African Power Station Ecological Impact
Betts Ecology were commissioned to ascertain the condition of vegetation near a rural power station and any signs of air pollution adverse impact (chlorosis, necrosis, scorching, distortion, discolouration, etc.) Results were communicated to station personnel in the form of a written report and audio-visual presentation (both in French).
Client & Location
Office Nationale de l’Électricité and their consultants – Morocco.
Betts Ecology recorded >100 wild and cultivated species of flora. Any sign of aerial pollution was sought, and comparisons made between vegetation communities near the station and phytosociologically similar communities beyond the deposition range of the stack emissions. As well as vascular plants, lichens that are sensitive to SO2 were examined as biological pollution indicators. Soil samples were taken around the station and pH determined. Interviews were carried out with local farmers. Betts Ecology also provided informal advice to the local Administrators of a near-by town on the problems of over-grazing by goats.
Betts Ecology completed the studies and delivered the report and presentation. The data collected were not indicative of pollution. In particular, sensitive lichens (such lichens disappear at atmospheric SO2 levels of over c.150 µg m-3) were not affected and there were many species of healthy corticolous and saxicolous lichens on several trees and rocks around the power station and even on trees (almond, peach) in the station's garden near the stack. Nonetheless, a monitoring regimen to reveal any future problems was prescribed to follow best practice.
Photos © Betts Ecology unless otherwise stated.