Galerella xalapensis belongs to a rare lineage with few species most of them only know from type localities. It fruits so scarcely that besides intensively (daily) monitoring only one collection has been made. Beside this, the type locality is a small urban park threatened by pollution, visitors, edge effects, etc. Urgent actions are needed to protect the only know site where additional studies could be carried out to untangle the biology of this enigmatic species.
The only site known probably represents a single mycelium likely representing 1 genet. Despite targeted surveys (even daily) since its description there are no more enconters. The whole surrounding area has also been under study by at least 50 years, so the rareness of the fungi is not due to under-sampling.
This species should be listed under the vulnerable category under the D2 criteria since its AOO is less than 1 km2 and there is only one known location. Additionally, the only known location is an urban park threatened by visitors, pollution, and edge effects. These threats could lead the species to become critically endangered in the near future.
Galerella xalapensis has a faintly plicate-sulcate dry pale grayish brown pileus, 48-50 µm in diameter, at first probably broadly convex, becoming plane-depressed or plane concave, with a weakly raised knob at center. Lamellae narrowly adnate, close, ventricose, whitish to pale grayish. A white to pale yellowish stipe, glabrous, dry, thick and fistulose. Similar species differs by geographical distribution and also in morphological features. Galerella microphues, differs because it has narrowly lageniform cheilocystidia and clamped hyphae, and is reported from Sri Lanka exclusively. One of the most widespread species, G. plicatella, can be distinguished from G. xalapensis because the former has a brown pileus with alternate regions of pale orange yellowish or fulvous-brown, that turns alutaceous-buff with an orange-apricot disc, pale orange lamellae, finely pubescent orange-white stipe, ventricose or lageniform cheilocystidia (Bandala & Montoya 2015).
Galerella species are rare, accounting for seven species most of them with restricted geographical ranges. In particular, G. xalapensis is the only record from this genus in Mexico. This species only grows in urban green areas from Xalapa city, Veracruz. G. xalapensis should be protected since it is a very rare fungus endemic to highly disturbed green areas within a single urban region.
Galerella xalapensis is only known from southeastern Mexico in the type locality, in urban green areas from Xalapa city, Veracruz, where it was collected in 2012 (Bandala & Montoya 2015).
Galerella xalapensis is only known from the type locality, in urban green areas from Xalapa city, Veracruz, where it was collected in 2012. Bandala and Montoya monitored the type locality weekly during August–September 2012, and daily during May–October 2013, never finding again it.
Additionally, the urban and natural vegetation near Xalapa city is the most mycologically explored region in Mexico. Extensively collecting has happened since 100 years by Murrill, Singer, Guzman, etc. Because of this and the uniqueness of the genera it is unlikely that its known distribution is due to subsampling (Bandala & Montoya 2015).
Population Trend: Deteriorating
Solitary on naked soil, in urban forests with scattered trees including: Eriobotrya japonica, Fraxinus uhdei, Psidium guajava and Platanus mexicana. Only known from its type locality in urban green areas from Xalapa city, Veracruz. Located at 1230 m in elevation, SE of Xalapa. Its only known location corresponds to a severely disturbed patch of forest formerly used as an orchard. Galerella xalapensis may have a particular fruiting pattern, judging by the behavior observed in the sampled site. After a single collection appeared in July 2012, any more basidiomata have been found, even over daily visits during May–October 2013 (Bandala & Montoya 2015).
The only record of Galerella xalapensis comes from an abandoned green area, corresponding to a severely disturbed small patch of urban forest. Although the area is protected, the main threat are edge effects that may limit its dispersion and growth. The urban pressure is also a main concern over its only known population.
By now, the type locality is one of the multiple points established to monitor the species diversity that inhabits green areas in Xalapa city and a long-term program is currently being conducted by a research team of Instituto de Ecología AC, in Xalapa, Veracruz.
To investigate the fruiting patterns and life cycle of G. xalapensis. It would be necesary to answer if it still has and active micelia in the type locality even if it does not fruits for several years (Bandala & Montoya 2015). An increase in sampling effort to locate, if it exists any, some other subpopulations of the species. Also to perform phylogenetic analysis to elucidate the species relationships with other species of the genus.
There is no report about edibility or use of this species.
Bandala, V. M., & Montoya, L. (2015). Galerella xalapensis sp. nov. found in an urban green area in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Mycotaxon, 129(2), 421-427.