Austroboletus viscidoviridis is a distinctive species , easy to identify in the field. It is one of a very rich and diverse population of Boletes that inhabit the once extensive sand dunes of the Queensland coast. Many of the dune systems have been developed for housing, tourism and transport infrastructure and others have been planted with forests using exotic species. Although this development trend is slowing, this coastal dune systems will be vulnerable to other threats including sea level changes and storm surges resulting from climate change.
There have only ever been 6 functional individuals found on three separate sites and they probably represent two sub-populations. In the south, Fraser Island and Cooloola have been intensively studied by bolete specialists but this species has only been recorded in the southern section of the Noosa National Park and at the Ben Bennett Reserve in Caloundra. The northern population is represented by a single collection at ??? There are five other areas of suitable habitat in Queensland which are smaller in total extent but have not been as well surveyed. Using the Dahlberg & Mueller (2011) methodology we think that it would be reasonable to expect the population to be perhaps 5 times greater, that is 10 locations and 60 mature individuals.
The habitat in which this species is found has declined rapidly as it is much in demand for coastal development. The sites in which these collections have been made are under high recreational pressure, they have been damaged by fire and other management practices.
Habitat: Wallum under Melaleuca quinquinervia.
Notes: This is an olive green viscid capped Austroboletus has a white viscid network on the stipe.
Collections: PL30414, Noosa National Park, Marcus Beach section, Pat Leonard 6 Apr 2014; Ben Bennett Bushland Reserve, Roy Halling, 12 Feb 2015.
Habitat growing in heathland with Melaleuca and Allocasuarina species.
This is a readily recognised ectomycorrhizal species, one amongst the very diverse bolete communities found in Queensland. The sandy heathlands in which it is found are under constant threat from development and although much of the remaining habitat is nominally protected as national parks and reserves, they are under increasing pressure from recreation, pollution and fires.
Australia,limited to coastal Queensland
The collection of data on the distribution and population of fungi in Queensland was almost wholly dependent on the work of the staff at the Queensland herbarium until 1995. The herbarium currently holds 5200 fungal specimens accumulated over 150 years. Recording has undergone considerable change in the past 25 years. The foundation of Fungimap in 1995 engaged citizen scientists in recording fungi and those records are now part of the ALA database. Over 100000 records have been collected by Fungimap some of which were for Queensland. In 2007 the Queensland Mycological Society was founded and began a program of organised forays mainly focussed on South East Queensland. About 300 days of effort are expended annually by members and some 4000 records have been made. The rate of fungal specimens added to the Herbarium has increased from 25 per annum over the previous century to 125 per annum in the last decade. More recently the creation of a South East Queensland Facebook group has allowed other naturalists to contribute information on the sighting of fungi over a wider area of the state. All this effort means that fungal records are more extensive in the last decade than in previous periods. This makes it difficult to establish trends, but also means that there is now a greater degree of accuracy about the size and distribution of fungal populations.
Halling & Fechner who co-authored this taxon, have carried out lengthy surveys of its habitat over a number of years and this adds considerably to our confidence in the estimate of population size.
Found in wet and dry coastal heathlands and dune systems. Thought to be ectomycorrhizal with Allocasuarina, Melaleuca and/or Eucalyptus.
Land Clearing has removed the host species and therefore the fungus from many areas developed for urban uses. The extent of habitat has decreased significantly. In 2013, less about 30% of the pre-settlement habitat remained amounting to less than 10.000 hectares (Regional Ecosystem Assessment).
The sites in which the collections have been made are under high recreational pressure from increased urbanisation. The limited evidence available suggests that this family of fungi (Boletaceae) are not fire tolerant (Robinson and Tunsell 2007). One of the sites (Marcus Beach) has been significantly altered due to the widening of a fire belt and the fungus has not reappeared since this occured. At the Caloundra site there is a threat of a new road being put through the Ben Bennett Park. Whilst National Parks appear to be protected from most of the past threats, fungi are not recognised in conservation management plans and therefore any future changes may not favour the conservation of this species.
Feral animals have a large effect on many Australian habitats. In these dune systems cattle, horses, deer and pigs are potential problems for fungi and their hosts. It is thought that wild pigs and cattle may have the most significant effects. Pigs through digging large areas of soil and consumption of fruit bodies and cattle through trampling and increasing nitrogen levels.
Future threats also include the effects of climate change. Increasing sea level and more frequent and higher intensity of storms to which this coastal habitat is particularly vulnerable. Harsher fire weather and drought are also predicted and may pose additional threats .
This taxon occurs in a Bushland reserve and two National Parks, all of which have management plans (DNPSR). Writing the species in to the management plans would lead to proper consideration of its conservation. Action may be needed to amend the fire regime in the Noosa N.P. as the site for this fungus is on a newly enlarged fire break The Caloundra site is a reserve within an urban area and is well used as an urban park, management measures to protect the site of this fungus from recreational pressure and from road building are required.
The life cycle and habitat requirements of this species and of other mycorrhizal boletes are poorly understood. Research is needed to elucidate this and to formulate effective management plans. The establishment of new colonies of Boletes seems to pose special problems which has resulted in several species being red listed in European countries.
Accad, A., Neldner, V.J., Kelley, J.A.R., Li, J. and Richter, D. (2019). Remnant Regional Ecosystem Vegetation in Queensland, Analysis 1997-2017. Queensland Department of Environment and Science: Brisbane.
Brundrett, M. C. (2009) Mycorrhizal associations and other means of nutrition of vascular plants: understanding the global diversity of host plants by resolving conflicting information and developing reliable means of diagnosis. Plant and Soil. 320: 37-77.
Dahlberg A. and Mueller G.M. (2011) Applying IUCN red-listing criteria for assessing and reporting on the conservation status of fungal species. Fungal Ecology 4: 147-162.
Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing (DNPSR) (2004) Great Sandy
National Park Management Plan 1994 - 2010.
Fechner, N; Bonito, G; Bougher, NL; Lebel, T; Halling, RE. 2017. New species of Austroboletus (Boletaceae) in Australia. Mycological Progress. 16(8):769-775
Neldner, V.J., M.J. Laidlaw, K.R. McDonald, M.T. Mathieson, R.I. Melzer, R. Seaton, W.J. F. McDonald, R. Hobson, and C.J. Limpus (2017). Scientific review of the impacts of land clearing on threatened species in Queensland. Queensland Government, Brisbane.
Robinson R.M. and Tunsell V.L. (2007) A list of macrofungi recorded in burnt and unburnt Eucalyptus diversicolor regrowth forest in the southwest of Western Australia: 1998-2002. Conservation Science Western Australia 6: 75-96.