Tuber aztecorum is an ectomycorrhizae truffle associated with Abies religiosa that can be recognized by its reddish brick color peridium, aciculiform cystidia with erected irregular cell wall hyphae on the peridium. Tuber aztecorum is the sister species of T. castilloi but the former differs by having bigger spore of 27-63 x 20-40 µ. without an irregular thickness to the cell wall and is associated mainly with Quercus spp., and by DNA (ITS) variation.
Due to the close associación of Abies religiosa to T. aztecorum, this truffle is proposed to be considered under the A3c vulnerable status, because the area size of A. religiosa population will be reduced in the future as a consequence of real exploitation and global warming.
Tuber aztecorum is only known from the road to Temascaltepec in “Nevado de Toluca” Natural Area in Estado de Mexico, The collecting site is part of the Transmexican Volcanic Belt. This species grows associated with Abies religiosa forest at 3060 m, 19.20.7 150, 99.8 14 891 (N 19°11.662’ W099°48.537’) aprox. (Guevara et all 2018).
GBIF (2019) do not register any occurrences. However this truffle is known from one single sampling locality: two single collections from one single site from the center of the Transmexican Volcanic Belt, Mexico. The Abies religiosa mountains of the center of Mexico hosts this species. In addition, efforts to find this hypogeous species have been unsuccessfully in the last few years. The few existing records do not seem to be a result of undersampling.
Ascomata are hypogeous, gregarious, associated with Abies religiosa forests producing rare sporocarps. Its fruiting season is in Fall (July) at 3060 m elevation.
The only known population of Tuber aztecorum grows associated with Abies religiosa forest. The Abies religiosa forests are subjeted to land cover-change and illegal timber extraction. In addition, this vegetation is severely threatened by global warming; it has been estimated that by 2060, A. religiosa populations will decline by 87% (Miranda-Aragón et al., 2012; Sáenz-Romero et al., 2016; Sáenz-Romero, Rehfeldt, Duval, & Lindig-Cisneros, 2012).
The locality were T. aztecorum was found recently the landscape soil use was changed from Nevado de Toluca National Park Area to Protected Area of Flora and wild Life of Nevado de Toluca. Its mountains are very close to one of the biggest cities in Mexico (Toluca) and their urban expansion is severely threatening the surrounding forests and therefore T. aztecorum itself.
Tuber aztecorum is present in the Protected Area Flora and Fauna of Nevado de Toluca intimately associated with A. religiosa. An action priority to Abies religosa would be to protected its habitat and other endangered species of fungi and insect such as monarch butterfly. Tuber aztecorum is not enlisted in either Red nor National lists up to date.
More sampling to other sites where A. religiosa forest is present. In addition, analysis of the ITS and other genes are required for phylogenetic and evolutionary studies from fresh and dried specimens to know more about the relationship between T. aztecorum and Abies religiosa in Central Mexico.
There are not reports about edibility or use of this species, however, it is suspected to be edible.
GBIF Secretariat. (2019). Tuber aztecorum. Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.gbif.org/species/5451995
Guevara-Guerrero G, Bonito G, Smith ME, Healy R, Grupe II AC, Cázares E, Castellano MA, Trappe JM (2018) Tuber aztecorum sp. nov., a truffle species from Mexico belonging to the Maculatum clade (Tuberaceae, Pezizales). MycoKeys 30: 61–72. https://doi.org/10.3897/mycokeys.30.22887
Miranda-Aragón, L., Treviño-Garza, E. J., Jiménez-Pérez, J., Aguirre-Calderón, O. A., González-Tagle, M. A., Pompa-García, M., & Aguirre-Salado, C. A. (2012). Modeling susceptibility to deforestation of remaining ecosystems in North Central Mexico with logistic regression. Journal of Forestry Research, 23(3), 345–354.http://doi.org/10.1007/s11676-012-0230-z
Sáenz-Romero, C., Lindig-Cisneros, R. A., Joyce, D. G., Beaulieu, J., St. Clair, J. B., & Jaquish, B. C. (2016). Assisted migration of forest populations for adapting trees to climate change. Revista Chapingo Serie Ciencias Forestales Y Del Ambiente, 22(3), 303–323.http://doi.org/10.5154/r.rchscfa.2014.10.052
Sáenz-Romero, C., Rehfeldt, G. E., Duval, P., & Lindig-Cisneros, R. A. (2012). Abies religiosa habitat prediction in climatic change scenarios and implications for monarch butterfly conservation in Mexico. Forest Ecology and Management, 275(0), 98–106.http://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.03.004
Tuber aztecorum in GBIF Secretariat (2017). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist datasethttps://doi.org/10.15468/39omei accessed via GBIF.org on 2019-05-23.