The present study tested the hypothesis that species richness and composition of epiphytic microlichens can be used to support the phytosociological differentiation between Caatinga and Brejos de Altitude, as exemplified by the Muralha Reserve (Caatinga) and the Parque Estadual Mata do Pau Ferro (Brejo de Altitude), in the state of Paraíba, Brazil. A total of 755 lichen samples were collected, comprising 18 families, 42 genera and 111 species of epiphytic, corticolous microlichens. Overall species richness was higher in the Caatinga, with 67 species, compared to the Brejo, with 46 species. Species richness per sample was significantly higher in the Caatinga compared to the Brejo. Taxonomic composition also differed significantly between the two areas, with Arthoniaceae, Caliciaceae, Chrysothrichaceae, Graphidaceae (particularly Graphis), Lecanoraceae, Mycoporaceae, Pertusariaceae, and Trypetheliaceae being dominant in, or exclusive to, the Caatinga, whereas Coenogoniaceae, Graphidaceae (Diorygma, Fissurina, Myriotrema, Ocellularia, Phaeographis, Sarcographa), Malmideaceae, Porinaceae and Strigulaceae were dominant in, or exclusive to, the Brejo. Five new species were discovered as result of this study. This is the first study to quantitatively compare richness and community patterns of epiphytic microlichens between two major biomes in Northeastern Brazil, and the first detailed lichen study in the state of Paraíba.