Biomonitoring Studies in Geothermal Areas: A Review

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This paper published by Frontiers in environmental science dives into the use of biomonitoring in the geothermal areas of Tuscany.

Biomonitoring is a widely employed approach to track changes in the environment. Its use to assess the impact of geothermal energy exploitation for power production is comparatively minor, and largely referred to Tuscany, Italy, geothermal fields. Most examples describe impacts on vegetation, particularly lichens. Biomonitoring proved useful as a tool to reveal the distribution of specific contaminants (e.g., mercury and H2S), and as an overall indicator of the impact on ecosystems. In consideration of the comparatively low cost/benefit ratio, the use of biomonitoring should be encouraged. In particular, it could prove useful to establish the natural background prior to development of geothermal exploitation, and to document any subsequent change.

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