Lichens of the Namib Desert
A guide to their identification
2010, 14,8 x 21 cm, Paperback, 96 pages
95 colour pictures
ISBN 978-3-933117-08-3 (Europe), EUR 18,00
ISBN 978-99916-57-34-9 (Southern Africa), N$ 240,00
Lichens play a significant role in the ecosystem of the Namib Desert since they can absorb moisture from the frequent fogs to become physiologically active, a strategy which is unavailable for higher plants.
Due to this water source, the desert is therefore less of an environmental problem for lichens, their colourful shrubby, foliose or crustose thalli decorating rocks, boulders, pebbles, twigs of shrubs and soil. In coastal regions, under more favourable conditions, as in the plains north of Swakopmund, they may cover huge areas, where the dense populations form the so-called ‘lichen fields’.
The author Prof. Dr Volkmar Wirth was the director of the State Museum of Natural History Karlsruhe/Germany (until 2008). He investigated species composition of lichen biota of the Namib Desert.