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This special issue of BioRisk contains a collection of 15 papers presented during the First International Congress: Documenting, Analysing and Managing Biodiversity in the Middle East, which was held in Aqaba, Jordan from 20 to 23 October 2008.
Contributions address a wide range of themes, including success and limits of re-colonisation of the Mediterranean with tropical marine species, biodiversity networks, ecological challenges of rapid urbanization in the United Arab Emirates, habitat mapping for protected area design, diversity of cyanobacteria in hot springs, variability and diversity of phytoplankton in the Gulf, diversity and distribution of lichens, a complex ex situ - in situ approach for conservation of endangered plants, and the Key Biodiversity Areas Programme implemented by Nature Iraq with various examples of phytoplankton, fish and bird studies.