PETERSON, ERIC B. Nevada Natural Heritage Program, 1550 E. College Pkwy #145, Carson City, NV, 89706.. - Tour of a lichenological black-hole (Nevada).
Nevada has been largely ignored by lichenologists. Many other sciences
have also neglected the state, considering it to be low in
diversity... nothing more than a vast sagebrush monoculture. But if
you leave the casinos and get off of interstate 80, you will discover
something much different. The great basin ecoregion, which makes up
most of Nevada, is ranked 4th in North America (north of Mexico) for
richness of vascular plants. Nevada has more mountain ranges than any
other state in the US, many of which rise from flat dry playas through
forests to alpine peaks. As for lichens, very little is known about
Nevada, but that is beginning to change. Several data sets are
starting to illuminate the dark void of knowledge. Lichen diversity is
greater than would be expected from the little attention the state has
received. While Nevada may be a black-hole for lichen data, it is
certainly not a black hole for the lichens themselves!
Key words: cryptobiotic soil crust, diversity, great basin, Lichen, Mojave, Nevada