This species is currently known from only one site, Los Alerces National Park, Argentina. Little is known about its strict habitat requirements and its full distribution. It is plausible that this species could be Critically Endangered, but further research is urgently needed to see whether it could have a wider distribution throughout the region. Therefore, it is listed here as Data Deficient.
the species was only found in in a humid spot of the National Park “Los Alerces” on the Argentinean slope of the Andes. It belongs to an ectomycorrizal genus. However, no DNA matches are found from root tips or enviromental sequencing, suggesting that it is not well represented in the root tips as are most Tomentella species from Patagonia. Los Alerces National Park lost a great part of its native surface due to fires, wich threatens its biodiversity. Farming and cattle are allowed for families inhabiting this park, but the animal load disturbs the renewals of Nothofagus and other tree species and also removes and disturbs the herbaceous level of vegetation as well as the fallen branches and other lignocelulosic materials where this and other species produce their sporomes.
This species is known from Chubut province in central Patagonia. It is currently thought to be restricted to Los Alerces National Park, and only found in a humid spot in this natural reserve.
The species is known only from its original description and specimens, root tip or soil sequences exist to provide further details of its distribution. Currently this species appears to be limited to humid patches of Nothofagus dombeyi dominated forests. Since this tree species is limited to low altitudes in the Andes mountains, the woody debris that it grown in is being negatively affected by livestock in the sites.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Basidiomes are produced on woody debris. The nutritional mode is suspected to be ectomycorrhizal since no saprotrophic species are reported in the genus Tomentella sensu stricto (exc. Odontia sensu stricto Tedersoo et al. 2014). The only records of this species fruiting are from the spring, when it has been found at a humid spot in the reserve.
Cows and other farm animals constitute the major disturbance for Nothofagus dombeyi forests, since these trees grow at lower altitudes than other members of the family. Cattle are not limited in most of the preserved areas in Patagonia and, as a consequence, the fungal species colonising or reproducing on woody debris laying on the soil surface lose their potential substrate. Fire events (including ones that have been intentionally set) have been more frequent/severe in recent years due to drought, and this reduces the habitat considerably.
This area is specially protected for the preservation of Fitzroya cupressoides, within the national park. Exclusion of cattle from protected areas such as this is an important action for this species.
The confirmation of the ectomycorrhizal nutritional mode is needed as well as a better idea of the full distribution. Research into whether this species requires similar habitat to Fitzroya cupressoides would be beneficial, as then this species could benefit from similar conservation measures.
There are no uses recorded, and it is likely not detected by people other than mycologists looking for inconspicuous corticioid species.
Kuhar, F., Barroetaveña, C. and Rajchenberg, M. (2016). New species of Tomentella (Thelephorales) from the Patagonian Andes forests. Mycologia, 108(4), 780-790.
Blackhall, M., Raffaele, E. and Veblen, T.T. (2008). Cattle affect early post-fire regeneration in a Nothofagus dombeyi–Austrocedrus chilensis mixed forest in northern Patagonia, Argentina. Biological conservation, 141(9), 2251-2261.
Tedersoo, L., Harend, H., Buegger, F., Pritsch, K., Saar, I. and Kõljalg, U. (2014). Stable isotope analysis, field observations and synthesis experiments suggest that Odontia is a non-mycorrhizal sister genus of Tomentella and Thelephora. Fungal Ecology, 11, 80-90.