Mosses are important biomonitors for air pollution. In many countries in Europe, mosses are collected at five-year intervals as part of the Heavy Metals in Mosses Survey, a long-term project in which the IINH participates. The technique of moss analysis provides a measure of the spatial patterns of heavy metal deposition from the atmosphere to the ground.
In Iceland, emphasis is placed on monitoring deposition in the vicinity of heavy industry sites such as the aluminium smelters at Grundartangi, Straumsvík, and Reyðarfjörður. Heavy metal accumulation is measured in Hylocomium splendens, a common moss species with a wide distribution around Iceland.
IINH Contact: Járngerður Grétarsdóttir