The epiphytic lichen flora of 25 European ICP-IM monitoring sites, all situated remote from air pollution sources, was statistically related to measured levels of SO2 in air, NH4+, NO3
− and SO4
2− in precipitation, annual bulk precipitation, and annual average temperature. Significant regression models were calculated for eleven acidophytic species. Several species strong negative correlation with nitrogen compounds. At concentrations as low as 0·3 mg N l−1 in precipitation, a decrease of the probability of occurrence is observed for Bryoria capillaris, B. fuscescens, Cetraria pinastri, Imshaugia aleurites and Usnea hirta. The observed pattern correlations strongly suggests a key role of NH4
+ in determining the species occurrence, additional role of NO3
− cannot be ruled out. Some species show a distinct response to current of SO2 well. It may be concluded that long distance nitrogen air pollution has strong influence the occurrence of acidophytic lichen species.