Detecting environmental impacts

The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology Munich (ZSM)
Insects sensing the water quality

Aquatic insects figure prominently as biological indicators when it comes to determining the water quality of streams, rivers and lakes. Many species, especially those of dayflies, caddisflies and stoneflies, are optimally adapted to their habitats and react very sensitively to smallest changes in their environment caused by pollution or increases in water temperature. The State Collection of Zoology Munich (ZSM) has compiled a genetic species database for a quicker and easier way on how to identify theses insects. This provides great assistance to ecologists in the assessment of a water body’s „health“.

Link to the publication

The Bavarian Botany and Mycology State State Collection Munich (BSM)
Lichens: Indicators for bad air and climate change

Lichens have been known for being reliable indicators for air pollution for a long time. However, scientists at the Botany and Mycology State Collection Munich (BSM) also do research on certain lichen species that are very sensitive to temperature and rainfall changes, and therefore climate change. The common greenshield lichen Flavoparmelia soredians is one of those typical indicators for climate change, athough it has been indigenous to Germany only for some years. Thanks to a large collection of lichens and such databases, as well as to modern genetic determination methods at the BSM, even species that are quite hard to identify can now be precisely identified, which in turn helps to demonstrate changes affecting the climate.

The lichens database of the Botany and Mycology State Collection Munich