Since the late 1960s, mosses have been used as biomonitors of atmospheric deposition of heavy metals in the Nordic Countries. From 1990 onwards, the European heavy metals in mosses survey has been conducted every five years. In 2005, the total nitrogen concentration in mosses was also determined for the first time. In 2010, some countries also determined the concentration of selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) for the first time, at a limited number of sites. Mosses are sampled according to a standardised protocol. From 2014 onwards, the Moss Survey Coordination Centre is at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), Dubna, Russian Federation. The new Moss Survey Coordination Centre is also keen to assess the suitability of mosses as biomonitors of radionuclides. The next moss survey is scheduled to take place in 2020/21 and the manual for sampling mosses and data submission can be downloaded here:
2020 moss sampling manual in English
2020 moss sampling manual in Russian
For the first time, a pilot study on the suitability of mosses as biomonitors of microplastics will be included. For further details or queries regarding participation in future moss surveys and submission of data, please contact Marina Frontasyeva or Alexander Uzhinskiy.