1Faculty of Agriculture, Goce Delčev University, POB 201, 2000 Štip, Macedonia
2Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Sts. Cyril and Methodius University, POB 162, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia
3Geological Survey of Slovenia, Dimičeva ulica 14, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Lichen species (Hypogymnia physodes and Evernia prunastri) were used for biomonitoring the possible air pollution with heavy metals in the vicinity of copper mine in the eastern part of the Republic of Macedonia. The contents of 18 elements were analysed by ICP-AES and ETAAS techniques. For data processing basic statistical methods and multivariate exploratory (factor and cluster analysis) techniques were applied. Three geogenic and one anthropogenic group of elements were singled out from factor analysis. Maps of spatial distribution of elements from the anthropogenic group showed an increased content of the anthropogenic elements only in close vicinity to the mine. A maximum value obtained for Cu content was 130 mg/kg and for Pb content was 120 mg/kg. Lichen talus of the collected species showed high retention power for accumulation of the anthropogenic group of elements compared to moss species sampled from the same study area (r=0.86 and r=0.68). Here we show that lichens can be use as biomonitors for atmospheric distribution of anthropogenicintroduced elements.