Tropicoporus drechsleri is currently known from several sites in Argentina, in the Chaco and Selva Misionera (Atlantic Forest), and one site in the western part of Santa Catarina State, Brazil, (also in the Atlantic Forest). It is a specific parasite of Cordia americana, and its distribution is expected to match that of its host, ranging between 20º-30º S latitude in South America, from the Atlantic Forest to the east up to the Andean mountains to the west, in the Chaco domain. It is also expected to be found in Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. There are an estimated 400-500 sites throughout its host’s distribution, each potentially containing 10-20 mature individuals. Total population size is estimated at 5,000 to 10,000 mature individuals distributed in one subpopulation. A population size reduction of 10-20% in 70 years (three generations based on the phenology of the host tree) is suspected due to past and ongoing loss of suitable habitat in the Atlantic Forest and Chaco. Tropicoporus drechsleri is classified as Vulnerable.
Tropicoporus drechsleri was recently described by Salvador-Montoya et al. (2018) based on molecular phylogenetic analysis (although it is morphologically distinctive) as a new species in the “Inonotus linteus” species complex. The collections examined to determine the species were previously identified as Tropicoporus linteus (Berk. & M.A.Curtis) L.W.Zhou & Y.C.Dai.
Tropicoporus drechsleri is a parasitic, host specific polypore fungus that is found growing exclusively on Cordia americana, a hardwood species that occurs between 20º to 30º latitude of South America, from Atlantic Forest to Chaco domain near the Andean Mountains. Up to now, the species was recorded for Argentina and Brazil, but its distribution likely follows that of its host into Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The species is assessed as Vulnerable (VU) A2c+C1+2a(ii).
Tropicoporus drechsleri is currently known from several sites in Argentina, in Chaco and Selva Misionera (Atlantic Forest), and one site in the western part of Santa Catarina State of Brazil (also in the Atlantic Forest). The species is a specific parasite of Cordia americana, and its distribution is expected to match that of its host which ranges between 20º-30º S latitude in South America, from the Atlantic Forest to the east up to the Andean mountains to the west, in the Chaco domain. It is also expected to be found in Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Based on the its host distribution and population density, T. drechsleri is expected to be more abundant in the Atlantic Forest, followed by the Chaco domain.
The species is known from 18 records in 8 sites in Argentina and Brazil. All but one of the sites are in Argentina, near the type locality. There are an estimated 400-500 sites throughout its host’s distribution, each potentially containing 10-20 mature individuals. The total population size is estimated at between 5,000 to 10,000 mature individuals distributed in one subpopulation.
The Chaco has been suffering a rapid decline is the last 50 years, mainly due to deforestation for planting soy bean (Grau et al. 2005, Fearnside 2001, Kaimowitz and Smith 2001). In north-western Argentina, the Chaco domain lost 20% of its remaining area from 1972 to 2001 (Grau et al. 2005). In Bolivia, Chiquitano forest, the Chaco lost 48% of its original area, also because of establishment of agricultural fields (Steininger et al. 2001). Additionally, the Atlantic Forest domain has only 28% of its original area (Rezende et al. 2018). Due to the Atlantic Forest and Chaco loss of area in the past, and the current situation in areas where the species occurs, there is an suspected population size reduction of 10-20% in 70 years (three generations, based on the phenology of the host tree).
Population Trend: Decreasing
The species is parasitic and likely host specific on Cordia americana. Its range is estimated to follow that of its host’s in the Atlantic Forest (Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay), Chaco (Argentina and possible in Bolivia and Paraguay), and likely in Montes Ribereños (Uruguay).
Tropicoporus drechsleri and its host, Cordia americana, are mainly distributed in two domains, the Atlantic Forest and the Chaco. Both domains are considered deforestation hotspots, suffering loss of area mainly due to agriculture and human occupation (Pinto et al. 2006, Gasparri and Grau 2009). The species is also threatened by ‘savannization’ of the tropical forests in South America caused by climate change (Salazar et al. 2007).
The main action needed for the conservation of the species is to protect areas where its host occurs by establishing additional Conservation Units as the decline in protected areas is substantially reduced. For example, between 1989 and 2000 the deforestation in major protected areas of Atlantic Forest in Paraguay was 6.07%, contrasting with an nearly 80% loss of area in unprotected sites. These data document the success of protection policies.
More surveys are needed to confirm estimated sites of occurrence, as well as to better understand its distribution, phenology and ecology.
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