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Musselman Edits Special Journal on Biodiversity in the Middle East

Lytton John Musselman of the Old Dominion University faculty is an editor of a recently released special issue of the international journal BioRisk titled "Environment, Biodiversity and Conservation in the Middle East."

The issue features articles by researchers who made presentations at the First Middle East Biodiversity Congress in Aqaba, Jordan, in October 2008. More about the issue can be found at www.pensoft.net/newreleases/14717.htm.

Musselman, who is ODU's Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany, is an expert on plants of the Middle East. He was invited to deliver a plenary talk at the conference in Aqaba, and afterwards was asked to serve as an editor of the special issue.

The 15 articles in the issue explore topics such as ecological challenges posed by urbanization, conservation of endangered plants and the re-colonization of the Mediterranean Sea with tropical marine species. The publication, which is designed to be of interest to botanists, zoologists, ecologists, conservationists and decision makers, includes a focus on global climate change.

Musselman and the issue's three other editors contributed an introductory article, "The Effects of Climate Change on Biodiversity: Pressing Issues and Research Priorities."

Three major biogeographic realms, the Palaearctic, Afrotropical and Oriental, come together in the Middle East, resulting in a unique biological diversity that Musselman and many researchers like him are working diligently to protect.

Two years ago, Musselman's book "Figs, Dates, Laurel, and Myrrh: Plants of the Bible and the Quran" was published by Timber Press. He said his opportunities to live and do research in several countries of the holy lands during the last two decades enriched the chapters about the 100 plants that are mentioned in the Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical Apochrypha and Quran.

This article was posted on: January 5, 2010

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