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).
A characteristical species by a cupuliform basidiome with cream to brownish colors. Microscopically it is characterized by subglobose ornamented basidiospores and above all by encrusted cystidia. This kind of encrusted cystidia is an earlier unknown feature within Aleurodiscus s.l. (Gorjón et al. 2013).
A corticioid basidiomycetous wood-inhabiting fungus. It is usually found on Fitzroya cupressoides (EN) and Pilgerodendron uviferum (VU), and rarely also on Saxegothaea conspicua (NT). For F. cupressoides there has been an estimated reduction in the quality of habitat across its total range and over-exploitation; also anthropogenic disturbances linked with cattle ranching and browsing. For P. uviferum there is a reduction in population trend due to over-exploitation, illegal harvesting and fire. The overall conservation of the three species is of concern due to either the reasons given above and/or small populations. In the Argentinian distributional area the 3 species are presently effectively protected within national parks, though their present geographical extension is small [data needed here?].
Not found in surveys in neighboring Chilean forests (Gorjón & Hallenberg 2012).
B2ab(iii) VU: this criterium applies because populations of the three host species are small and fragmented, with an area of occupancy less than 500 km2.
D1 VU: this criterium applies on the basis of an inferred population with less than 1000 individuals + low number of locations
Known from only two localities (see map):
Argentina, Río Negro-Neuquén, Nahuel Huapi National Park, Puerto Blest
Argentina, Chubut, Lago Puelo National Park, Motoco
It has been searched for but not found in Chile (Gorjón & Hallenberg 2012).
Population trend: unknown. The species is known from 9 specimens (7 from the type locality). Hosts present a decreasing population trend, specially in Chile, but fire is a serious concern for Argentinean population (cfr. recent summer wildfires that reached very near to Los Alerces national park in Argentina).
Population Trend: Deteriorating
Growing on bark of low branches of the conifers Fitzroya cupressoides, Pilgerodendron uviferum, and Saxegothaea conspicua
Small population of its hosts due to timber harvesting, fire and/or reduction of habitat quality.
Geographic presence needs to be assessed, especially in Chile.
Knowledge on factors affecting its limited distribution within the host range are highly desirable.