Refining the picture: new records to the lichen biota of Italy

MycoKeys. 2021 Aug 11;82:97-137. doi: 10.3897/mycokeys.82.69027. eCollection 2021.


Based on the analysis of both historical and recent collections, this paper reports an annotated list of taxa which are new to the lichen biota of Italy or of its administrative regions. Specimens were identified using a dissecting and a compound microscope; routine chemical spot tests and standardized thin-layer chromatography (TLC or HPTLC). The list includes 225 records of 153 taxa. Twenty taxa are new to Italy, the others are new to one or more administrative regions, with 15 second records and 5 third records for Italy. Some of the species belong to recently-described taxa, others are poorly known, sterile or ephemeral lichens which were largely overlooked in Italy. Several species are actually rare, either because of the rarity of their habitats (e.g. old-growth forests), or because in Italy they are at the margins of their bioclimatic distribution. The picture of the lichen biota of Italy has now new pixels, but its grain is still coarse. Further analysis of historical collections, increased efforts in the exploration of some areas, and the taxonomic revision of critical groups are still necessary to provide more complete distributional data for new biogeographic hypotheses, taxonomic and ecological research, and biodiversity conservation.

Keywords: Alps; biodiversity; floristics; herbarium specimens; rarity.