changes in these symbiotic connections may indicate ecosystem disruptions.

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