KEYS TO THE LICHENS OF ITALY - 91) BIATORA
In its current circumscription, Biatora Fr., included in the Ramalinaceae, comprises crustose species with a green algal photobiont, biatorine apothecia with an exciple composed of anticlinal-parallel hyphae, weakly branched, anastomosed and strongly conglutinated paraphyses, Biatora-type asci and simple to 3(-7)-septate, colourless ascospores. Until this modern delimitation of the genus, the species now accepted as Biatora were distributed over a heterogeneous group of taxa including e.g. Bacidia, Catillaria, and Lecidea. Since the second half of the XIX century, Biatora was treated as a subgenus of Lecidea until it was reinstalled as a monotypic genus based on B. vernalis. The circumscription of the genus has changed since then and the number of species increased from 17 to 42 (Printzen 2014). Molecular studies, based on a single or two gene loci, supported the monophyly of Biatora and its position within Ramalinaceae; a comprehensive study based on three gene loci also showed that the genus comprises at least six clades, which correspond to different morphological groups of species: the beckhausii-, hertelii-, meiocarpa-, ocelliformis-, rufidula- and vernalis- groups (Printzen 2014).
Many species are chionophilous and extremely shade-tolerant. Three main distributional patterns can be observed: (sub-)arctic-alpine species, sub-oceanic-montane species, and species of montane coniferous or mixed coniferous forests (Printzen & Palice 1999). Keys to European species were published by Printzen (1995) and Printzen & Otte (2005).
The present key includes all species of Biatora reported from Italy (Nimis 2016), plus a few species known from neighbouring countries in the Alps (Nimis & al. 2018), for a total of 20 infrageneric taxa.
Nimis P.L. 2016. The Lichens of Italy. A Second Annotated Catalogue. EUT, Trieste, 739 pp.
Nimis P.L., Hafellner J., Roux C., Clerc P., Mayrhofer H., Martellos S., Bilovitz P.O. 2018. The Lichens of the Alps. An Annotated Catalogue. Mycokeys, 31: 1-634.
Printzen C. 1995. Die Flechtengattung Biatora in Europa. Bibl. Lichenol., 60, 275 pp.
Printzen C. 2014. A molecular phylogeny of the lichen genus Biatora including some morphologically similar species. Lichenologist, 46: 441-453.
Printzen C., Otte V. 2005. Biatora longispora new to Europe, and a revised key to European and Macaronesian Biatora species. Graphis Scripta, 17, 2: 56-61.
Printzen C., Palice Z. 1999. The distribution, ecology and conservational status of the lichen genus Biatora in Central Europe. Lichenologist, 31, 4: 319-335.
Last modified: February, 16, 2022