Restricted population with an estimated 45 mature individuals
Deconica baylissiana is a saprophytic secotioid (pouch) fungus endemic in southern New Zealand. It is the only New Zealand species associated with upland/alpine grassland and is easily seen and recognised due to its bright colour in open habitat. The species is sequence barcoded and phylogenetically well characterised. Truffle-like species have been extensively surveyed in New Zealand for over 50 years.
Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?
A distinctive saprophytic, secotioid (pouch) fungus known from 3 records from 3 locations in upland areas. It is the only secotioid species from this habitat, and is under threat from climate change.
Preliminary Category: Endangered. B2 AOO <500km2, or Critically Endangered C1, or Critically Endangered D1
Population and Trends
The species is known from 3 records in 3 locations over an 83 year period. We infer the presence of 3 genotyopes, x 3 to account for undetected colonies, x 5 to convert to an estimate of 45 mature individuals. Climate change will impact on populations.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Habitat and Ecology
Associated with alpine/upland grasslands in southern New Zealand. Secotioid/truffle species do not have active spore dispersal and rely on animal vectors. The identity of the vector is unknown.
Forest truffle-like species are presumed to be dispersed by flightless birds like the extinct Moa and the threatened Kiwi and Kakapo. The identity of the vector for this upland species is unknown but is likely to be extinct or threatened. In addition, as an alpine species, it is likely to be negatively impacted by climate change.
Identity of the spore dispersal vector and the impact of climate change.