MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jo˛ef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Environmental Biomonitoring


Ecotechnologies, third-level study programme


prof. dr. Milena Horvat
doc. dr. Zvonka Jeran


Students will gain basic information about the assessment of the status of terrestrial and water ecosystems by the use of plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms as bioindicators.
They will get insight into the levels and to methods of bioindication in different ecosystems as an additional or substitutive method for evaluating environmental pollution.
Informations will be given about the principles and the use of organisms for assessment of the quality of different ecosystems in comparison to other physicochemical methods.
An overview on different ways (indicators, accumulators, monitors) and different levels (cell, organ, part of the organ, organism, population; the morphology, physiology) of using bioindicators/biomonitors to identify the presence and abundance of different air pollutants will be given.
Knowledge of the bioindication methods allow us to assess not only natural environment but also seminatural and agricultural environment and direct students to the use of sustainable technology.
Students will get an overview of different international programs using biomonitoring.
This study programme offer students to acquire how to compare and evaluate biological or biomonitoring data with different technological processes and other methods of environmental assessment and to use these approaches in particular case study.


Definitions, principles of bioindication. Linkage of environmental and human bioindication.
The use of environmental bioindication/biomonitoring for the assessment of status and quality of terrestrial and water ecosystem caused by air, water or soil pollution with different pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen compounds, fotooxidants, heavy metals, radionuclides, persistent organic compounds…
Comparison and overview of different ways of bioindication (Indicators, accumulators, monitors...)
Bioindicators in use: The use of epiphytic lichens and bryophytes as biomonitors; Higher plants as indicators of air or soil pollution; Soil pollution and use of bioindicators (fungi, microorganisms); Vertebrates (fish, birds, game) as indicators of quality of the environment.
International programmes for biomonitoring purposes, legislation.

Course literature:

• Markert, B.A., Breure A.M., Zechmeister, H.G. (Eds), 2003. Bioindicators & Biomonitors, Principles, Concepts and Applications (Trace Metals and Other Contaminants in the Environment 6), 997 str., Elsevier
• Markert, B.A. (Ed), 1993. Plants as Biomonitors, Indicators for Heavy Metals in the Terrestrial Environment
• Bell,J.N.B., Treshow, M., 2003. Air Pollution and plant life. Wiley& Sons, Ltd., 463; ISBN 0-471-49091-1
• Mulgrew, A., Williams, P., 2000. Biomonitoring of air quality using plants.. Air Hygiene Report 10, Monitoring and Assessment Research Centre WHO Collaborating Cetre for Air Quality Management and Air Pollution Control FEA Berlin & Monitoring and Assessment Researcg Centre WHO Collaborating
Centre for Monitoring and Assessment, King's College London, 164 str., ISSN 0938-9822.
• Nimis, P. L., Scheidegger, C., Wolseley, P. (Eds.), 2002. Monitoring with Lichens – Monitoring Lichens, Kluwer Academics, Dordrecht, 403 str., ISBN 1-4020-0430-3.

Significant publications and references:

• JERAN Z., A.R. BYRNE, F. BATIČ: Transplanted epiphytic lichens as biomonitors of air contamination by natural radionuclides near a Slovenian Uranium mine. Lichenologist 27 (5), 1995, str. 375-385.
• JERAN, Zvonka, JAĆIMOVIĆ, Radojko, BATIČ, Franc, SMODIŠ, Borut, WOLTERBEEK, H.T. Atmospheric heavy metal pollution in Slovenia derived from results for epiphytic lichens. Fresenius Z. Anal. Chem., 1996, vol. 354, str. 681-687. [COBISS.SI-ID 3866663]
• HORVAT, Milena, JERAN, Zvonka, ŠPIRIĆ, Zdravko, JAĆIMOVIĆ, Radojko, MIKLAVČIČ, Vesna. Mercury and other elements in lichens near the INA Naftaplin gas treatment plant, Molve, Croatia. J. environ. monit. (Print), 2000, vol. 2, str. 139-144. [COBISS.SI-ID 14987815]
• BERIČNIK-VRBOVŠEK, Julija, PICHLMAYER, Friedrich, BLOCHBERGER, Karl, JERAN, Zvonka, MARSEL, Jože. Isotopic analysis of sulphur in the assessment of SO[sub]2 emission sources = Ugotovitev emisijskih virov SO[spodaj]2 na osnovi izotopske analize žvepla. Acta chim. slov.. [Tiskana izd.], 2002, letn. 49, št. 1, str. 149-157, graf. prikazi. [COBISS.SI-ID 16678183]
• BULOG, Boris, MIHAJL, Katarina, JERAN, Zvonka, TOMAN, Mihael Jožef. Trace element concentrations in the tissues of Proteus anguinus (Amphibia, Caudata) and the surrounding environment. Water air soil pollut.. [Print ed.], 2002, vol. 136, no. 1-4, str. 147-163. [COBISS.SI-ID 1057615]
• JERAN, Zvonka, JAĆIMOVIĆ, Radojko, BATIČ, Franc, MAVSAR, Robert. Lichens as integrating air pollution monitors. Environ. pollut. (1987). [Print ed.], 2002, vol. 120, str. 107-113. [COBISS.SI-ID 16802599]
• JERAN, Zvonka, MRAK, Tanja, JAĆIMOVIĆ, Radojko, BATIČ, Franc, KASTELEC, Damijana, MAVSAR, Robert, SIMONČIČ, Primož. Epiphytic lichens as biomonitors of atmospheric pollution in Slovenian forests. Environ. pollut. (1987). [Print ed.], 2007, vol. 146, str. 324-331, ilustr. [COBISS.SI-ID 1693606]
• MRAK, Tanja, SIMČIČ, Jurij, PELICON, Primož, JERAN, Zvonka, REIS, Miguel A., PINHERO, T. Use of micro-PIXE in the study of arsenate uptake in lichens and its influence on element distribution and concentrations. Nucl. instrum. methods phys. res., B Beam interact. mater. atoms. [Print ed.], 2007, 5 str. [COBISS.SI-ID 20690983]
• SCHRÖDER, Winfried, PESCH, Roland, ENGLERT, Cordila, HARMENS, Harry, SUCHARA, Ivan, ZECHMEISTER, Harald G., THÖNI, Lotti, MANKOVSKA, Blanka, JERAN, Zvonka, GRODZIŃSKA, Krystyna., ALBER, Renate. Metal accumulation in mosses across national boundaries : uncovering and ranking causes of spatial variation. Environ. pollut. (1987). [Print ed.], 2008, issue 2, vol. 151, str. 377-388. [COBISS.SI-ID 20961063]


Seminar and oral exam.

Students obligations:

Seminar and oral exam.