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Aleurodiscus bernicchiae Gorjón, Greslebin & Rajchenb.

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Scientific name
Aleurodiscus bernicchiae
Author
Gorjón, Greslebin & Rajchenb.
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Russulales
Family
Stereaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2015-04-22
IUCN Red List Category
VU
IUCN Red List Criteria
B2ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(i)
Assessors
Rajchenberg, M.
Reviewers
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/75095325/75095462

Justification

Aleurodiscus bernicchiae is a rare corticioid basidiomycetous wood-inhabiting fungus only known from the temperate zone of Argentina. It is confined to the conifers Fitzroya cupressoides and Pilgerodendron uviferum, and rarely also Saxegothaea conspicua, which are restricted in distribution to Argentina and Chile and are globally assessed as Endangered, Vulnerable and Near Threatened, respectively. Owing to timber cutting, forests with F. cupressoides and  P. uviferumforest have been dramatically degraded and destroyed. The decline in habitat quality is ongoing as over-exploitation, and illegal logging continues and deliberately set fires re-occur. The overall conservation of the host tree species is of concern due to the reasons given above and/or their small populations. In the Argentinian distributional area, the conifer species are currently protected within national parks, but their present geographical extension is small. A. bemicchiae has not been found in surveys undertaken in neighboring Chilean forests. The ongoing decline of its host trees of in combination with its fragmentation and rareness, considering undiscovered sites, results in it being assessed as Vulnerable (VU) under the criteria for B2ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(i).

Taxonomic notes

The species is characterized by a cupuliform basidiome with cream to brownish colors. Micromorphologically it is characterized by subglobose ornamented basidiospores and especially by encrusted cystidia. This kind of encrusted cystidia is a previously unknown feature within Aleurodiscus s.l. (Gorjón et al. 2013). Described in Gorjón et al. (2013) based on collections made in 2011.

Geographic range

Aleurodiscus bernicchiae is an endemic fungus in the Patagonian Andes confined to the distribution of its host trees and only known from two localities in the temperate zone of Argentina: in Río Negro-Neuquén Province, Nahuel Huapi National Park, Puerto Blest and in Chubut Province, Lago Puelo National Park, Motoco. It has been searched for, but not found in Chile (Gorjón and Hallenberg 2012).

Population and Trends

Although Aleurodiscus bernicchiae was not described until 2013 (Gorjón et al. 2013), extensive surveys of wood-inhabiting fungi in the Patagonian Andes implies it to be a rare species. It is only known from nine specimens (seven from the type locality) in two localities in Argentina. Its conifer host trees have restricted distributions and are all globally assessed as threatened due to decline. Hence the total fungal population, including the undiscovered sites, is estimated to be small and declining.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Aleurodiscus bernicchiae is a saprotrophic wood-inhabiting fungus, growing on the bark of low branches of the conifers Fitzroya cupressoides, Pilgerodendron uviferum, and Saxegothaea conspicua. 

Threats

Its population is inferred to have declined due to timber harvesting, fire and/or reduction of habitat quality and the decline is inferred to be ongoing. While hosts in Argentina are protected in national parks, the potential host tree populations in Chile are declining. In both countries, wildfires could threaten the sites.

All three conifer hosts tree species show a decreasing population trend, especially in Chile; Fitzroya cupressoides is classified as Endangered (EN A2acd) due to fire, logging and damage to trees from bark stripping for caulking purposes throughout its distribution. The decline in habitat quality is ongoing as illegal logging continues and deliberately set fires re-occur (Premoli et al. 2013). Saxegothaea conspicua is globally assessed as Vulnerable (VU A2cd) as there has been a decline of more than 30% in its area of occupancy and in the quality of its habitat (Souto et al. 2013). It also has a long history of exploitation that dates back several centuries. Pilgerodendron uviferum mainly occurs in Chile and the Argentinian populations are too small to affect the global listing. It is listed as Near Threatened (NT) (Gardner 2013).

Wildfire is a serious  concern for the conifer forests and accordingly for A. bernicchiae. In 2015, around 35,000 hectares of forest in Chubut, were consumed by a wildfire.

Conservation Actions

The sites where this species is currently known from need to be protected. Geographic presence needs to be assessed, especially in Chile. Knowledge on factors affecting its limited distribution within the host range are highly desirable.

Source and Citation

Rajchenberg, M. 2017. Aleurodiscus bernicchiae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T75095325A75095462. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T75095325A75095462.en .Downloaded on 1 February 2021

Country occurrence