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Significant fern, lichen and bryophyte collections from the UAE and northern Oman, including five new records for the Arabian Peninsula.

A January 2009 family vacation to eastern UAE and northern Oman took a serendipitous turn when we (CJR, PRs) decided to see how many fern taxa we could find. This mission was not quite as improbable as it might appear--there are several clades of ferns that are noteworthy for having successfully colonised xeric habitats, including deserts of both the Old and New Worlds, particularly those in the family Pteridaceae (Schuettpelz et al. 2007). One of the larger Pteridaceae clades (the one that includes Cheilanthes and its relatives) is the focus of research by CJR's labmates at Duke University, North Carolina, which added some impetus to our quest. And, given that we were looking for ferns, it seemed only proper to look for mosses, liverworts and lichens as well.

The UAE and northern Oman boast a documented fern flora of nine species (Miller & Cope 1996; Jongbloed 2003). Some of these are hardy colonists but nonetheless require moderate levels of moisture, and thus are found principally around seeps and wadi pools (e.g., Adiantum capillusveneris, Equisetum ramosissimum). Others are true xeric habitat specialists found in cracks in sheltered rock walls or under the lips of boulders (Cheilanthes, Cosentinia, Asplenium ceterach, etc.). Only one--Ophioglossum polyphyllum--is found in open sand habitats.

In comparison, relatively little is known about the lichen flora of much of the Arabian Peninsula. Studies are fragmentary and it is difficult to extrapolate to the Peninsula as a whole. Based on our literature search, we estimate that there are 267 reported species from the Peninsula and 247 from Socotra. Most species (~100) have been recorded from Saudi Arabia (Abuzinada & Hawksworth 1975; Abuzinada et al. 1986; Kurschner 1984; Bokhary et al. 1993). Thirty-eight lichen species have been reported from Kuwait by Brown (1998) and Schultz et al. (2000).

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Lamb (1936) and Mandeel & Aptroot (2004) recorded some species from Bahrain, and Babikir & Kurschner (1992) from Qatar. About 73 species have been reported from mainland Yemen (Acharius 1810; Muller Argau 1893; Steiner 1907; Schultz 1998; Schultz 2004; Sipman 2002) and nearly 250 from the Socotra Archipelago (Steiner 1907; Mies 1994a, b; Mies 2001; Mies et al. 1994; Mies et al. 1995; Mies & Printzen 1997; Schultz et al. 1999; Schultz & Mies 2003; Mies & Schultz 2004; Schultz 2002, 2003, 2005). Lichen records from adjacent areas (Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, etc.) have been given by Steiner (1916, 1921), Szatala (1940, 1957), Galun (1970), Marton & Galun (1981), Insarov & Insarov (1995), and John (1996).

Even in the context of the Peninsula, our knowledge of the lichen flora of UAE and Oman is incomplete. To date, approximately 55 species have been recorded from Oman (Mandaville 1977; Krog 1983; Cope 1988; Ghazanfar & Rappenhoner 1994; Ghazanfar & Gallagher 1998; Kurschner & Ghazanfar 1998; Brown & al. 2002); comparable studies in the UAE are in their infancy (Brown & Sakkir 2004; Brown 2005). These numbers certainly under-represent the lichen richness present, as demonstrated in this paper: of 12 collections, seven are new species records for Oman and two for the Arabian Peninsula. Four of the 12 species are cyanobacterial lichens, which are particularly abundant in arid climates with scarce vegetation, on soil crust in savannas, deserts or semideserts, where they play important ecological roles.

Kurschner (2000) reports 224 bryophyte species (one hornwort, 50 liverworts and 173 mosses) from the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra. Of these, Oman is represented with 16 liverworts and 41 mosses, and the UAE has seven liverworts and 14 mosses. It is, thus, not surprising that a great number of the bryophyte records presented here are new records for Oman (nine new mosses and one liverwort out of 17 species collected) and even for the Arabian Peninsula (three new mosses). The bryophyte flora of the Arabian Peninsula is composed of taxa with a mix of (Sub)cosmopolitan, Northern-Temperate, XerothermPangaean, Circum-Tethyan, and Tropical distributions, aside from a number of local endemics (Kurschner 2008).

In general, we were surprised by the ease of finding ferns, given the limited time we had available to search and our lack of familiarity with the areas we visited. Having a search image for the appropriate microhabitats (generally sheltered pockets under boulders or around rock outcrops) was very helpful, as was getting to elevation. The drier hotter areas at low elevations were largely fern-free.

In contrast, we had difficulty finding lichens (especially rock lichens) and, to a lesser extent, bryophytes. These are groups with which we are less familiar, so might have not been as effective in our searching. Nonetheless, even in glorious rocky habitats like those of Ru'us al-Jibal, rock lichens were scarce; comparable habitats in North America would have been covered with lichens.

Our collections of both lichens and bryophytes are likely to be strongly under-representative of the diversity present. We (CJR, PRs) did not know either group well enough to identify them in the field, and were hesitant to collect multiple samples that appeared superficially similar. Subsequently, however: a) most of our collections were determined to be of different species; b) mixed in with our liverwort collections were interesting mosses that we didn't notice in the field; and c) the things that we collected without even being sure that they were lichens in fact were, and interesting ones at that! Clearly, much awaits interested students of these groups.

We learned subsequently that one of the common techniques for collecting desert lichens and bryophytes is to bring water with you in the field, spray down promising looking spots, wait a few minutes for the lichens to rehydrate and the mosses to green-up, and then make your collections. Otherwise it is easy for even experts to overlook many of these taxa.

FERNS:

Asplenium ceterach L. sensu Miller & Cope (1996; as Ceterach officinarum). (Aspleniaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Khasab to Jebel Harim Road, second major wadi above the Sayh plain. Elevation: 1400 m. Rare in crevices in NE-facing wadi wall cliff-face, with Onychium divaricatum, Cheilanthes acrostica, blue-green thalloid liverwort, mosses, etc. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2755, with Paul Rothfels. Specimens to DUKE. Identified by C.J. Rothfels. For Miller and Cope (1996), in Arabia, this species was unknown north of southwestern Saudi Arabia. Since then, however, it has been discovered in Musandam (Jongbloed 2003); our's may be the second record for Oman. Ceterach, and virtually all other asplenioid segregate genera, have been shown by molecular phylogenetic analysis to be nested well within Asplenium itself (Schneider et al. 2004; Smith et al. 2006).

Equisetum ramosissimum Desf. sensu Miller & Cope (1996). (Equisetaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Wadi Tiwi, approximately 3km up. Elevation: 30 m. Two dense patches seen, in our limited explorations. On flat sections of wet sand or shallow standing water, at the edge of the wadi pool, with Bacopa, Cyperaceae, etc. No fertile plants seen. Many of the sporophytes were simple, and tangled. Only the larger ones had lateral branches. January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2757, with Peter Rothfels, Paul Rothfels, M. Almack. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

Horsetails, of which E. ramosissimum is the only representative in Arabia, are ferns (rather than "fern allies", etc.), despite their odd appearance (Pryer et al. 2001). Miller and Cope (1996) show two isolated records for this species in the Hajar Mountains, presumably including Wadi Tiwi, where we found it; the next nearest Arabian records are in southern Yemen, against the Red Sea (Miller & Cope 1996). This may reflect its preference for relatively damp habitats; if so, it could yet be found in the Salalah area.

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Adiantum capillus-veneris L. sensu Miller & Cope (1996). (Pteridaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Dhahirah Region; Wilayat Mahdhah. South of Al Madam on Highway E44. Elevation: 400 m. Two patches ~15m apart. Each ~3m long, 20cm high, and densely packed with plants (living and dead leaves). Plants were on the vertical wadi wall, slightly overhung, right at the edge of the wet sand or standing water, with Nerium oleander, etc. The wadi was narrow, with steep walls, and at least semi-permanent clear flowing water and many toads. Plants seemed dimorphic--some leaves had deeply divided finger-like pinnae, others had more circular pinnae. January 19, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2720, with Peter Rothfels, Paul Rothfels, M. Almack. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

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--United Arab Emirates; Ra's al-Khaimah Emirate. Diftah (southeast of Masafi). Up the wadi on the east side of Highway E89. Elevation: 350 m. aLocally common on steep, undercut, seepy conglomerate wadi bank in ophiolite bedrock. January 20, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2721, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

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--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Wadi Tiwi, approximately 3km up. Elevation: 30 m. Common in seeps and damp shaded spots along wadi, with Pteris vittata (CJR 2756, 2760), Splachnobryum aquaticum (CJR 2758), etc. This collection is from a large patch in shelter of boulders, on wet sand. The species seemed to be fairly morphologically uniform at this site--the more highly divided forms (see CJR 2720) were rare or absent. January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2759, with Peter Rothfels, Paul Rothfels, M. Almack. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

Adiantum capillus-veneris, as it is most often treated, is one of the most widespread fern species in the world. Not only is it one of the two most common ferns in the UAE and Oman (with Onychium divaricatum), but it also occurs across Europe, and through much of North and South America, Africa, and the West Indies (Paris 1993). Whether or not all these populations should be treated within a single species is not yet determined. European plants examined thus far are diploid (two sets of chromosomes) whereas some North American populations are tetraploid (four sets), which suggests that multiple distinct lineages are present within the species (Manton 1950; Wagner 1963; Paris 1993).

We anticipated that the Arabian plants would be diploid, based on their proximity to the European populations. However, spore size data suggest otherwise. Twenty spores from a single sporangium (64 spores per sporangium) of one plant yielded an average size of 45.3 um, with a standard deviation of 3.34 um, and five spores from another population had an average size of 39.8 +/-2.88 um. These values fit the range of 40-50 microns cited for the tetraploid North American plants (Paris 1993), and suggest that the Arabian plants may also be tetraploid, which would be the first report of non-diploid Adiantum capillus-veneris outside of North America. Chromosome counts are necessary to confirm this hypothesis.

Cheilanthes acrostica (Balbis) Tod. sensu Jermy & Paul (1993). (Pteridaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Sahasa area, along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, between the Sayh plain and the pass. Elevation: 1400 m. Locally common in sheltered cracks in E-facing roadcut wall. In hard, sharp, fractured, limestone, with mosses, Onychium, etc. This species was uncommon to common in the vicinity of the diesel generator area, but usually as smaller plants (see CJR 2753), and usually deep in crevices in north-facing rock faces. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2735, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Sahasa area, along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, around the military complex just below the pass. Elevation: 1600 m. Uncommon, widespread, as scattered small individuals, in silt-packed crevices in W-facing limestone faces, with liverworts (CJR 2750, 2751), mosses, etc. Cosentinia vellea was also collected at this site (CJR 2749). January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2753, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

This species, which belongs to the large "hemionitid" group of cheilanthoid ferns (see Windham et al. 2009), is part of the C. pteridioides complex. There appear to be two main players of relevance to Arabian workers: a diploid with entire false indusia, and an allotetraploid with fringed false indusia (Vida et al. 1971, 1983). The diploid has long been referred to as C. maderensis Lowe, but the lectotype of C. pteridioides turns out to be that taxon, and the name C. pteridioides has priority (Nardi & Reichstein 1985). So the diploid has to be called C. pteridioides, leaving that name unavailable for the taxon to which it had historically been applied: the tetraploid. The tetraploid, then, gets the name C. acrostica (Balbis) Tod. A proposal to simplify the matter by throwing out the name C. pteridioides as ambiguous and confusing (Nardi & Reichstein 1986), which would leave the unambiguous name C. maderensis available for the diploid, was not accepted (Pichi Sermolli 1987). The specimens here have fringed false indusia, and thus are the presumed tetraploid C. acrostica, although Arabian floras (e.g. Miller & Cope 1996; Jongbloed 2003) still use the name C. pteridioides. We know of no records of true C. pteridioides from Arabia. Some recent European publications (e.g., Jermy & Paul 1993) continue to use C. maderensis, in apparent contradiction to the Code of Nomenclature, but without explanation.

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Cosentinia vellea (Ait.) Tod. sensu Miller & Cope (1996; as Cheilanthes vellea). (Pteridaceae).

--United Arab Emirates; Ra's al-Khaimah Emirate. Diftah (southeast of Masafi). Up the wadi on the east side of Highway E89. Elevation: 400 m. Rare, local--five plants seen. On steep NW-facing jebel slope above steep-walled wadi. Plants were in pockets of silt in sheltered cracks among fractured ophiolite rocks, with scattered angiosperms, Riccia crenatodentata (CJR 2725) and Timmiella barbuloides (CJR 2727). January 20, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2724, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Sahasa area, along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, around the military complex. Elevation: 1600 m. Local, in crevices in W-facing hard limestone face, with Cheilanthes acrostica (CJR 2753), etc. This species was locally more abundant than C. acrostica, although C. acrostica was much the more common species in the broader area. Plants were wedged deeply in crevices, and were very hard to collect. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2749, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

Contrary to its general appearance and its long history of treatment under Cheilanthes or Notholaena, this species is not closely related to Notholaena or any Cheilanthes group (Rothfels & al. 2008). Rather, it is closer to species of Anogramma and Pteris (Nakazato & Gastony 2003). Conversely, the superficially similar Cheilanthes acrostica is more closely related (evolutionarily) to Adiantum than it is to Cosentinia. The two Cosentinia collections above are from very different substrates (limestone vs. ophiolite) and elevations (1600m vs. 400m). There is only one species in the genus, however, with two subspecies (Pichi Sermolli 1985; Badre & Reichstein 1983) that differ in their ploidy levels. The nominate (tetraploid) subspecies can be distinguished from the diploid Cosentinia vellea Tod. subsp. bivalens (Reichstein) Rivas Mart. & Salvo (1984) by spore size: spores of the tetraploid range from (53-)57-66(-75) um, whereas spores of the diploid are smaller: (42-)51-57(-60) um (Badre & Reichstein 1983).

Our collections have spore sizes that overlap the boundary. From the UAE collection, we measured spores from four sporangia with the following average sizes and standard deviations: 52.5+/-2.90 um (n=13 spores counted); 57.4+/-1.96 um (n=24); 57.0+/2.59um (n=18); 55.8+/-2.90 um (n=22). Similarly, three sporangia from the Oman collection had the following spore sizes: 58.8+/-2.26 um (n=8); 57.9+/-2.01 um (n=14); 52.2 +/-1.95 um (n=6). The last sporangium has spores significantly smaller than the other two, and, interestingly, a mixture of spores from the UAE specimen (not taken from individual sporangia) had a bimodal size distribution, with some spores larger (~63 um), darker, and more strongly and evenly tetragonal than the others (which were ~49 um in diameter, more transparent, and irregularly shaped). Perhaps those spores, and those of the third sporangium of the Oman plant, were incompletely formed, or suffered from an error at some stage of sporogenesis. Regardless of whether these smaller spores are included, however, our mean spore sizes span the boundary supposedly separating the diploid from the tetraploid taxon; chromosome counts will be necessary to conclusively determine the subspecies involved. All the sporangia we measured spores from had 32 spores per sporangium, a condition that typically indicates apomixis (asexuality), but apparently not so in Cosentinia (Badre & Reichstein 1983).

Miller and Cope (1996) show records of Cosentinia only from Oman (several from the Hajar mountains and one from the vicinity of Khasab). More recently, it has been found in the Hajar mountains and in the Musandam of the UAE (Feulner 2011).

Onychium divaricatum (Poir.) Alston sensu Miller & Cope (1996). (Pteridaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. On the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, between Wadi Khasab and the Sayh plain. Elevation: 650 m. Fairly common, scattered individuals. In pockets of silt in crevices under boulders on north-facing limestone boulder slope, with Morus cf. johannis, Timmiella barbuloides (CJR 2731), Bryum cf. nanoapiculatum (CJR 2732), Plagiochasma rupestre (CJR 2733), etc. We saw this species frequently on the subsequent day, between 1200m and 1500m, but there it was mostly just fiddleheads (few fully expanded leaves). January 21, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2730, with Paul Rothfels, M. Almack, Colin Rothfels. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

Onychium was locally common in Musandam, in accord with the records of Miller and Cope (1996) and Jongbloed (2003), who record it as widespread in the Hajar Mountains as well. Otherwise on the Arabian Peninsula it is only found along the Red Sea in southern Yemen and western Saudi Arabia. It reappears on both sides of the peninsula, in northern Africa, and in Iran, and extends east into East Asia (Miller & Cope 1996).

Pteris vittata L. sensu Miller & Cope (1996). (Pteridaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Wadi Tiwi, approximately 3km up. Elevation: 30 m. Common in seeps and sheltered spots (under rocks, etc.) along wadi, with Adiantum capillus-veneris (CJR 2759), Splachnobryum, etc. Most plants were largish, although a dwarf form occurred in exposed rock crevices. January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2756, #2760, with Peter Rothfels, Paul Rothfels, M. Almack. Identified by C.J. Rothfels.

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Our collection is in accord with Miller and Cope (1996), who show a smattering of records in northern Oman, a few from the Salalah area, and then a dense series of collections from southern Yemen and extreme southwestern Saudi Arabia. A single site is known from Musandam, at 'Ayn as-Sih, a large seep that is the only Musandam site for several other hygrophilous plant species as well (Feulner 2011). Originally African, this species is generally weedy, and is found far from its native range (e.g., Mickel & Smith 2004). It has attracted considerable attention as a hyperaccumulator of heavy metals, with potential applications for phytoremediation of contaminated sites (Chen et al. 2002).

LICHENS:

Toninia sedifolia (Scop.) Timdal (Catillariaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Sahasa area, along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1550 m. In sheltered cracks between limestone boulders and rocks on gentle NE-facing slope. With Collema tenax s.l. (CJR 2736), Squamarina lentigera (CJR 2737, 2738), Collema sp. (CJR 2742), Didymodon acutus (CJR 2741), scattered Cheilanthes acrostica (see CJR 2735), Ephedra pachyclada, grasses, misc. spiny angiosperms, etc. Could also be T.opuntioides (thin layer chromatography would be needed for confirmation). January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2739, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

First record for Oman. Otherwise, it is recorded from Yemen (Muller 1893, as Thalloidima caeruleonigricans; Sipman 2002), Kuwait (Brown 1998), and Jordan (El-Oqlah & Lahham 1985, as Toninia coeruleonigricans; El-Oqlah 1992). This is a widespread holarctic lichen, with a broad altitudinal and latitudinal range, found on soil and weathered typically calcareous rocks; it prefers well-lit horizontal surfaces in arid regions. Toninia sedifolia can be identified by the presence of whitish to bluish-grey (green-olive when hydrated) convex to swollen squamules, by the blackish apothecia without pruina (although sometimes with dense bluish-grey pruina), and by the flat to slightly convex disks. The spores are bicellular and fusiform. No diagnostic chemical reactions are known.

Collema sp. (Collemataceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Sahasa area, along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1550 m. In sheltered cracks between limestone boulders and rocks on gentle NE-facing slope. With Collema tenax s.l. (CJR 2736), Squamarina lentigera (CJR 2737, 2738), Toninia sedifolia (CJR 2739), Didymodon acutus (CJR 2741), scattered Cheilanthes acrostica (see CJR 2735), Ephedra pachyclada, grasses, misc. spiny angiosperms, etc. Globose isidia, apothecia sunken in lobes. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2742, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

No Collema species have been reported from Oman so far, and only one (Collema coccophorum) from the UAE (Brown & Sakkir 2004). Several species have been recorded for mainland Yemen and Socotra (Schultz 1998; Schultz & Mies 2003) as well as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (Abuzinada et al. 1986; Kurschner 1984; Abokhatwa 1989; Frey 1989; Bokhary et al. 1993; Schultz et al. 2000). Unfortunately, this specimen, with globose isidia and apothecia sunken in lobes, is too small to identify to the species level.

Collema tenaxs.lat. (Sw.) Ach. (Collemataceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Sahasa area, along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1555 m. In sheltered cracks between limestone boulders and rocks on gentle NE-facing slope. With Squamarina lentigera (CJR 2737, 2738), Toninia sedifolia (CJR 2739) Collema sp. (CJR 2742), Didymodon acutus (CJR 2741), scattered Cheilanthes acrostica (see CJR 2735), Ephedra pachyclada, grasses, misc. spiny angiosperms, etc. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2736, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

First record for Oman. Reported from Yemen, Socotra (Schultz & Mies 2003), growing in a soil crust over calcareous rock, Jordan (El-Oqlah et al. 1986) as var. ceranoides (Borr.) Degel, and Saudi Arabia (Abuzinada et al. 1986; Bokhary et al. 1993). This cyanobacterial lichen is mainly terricolous, with a thick thallus and submural spores.

Gloeoheppia turgida (Ach.) Gyeln. (Gloeoheppiaceae).

--United Arab Emirates; Ra's al-Khaimah Emirate. Diftah (southeast of Masafi). Up the wadi on the east side of Highway E89. Elevation: 400 m. Uncommon, local? On steep NW-facing jebel slope above steep-walled wadi. In sheltered pockets of silt among fractured ophiolite rocks. Also collected here were Riccia crenatodentata (CJR 2725) and Timmiella barbuloides (CJR 2727). January 20, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2728, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

This is a common species with a widespread occurrence throughout Arabia. It has been reported from mainland Oman by Brown et al. (2002), from Masirah island by Ghazanfar & Rappenhoner (1994) and Ghazanfar & Gallagher (1998), and from the UAE by Brown and Sakkir (2004) and Brown (2005). Gloeoheppia turgida grows mainly on calcareous soil and rock, also in shaded, sand-filled clefts between limestone boulders from coastal to mountainous regions in the Mediterranean, Macaronesian and Saharo-Arabian regions. Another Gloeoheppia species known from Oman is Gloeoheppia erosa (J. Steiner) Marton, recorded by Brown et al. (2002), and from the UAE by Brown and Sakkir (2004). Gloeoheppia turgida is one of the few species able to withstand the harsh, dry climate of the coastal plains of southern Yemen.

This is another cyanobacterial lichen, widespread and conspicuous, which can form large populations. Characteristic features of G. turgida are the inflated squamules with rounded margins and the smooth surface. The species is rather variable in habit. The squamules can be convex, concave or convoluted, erect and elongated or flat and [+ or -] distinctly peltate, brown, olivaceous or blackish, matt, glossy or often covered by a bluish white pruina; the apothecia remain completely immersed or are secondarily raised above the thallus surface and then surrounded by a thalline margin. Old thalli can be pruinose and develop minute cracks, often with dark-brown or blackish, [+ or -] urceolate apothecia.

Lichinella nigritella (Lettau) P.P. Moreno & Egea (Lichinaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Sahasa area, along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, between Wadi Khasab and the Sayh plain. Elevation: 650 m. Locally common on vertical limestone face, by N-facing limestone boulder slope. Onychium (CJR 2730), Morus cf johannis, liverwort (CJR 2733), Timmiella barbuloides (CJR 2731), Bryum cf. nanoapiculatum (CJR 2732), etc., in vicinity. January 21, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2734, with Paul Rothfels, M. Almack, Colin Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

Recorded from Oman by Brown et al. (2002), it is elsewhere known from Europe and North America. In the Arabian Peninsula, apart from Oman, it has been reported from Socotra by Schultz & Mies (2003), and Saudi Arabia by Abuzinada et al. (1986, as Thyrea nigritella) and Bokhary et al. (1993, as Thyrea nigritella). Other Lichinella species recorded from Oman are L. cribellifera (Nyl.) P. Moreno & Egea, L. iodopulchra (Crozals) P. Moreno & Egea, L. sinaica (Galun & Marton) P. Moreno & Egea, and L. stipatula Nyl. (Brown et al. 2002). Lichinella nigritella is a cyanobacterial lichen characterised by a foliosefruticose thallus with deeply branched, erect, [+ or -] strap-like lobes usually densely covered by globose isidia; fruiting bodies are rarely formed. It has been reported growing on both calcareous and silicate rocks.

Aspicilia contorta (Hoffm.) Kremp. (Megasporaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. West of the Sahasa area, off the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1700 m. On rock, in moist, shallow, north-facing "cave" in hard sharp limestone, on moderate rocky slope. With Caloplaca pusilla, Caloplaca inconnexa, Aspicilia contorta (CJR 2743, 2744, 2770), Psora decipiens (CJR 2748), Syntrichia inermis (CJR 2745,2747), and Syntrichia sinensis (CJR 2746). The site is apparently very close to the international border, and it may be that this record should equally be credited to the UAE (Ra's alKhaimah emirate). January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2770, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

This is a first record for Oman. Aspicilia contorta has also been found in Iran (Szatala 1957, as A. viridescens), Saudi Arabia (Abuzinada & Hawksworth 1974, as Lecanora contorta), Abuzinada et al. (1986), and in Kuwait (Brown 1998, as Aspicilia contorta (Hoffm.) Kremp. subsp. hoffmanniana S. Ekman & Froberg). Another Aspicilia species that seems to be common in the Arabian Peninsula is A. circummunita. Aspicilia contorta is easily recognised by the scattered areoles, convex, grey and more or less pruinose, and by the sunken apothecia. It is typically found on limestone.

Psora decipiens (Hedw.) Hoffm. (Psoraceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. West of the Sahasa area, off the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1700 m. On pocket of soil, in moist, shallow, north-facing "cave" in hard sharp limestone, on moderate rocky slope. With Caloplaca pusilla, Caloplaca inconnexa, Aspicilia contorta (CJR 2743, 2744, 2770), Syntrichia inermis (CJR 2745,2747), and Syntrichia sinensis (CJR 2746). The site is apparently very close to the international border, and it may be that this record should equally be credited to the UAE (Ra's al-Khaimah emirate). January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2748, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

Recorded from Oman by Brown et al. (2002), Ghazanfar & Gallagher (1998) and Mandaville (1977), and from the UAE by Brown and Sakkir (2004), where it can be common (Brown 2005). Ghazanfar & Gallagher (1998) state that the species is common throughout the northern and southern mountains of Oman above 1500 m. According to Brown et al. (2002), this species is probably widespread in suitable high elevation locations throughout the Arabian Peninsula, as implied by the records from various countries. It has been recorded also from Jordan (El-Oqlah & Lahham 1985; El-Oqlah 1992), Kuwait (Brown 1998), Saudi Arabia (Abuzinada & Hawksworth 1974, as Lecidea decipiens; Abuzinada et al. 1986; Bokhary et al. 1993), and Yemen (Schultz 1998; Sipman 2002). This lichen can be easily spotted by the pinkish or reddish rounded squamules (specially conspicuous when wet), in general with white margins, with rounded divisions or crenulate, concave, flat to irregular, with a whitish lower surface, and black apothecia. It is typically found on thin soils in carbonate areas, often with Fulgensia fulgens and Toninia sedifolia.

Squamarina lentigera (Weber) Poelt (Stereocaulaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. W of the Sahasa area, off the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1550 m. In sheltered cracks between limestone boulders and rocks on gentle NE-facing slope. With Collema tenax s.l. (CJR 2736), Toninia sedifolia (CJR 2739), Collema sp. (CJR 2742), Didymodon acutus (CJR 2741), scattered Cheilanthes acrostica (see CJR 2735), Ephedra pachyclada, grasses, misc. spiny angiosperms, etc. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2737, 2738, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

[FIGURE 10 OMITTED]

Recorded from Oman, in the Musandam mountains, by Ghazanfar & Gallagher (1998). Also known from Kuwait (Brown 1998). This is a squamulose, soil-growing lichen, forming whitish rosettes, with pruinose lobules lifted at the margins, and light brown discoid apothecia. On limestone and chalky soils, sunny, with superficial crust. Common in areas of scarce rain in the Mediterranean region, occasionally on sandy or hard soils. Part of the terricolous communities of bright colours. Often found with S. cartilaginea, Psora decipiens, Toninia sedifolia, Fulgensia spp., and Catapyrenium spp.

Caloplaca inconnexa (Nyl.) Zahlbr. (Teloschistaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. W of the Sahasa area, off the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, on the Khasab side of the pass. Elevation: 1700 m. On rock, in moist, shallow, north-facing "cave" in hard sharp limestone, on moderate rocky slope. With Caloplaca pusilla, Caloplaca inconnexa, Aspicilia contorta (CJR 2743, 2744, 2770), Psora decipiens (CJR 2748), Syntrichia inermis (CJR 2745,2747), and Syntrichia sinensis (CJR 2746). The Caloplaca inconnexa is growing on the Aspicilia. The site is apparently very close to the international border, and it may be that this record should equally be credited to the UAE (Ra's al-Khaimah emirate). January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2743, 2744 with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

First record for Oman, and probably for the Arabian Peninsula. It was found growing on Aspicilia. Caloplaca inconnexa may be more common in the area than records indicate, due to mis-identification as C. holocarpa (Hoffm.) Wade, a species reported from all over the Peninsula, but with a complex taxonomy that has been recently clarified by Arup (2009).

Caloplaca pusilla (A. Massal.) Zahlbr. (Teloschistaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. W of the Sahasa area, off the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1700 m. On rock, in moist, shallow, north-facing "cave" in hard sharp limestone, on moderate rocky slope. With Caloplaca pusilla, Caloplaca inconnexa, Aspicilia contorta (CJR 2743, 2744, 2770), Psora decipiens (CJR 2748), Syntrichia inermis (CJR 2745,2747), and Syntrichia sinensis (CJR 2746). The site is apparently very close to the international border, and it may be that this record should equally be credited to the UAE (Ra's alKhaimah emirate). January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2743, 2744 with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

This is a first record for Oman and the Arabian Peninsula. Caloplaca pusilla is a widely distributed species, probably cosmopolitan, known mainly from Europe, North Africa and North America. Coniophilous and ornithocoprophilous, this is a typical taxon from eutrophic microenvironments. Found at varying altitude and exposure, C. pusilla is a very common species and one of the most easily identifiable taxa of the C. saxicola group (Gaya 2009). With (relatively) large thalli, this species has a characteristic ochraceous-yellow (the form observed here) to salmon pigmentation, reacting K+ purple. Almost always pruinose, it can be whitish in the central part of the rosettes and suffer necrosis. Apothecia are dark, orange to red, and the spores are wide ellipsoid. Caloplaca pusilla is a taxon that has been, and still is, frequently confused with typical C. saxicola. There are records of the latter species from Jordan (El-Oqlah & Lahham 1985; El-Oqlah 1992).

Diploschistes ocellatus (Vill.) Norman (Thelotremataceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Sahasa area, on the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, around the military complex. Elevation: 1600 m. Rare in silt-packed crevices in west-facing limestone faces, with Cheilanthes acrostica (CJR 2753), a big thalloid liverwort (CJR 2750), mosses, etc. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2752, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

Recorded from Oman by Mandaville (1977) and Ghazanfar & Gallagher (1998), and from UAE by Brown (2005). Known also from Kuwait (Brown 1998), Saudi Arabia (Abuzinada et al. 1986; Bokhary et al. 1993), and Yemen (Schultz 1998; Sipman 2002), this species has a thick white thallus, which can cover large areas (extending 10-20 cm or more), and convex areoles, with big apothecia slightly sunken in the thallus. In the Mediterranean region it prefers sunny carbonate rocks and soil. It often occurs with Toninia tumidula.

Verrucaria cf. calciseda DC. (Verrucariaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, around the military complex. Elevation: 1600 m. Rare on west-facing limestone face. Cheilanthes acrostica (CJR 2753), mosses, Cosentinia vellea (CJR 2749), liverworts (CJR 2750, 2751), etc., were all in the vicinity. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2754, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by E. Gaya.

This is the first record of Verrucaria for Oman. Verrucaria calciseda has been reported from mainland Yemen (Schultz 2004). This is an endolithic lichen that leaves only a white stain on the rock, with dot-like perithecia, eating away depressions in limestone substrate, giving the rock a pitted appearance. The specimen was found on exposed limestone rock. It is too small to confirm a species-level identification.

MOSSES:

Bryum cf. nanoapiculatum Ochi & Kurschner (Bryaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, between Wadi Khasab and the Sayh plain. Elevation: 650 m. In pockets of silt in crevices under boulders on north-facing limestone boulder slope, with Onychium (CJR 2730), cf Morus johannis, liverwort (CJR 2733), Timmiella barbuloides (CJR 2731), etc. January 21, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2732, with Paul Rothfels, M. Almack, Colin Rothfels. Identified by John Spence.

First record for Oman. Bryum nanoapiculatum was first described by Ochi and Kurschner (1998) from Yemen. It is, to date, known only from the Arabian Peninsula and, according to Kurschner (2008), belongs in a complex of more than 50 "desert bryophytes" restricted to the arid regions of SW Asia that have a "circum-Tethyan and xerotherm-Pangaean" origin.

Fissidens arnoldii R.Ruthe sensu Heyn & Herrnstadt 2004. (Fissidentaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, around the military complex. Elevation: 1600 m. In silt-packed crevices in west-facing limestone faces, with Cheilanthes acrostica (CJR 2753), Plagiochasma rupestre (CJR 2750), Anoectangium handelii (CJR 2768), etc. This specimen was originally collected for the liverwort; P. Majestyk recognised and extracted the moss. C.J. Rothfels #2751, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by R. Pursell.

First record for the Musandam Peninsula, although not unexpected. "This species is found in Europe and various areas of the Middle East (see Heyn & Herrnstadt 2004). Fissidens arnoldii is often confused with the North American F. obtusifolius Wilson" (R.Pursell, pers. comm. 2009). In the Arabian Peninsula, this species is known from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman (El-Oqlah 1988, Frey & Kurschner 1988, Kurschner 2000, Ros et al. 2001).

Anoectangium handelii Schiffn. (Pottiaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, around the military complex. Elevation: 1600 m. In silt-packed crevices in west-facing limestone faces, with Cheilanthes acrostica (CJR 2753), Plagiochasma rupestre (CJR 2750), Fissidens arnoldii (CJR 2751) etc. This specimen was originally collected for the liverwort; P. Majestyk recognised and extracted the moss, etc. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2768, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by R. Zander.

First record for Oman and the Arabian Peninsula. This rare species is previously known from Turkish Kurdistan, where it was first described (Schiffner 1913), Israel and Palestine (Heyn & Herrnstadt 2004), the Crimean Peninsula (Hill et al. 2006), Spain (Casas et al. 1976), and Colorado, USA (Zander & Weber 2005).

Barbula cf. unguiculata Hedw. (Pottiaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Small wadi between Fins and Ash Shab. Elevation: 20 m. Hardpacked sand at base of steep dry wadi walls. This specimen was mixed in with Exormotheca pustulosa (CJR 2764); P. Majestyk recognised and extracted the moss. January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2765. Identified by R. Zander.

First record for Oman. Barbula unguiculata is a sub-cosmopolitan species (Smith 2004) known from N Africa, i.e. the Nile Delta (El-Saadawi et al. 1986), and SW Asia, i.e., Turkey (Heyn & Herrnstadt 2004).

Barbula indica (Hook.) Spreng. (Pottiaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Wadi Tiwi, approximately 3km up. Elevation: 30 m. Sheltered hard-packed north-facing earthen bank, by wadi pool. Orthotrichum cf. cupulatum, Gyroweisia tenuis, and Barbula indica co-occur at this site (CJR 2761-2763). January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2763, with Peter Rothfels, Paul Rothfels, M. Almack. Identified by R. Zander.

First record for Oman. Broadly distributed across new and old world tropics (Kurschner 2008). Previously recorded in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Socotra (Kurschner 2000). Didymodon acutus (Brid.) K. Saito (Pottiaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula.

W of Sahaha area, off the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1550 m. In sheltered cracks between limestone boulders and rocks on gentle NE-facing slope. With Collema tenax s.l. (CJR 2736), Squamarina lentigera (CJR 2737, 2738), Toninia sedifolia (CJR 2739) Collema sp. (CJR 2742), scattered Cheilanthes acrostica (see CJR 2735), Ephedra pachyclada, grasses, misc. spiny angiosperms, etc. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2741, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by R. Zander (under the synonym Didymodon rigidulus var. gracilis (Hook. & Grev.) Zander).

First record for Oman. Didymodon acutus is a xerophyte previously known from the Fartak Mountains in Yemen (Kurschner 2008).

Gyroweisia tenuis (Hedw.) Schimp. (Pottiaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Wadi Tiwi, approximately 3km up. Elevation: 30 m. Sheltered hard-packed N-facing earthen bank, by wadi pool. Orthotrichum cf. cupulatum, Gyroweisia tenuis, and Barbula indica co-occur at this site (CJR 2761-2763). January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2762, with Peter Rothfels, Paul Rothfels, M. Almack. Identified by R. Zander.

First record for Oman. This is a temperate species found in Europe north to Scandinavia, Turkey, Syria, Iran, China, Tunisia, and N America (Smith 2004). In the Arabian Peninsula, it is known from Saudi Arabia (Frey & Kurschner 1988).

Orthotrichum cf. cupulatum Hoffm. ex Brid. (Pottiaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Wadi Tiwi, approximately 3km up. Elevation: 30 m. Sheltered hard-packed N-facing earthen bank, by wadi pool. Orthotrichum cf. cupulatum, Gyroweisia tenuis, and Barbula indica co-occur at this site (CJR 2761-2763). January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2761, with Peter Rothfels, Paul Rothfels, M. Almack. Identified by R. Zander.

First record for Oman and the Arabian Peninsula. This taxon is a Eurosiberian Temperate moss known from Europe, Macaronesia, N Africa, W and N Asia, N America, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as SW Asia (Iraq, Syria, and Turkey; Smith 2004). Most probably this is O. cupulatum var. bistratosum.

Syntrichia sinensis (C. Muller) Ochyra (Pottiaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. West of the Sahasa area, off the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, on the Khasab side of the pass. Elevation: 1700 m. On pocket of soil, in moist, shallow, north-facing "cave" in hard sharp limestone, on moderate rocky slope. With Caloplaca pusilla, Caloplaca inconnexa, Aspicilia contorta (CJR 2743, 2744, 2770), Psora decipiens (CJR 2748), and Syntrichia inermis (CJR 2745, 2747). The site is apparently very close to the international border, and it may be that this record should equally be credited to the UAE (Ra's al-Khaimah emirate). C.J. Rothfels #2746, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by R. Zander (as Syntrichia alpina (B.S.G.) Jur., an invalid name).

First record for Oman and the Arabian Peninsula. This taxon, placed in Syntrichia by Ochyra (1992), is rare in Europe and more common in Asia.

Syntrichia pseudodesertorum (Froehl.) Agnew & Vondr. (Pottiaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. W of the Sahasa area, off the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1550 m. In sheltered cracks between limestone boulders and rocks on gentle NE-facing slope. With Collema tenax s.l. (CJR 2736), Squamarina lentigera (CJR 2737, 2738), Toninia sedifolia (CJR 2739), Collema sp. (CJR 2742), Didymodon acutus (CJR 2741), scattered Cheilanthes acrostica (see CJR 2735), Ephedra pachyclada, grasses, misc. spiny angiosperms, etc. January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2740, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by R. Zander.

First record for Oman. There is nomenclatural confusion around the name "Syntrichia pseudodesertorum" Some treat it as a synonym of Syntrichia caninervis Mitten var. pseudodesertorum (Vondr.) M.T. Gallego (Gallego et al. 2002), while to others it is a synonym of S. pseudohandelii (Frohlich) Agnew & Vondracek (Zander 1993). In SW Asia, the former species is known from Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey; the latter from Iraq. They all belong to the larger Syntrichia caninervis complex. Syntricha caninervis, sensu stricto, is recorded from northern Saudi Arabia, but not from Oman.

Timmiella barbuloides (Brid.) Moenk. (Pottiaceae).

--United Arab Emirates; Ra's al-Khaimah Emirate. Diftah (southeast of Masafi). Up the wadi on the east side of Highway E89. Elevation: 400 m. Uncommon, local? On steep NW-facing jebel slope above steep-walled wadi. In sheltered pockets of silt among fractured ophiolite rocks. Also collected here were Riccia crenatodentata (CJR 2726) and Gloeoheppia turgida (CJR 2728). January 20, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2727, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by R. Zander.

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula.

Along the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, between Wadi Khasab and the Sayh plain. Elevation: 650 m. Uncommon? In pockets of silt in crevices under boulders on north-facing limestone boulder slope, with Onychium (CJR 2730), cf Morus johannis, Plagiochasma rupestre (CJR 2733), Bryum cf. nanoapiculatum (CJR 2732), etc. January 21, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2731, with Paul Rothfels, M. Almack, Colin Rothfels. Identified by R. Zander.

Frey & Kurschner (1988) and Kurschner (2000) report this species both from the UAE and Oman, including records from Musandam.

Syntrichia inermis (Brid.) Bruch. (Pottiaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. W of the Sahasa area, off the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim. Elevation: 1700 m. In pocket of soil, in moist, shallow, N-facing "cave" in hard sharp limestone, on moderate rocky slope. With Caloplaca pusilla, Caloplaca inconnexa, Aspicilia contorta (CJR 2743, 2744, 2770), Psora decipiens (CJR 2748), and Syntrichia sinensis (CJR 2746). The site is apparently very close to the international border, and it may be that this record should equally be credited to the UAE (Ra's al-Khaimah emirate). January 22, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2745, 2747, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by R. Zander (as Tortula inermis (Brid.) Mont.).

First record for the Musandam Peninsula. This species is known from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, and Egypt, and may also occur in southwestern USA. It has previously been found in Oman (Frey & Kurschner 1988).

Splachnobryum aquaticum Mull. Hal. (Splachnobryaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Wadi Tiwi, approximately 3km up. Elevation: 30 m. Formed dense pillows on south-facing rocks around a small trickle leading down to the wadi pool. Close to the water's edge, with Pteris vittata, Adiantum capillusveneris, and a squishy white deposit. Carbonate bedrock. Mosses were common, but local, at this general location. January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2758, with Peter Rothfels, Paul Rothfels, M. Almack. Identified by P. Majestyk.

In Kurschner (2000) this species is given as Splachnobryum procerrium, but S. aquaticum is the currently accepted name. It is previously known from both the UAE and Oman. It is also known from Somalia and South Asia (Arts 2001).

[FIGURE 11 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 12 OMITTED]

LIVERWORTS:

Plagiochasma rupestre (Forst.) Steph. (Aytoniaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. On the road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, between Wadi Khasab and the Sayh plain. Elevation: 650 m. Uncommon? In pockets of silt in crevices under boulders on north-facing limestone boulder slope, with Onychium (CJR 2730), cf. Morus johannis, Timmiella barbuloides (CJR 2731), Bryum cf. nanoapiculatum (CJR 2732), etc. January 21, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2733, with Paul Rothfels, M. Almack, Colin Rothfels. Identified by D. Long.

--Sultanate of Oman; Musandam Peninsula. Road from Khasab to Jebel Harim, around the military complex. Elevation: 1600 m. Common in silt-packed crevices in W-facing limestone faces, with Cheilanthes acrostica (CJR 2753), mosses, etc. January 22, 2009. C. J. Rothfels #2750, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by D. Long.

According to Kurschner (2008) this taxon is a typical example of the Xerotherm-Pangaean element commonly found in the Arabian peninsula. It has been recorded in Socotra (Kurschner 2003), Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman (Kurschner 2000). Previous records from Oman include the Musandam peninsula.

Exormotheca pustulosa Mitt. (Exormothecaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Small wadi between Fins and Ash Shab. Elevation: 20 m. Hardpacked sand at base of steep dry wadi walls. January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2764. Identified by D. Long.

[FIGURE 13 OMITTED]

This is another Xerotherm-Pangaean element common in the Arabian Peninsula (Kurschner 2008). It is known from Socotra (Kurschner 2003), Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, and Oman (Kurschner 2000). In Oman it was previously known from the Batinah region and from Musandam but not from Sharqiyah.

Riccia crenatodentata Volk (Ricciaceae).

--United Arab Emirates; Ra's al-Khaimah Emirate. Diftah (southeast of Masafi). Up the wadi on the east side of Highway E89. Elevation: 400 m. Rare, local? On steep NW-facing jebel slope above steepwalled wadi. In sheltered pockets of silt among fractured ophiolite rocks. Also collected here was Timmiella barbuloides (CJR 2727), and Gloeoheppia turgida (CJR 2728). January 20, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2725, with Paul Rothfels. Identified by D. Long.

Endemic to SW Asia (Kurschner 2008). In the Arabian peninsula, it is known from Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE (Kurschner 2000). Previous records of this taxon in the UAE are from south of the Musandam peninsula, in the area between Diftah and Musandam (Kurschner & Boer 1999).

Riccia crozalsii Levier (Ricciaceae).

--Sultanate of Oman; Sharqiyah Region. Small wadi between Fins and Ash Shab. Elevation: 20 m. Hardpacked sand at base of steep dry wadi walls. See CJR 2766--Exormotheca pustulosa. January 29, 2009. C.J. Rothfels #2766. Identified by D. Long.

First record for Oman. Within the Arabian Peninsula, this taxon of circum-Mediterranean origin has only been recorded in Yemen (Al-Gifri & Kurschner 1996).

[FIGURE 14 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 15 OMITTED]

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by Carl J. Rothfels, Ester Gaya, Lisa Pokorny, Paul Rothfels, Peter Rothfels and Gary R. Feulner

Carl Rothfels

(to whom all correspondence should be addressed)

Department of Biology

Duke University

Box 90338

Durham NC 27708

U.S.A.

email: crothfels@yahoo.ca

Paul Rothfels

Ester Gaya

Lisa Pokomy

Peter Rothfels

Gary Feulner

P.O. Box 9229

Dubai, UAE

email: grfeulner@gmail.com
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