BioRisk 3: 127-136, doi: 10.3897/biorisk.3.25
Lichens of Israel: diversity, ecology, and distribution
Marina Temina, Eviatar Nevo
Abstract The biota of lichen-forming and lichenicolous fungi of different plant-geographical regions of Israel was analyzed. These areas differ in climatic conditions. A total of 350 species from 16 orders, 52 families, and 117 genera were recorded; among them 5% are endemic to the Levant. The highest species richness was found in the Mediterranean area. Species diversity of other areas with more arid climatic conditions were much poorer in comparison with species diversity found in the more humid and cooler Mediterranean region. Saxicolous lichens were the most common species. However, in the Sudanian penetration area, terricolous lichens dominated. Among phytogeographic elements, temperate species were dominant. However, the Sudanian penetration area was characterized by the dominance of Mediterranean and subcontinental species. Most of the lichens studied were xerophytic and photophytic species. They dominated all plant-geographical areas of Israel. In the Mediterranean region, mesophytic lichens were also common.