Our project was based off of group 2's proposal. We loved their idea and thought it would be really interesting to observe lichen around campus, especially for me, because lichen is not something you pay close mind to every day. The idea that the quantity of lichen could be an indicator of the air pollution was a nice comparison. Counting lichen is fairly straightforward to do, and therefore, we set out to search for lichen at the campus pond and Sylvan woods and compare their differences!
We set up one 4 x 4 plot with flags around those two areas and used a metal grid to count each individual lichen on north facing trees that appeared in the grid - one meter up each tree; depending on how many trees were inside of the plot. We were able to get this equipment from Peter Alpert. So we looked for crustose, fruticose, and foliose, though mostly found foliose and crustose because we did not find any fruticose on the trees we looked at. Our results from T testing showed no significant differences between the campus pond and Sylvan, so this told us that there was no difference between the air pollution in those areas.
Although we all expected Sylvan to have much more lichen, and therefore less air pollution because of how rural it is in comparison to the frequented campus pond, we assume the reason for there not being a significant difference is because we did not go deep enough into Sylvan woods. We took data from the outside, and expect that if we ventured deeper, we might have seen more of a difference that we could have drawn evidence from.