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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'.
Lichens of the Namib Desert provides information on lichens in general and more specifically on the lichen biota of the Namib Desert, with 75 species illustrated in colour, enabling the user to identify most of the lichens occurring there.