The mode of reproduction of the soil ascomycetous fungus Emericella nidulans of Israeli populations was studied using 15 microsatellite (simple sequence repeats or SSR) trinucleotide markers. The study was performed in three canyons: two located in the northern part of Israel (Mount Carmel and western Upper Galilee) and one in the southern Negev desert. In each canyon, E. nidulans strains were isolated from the opposite slopes and (in the desert canyon) the valley bottom. Testing the reproductive structure of the populations indicated the presence of sexuality in the northern population and predominant clonality in the desert population. The predominantly clonal character of the desert population of E. nidulans was explained by the assumption that for relevant multilocus systems of a fungus, only several haplotypes can survive in the rather constant, extremely stressful desert conditions. Additionally, the very low density of E. nidulans populations in the soil of the desert canyon, which reduces the probability of finding a sexual partner, might favour predominant clonality via selfing. Increasing sexuality in E. nidulans populations on the north-facing slopes of the northern canyons may be a result of biotic stress (pressure of competitive fungal species), due to the more mild ecological conditions in these canyons.