The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of climatic (temperature and precipitation) and geographical (latitude, longitude and altitude) variables on patterns of species richness in the Neotropical Cladoniaceae. We constructed maps of species richness for the family with a cell size of 1º × 1º latitude-longitude accounting for geographical and bioclimatic variables per cell. The relationship between climatic variables and richness was evaluated using null models (test edges) and generalized additive models (GAM). To correct the problem of multicollinearity, we used a principal component analysis (PCA) for the study variables. The results suggest that species richness in Cladoniaceae varies with altitude, latitude and longitude in the Neotropics and also with respect to the climate.