Commission for Lichens

In 1991 the work for the production of a checklist of Mediterranean lichens progressed rapidly. At a first stage, priority was given to the production of national checklists, especially for Italy, France and Spain where lichenological research has been most active. Bibliographic surveys were undertaken for Turkey and Greece.

Meanwhile, the exploration of the countries of which the lichen flora was less known was actively pursued, with excursions to e.g., Cyprus, Sicily and areas in N Africa. In 1993 the checklist of Italian lichens was published under the auspices of this Commission and offered at a special rate to all OPTIMA members. An abridged version is being continuously updated.

From 1991-1995 progress was made on the checklists of Mediterranean lichens for the Iberian Peninsula, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. These checklists are completed or nearing completion and awaiting publication. By the end of 1996 the checklists for Southern France and Slovenia will also be completed.

No updated checklist is available for Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, Lybia, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro and Serbia. For some of these areas there are rather old checklists or bibliographical lists which could constitute the basis for a checklist. However, more intensive field work is necessary to have a more satisfactory idea of their lichen floras.

The future activity of the Commission will concentrate on compiling checklists based on available literature and stimulating the lichenological exploration of some of the most poorly-known areas. This will require the organization of international expeditions and the establishment of a panel of specialists for the identification of particularly critical groups.

There are already several projects for completing the lichenological exploration of some of the better-known areas, such as the Project of an Iberian Lichen Flora by the Spanish Lichen Society and the "Iter Adriaticum" for completing the lichenological exploration of eastern Peninsular Italy.

The Commission has also begun the compilation of a general Checklist of Mediterranean lichens. There is an international project of the OPTIMA commission for lichens on the biodiversity of lichens in the Mediterranean. Compilated lichen checklists for each country are in preparation.

  • For general information about the project of the OPTIMA commission for lichens, Biodiversity of Mediterranean Lichens, a pilot project based on new information techniques, click here: ttp://
  • Additional information about the project is available by email to Pier Luigi NIMIS resp. the Commission's Secretary (1995-2001):
2004. Checklists for most of the countries or areas of the Mediterranean are now published or well advanced. The Commission plans to establish a connection among the lists on the Internet and to promote the application of these data to different purposes like the generation of predictive maps by means of a GIS.

Lichen Commission


P. L. Nimis
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Trieste, Via Giorgieri 10, I-34127 Trieste, ITALY
Tel: +40 568855; Fax: +40 568855; E-mail:


E. Barreno, Valencia
A. Crespo, Madrid
J. M. Egea, Murcia
M. Galun, Tel Aviv
V. John, Bad Dürkheim
X. Llimona, Barcelona
H. Mayrhofer, Graz
D. Ottonello, Palermo
C. Roux, Marseille
M. Seaward, Bradford

Page editors. This page last updated 1 October, 2004.