Phylloporia minuta is a small parasitic polypore. It was described in 2018 after specimens collected in an urban protected area of Atlantic Forest, southern Brazil, growing on stems of a climbing plant, Doliocarpus schottianus Eichler. It was found again in 2019, on the same host, in another preserved forest area next to the urban area of other municipality, in Santa Catarina state. It is expected that it is a specific parasite of D. schottianus. The known and expected distribution is covered by Atlantic Forest, which is under threat from deforestation, amongst other threats. More research on neotropical polypores is needed to confirm the potential distribution of this species, its biology and the magnitude of the population trend. However, with the population size estimated at 8,000 mature individuals, Phylloporia minuta is assessed as Vunerable (VU) under criterion C2a(ii).
Phylloporia minuta was described by Bittencourt et al. (2018) after specimens collected in Blumenau, Southern Brazil. Currently, the species has no synonyms. Its epithet refers to the very small size of basidiomata.
Phylloporia minuta is a small parasitic polypore. It was described in 2018 after specimens collected in a Urban Protected Area of Atlantic Forest, Southern Brazil, growing on stems of a climbing plant, Doliocarpus schottianus Eichler. It was found again in 2019, on the same host, in another preserved forest area next to the urban area of other municipality, in Santa Catarina states. It is expected that it is a specific parasite of D. schottianus. The known and expected distribution is covered by Atlantic Forest, which is under an array of deforestation, among other threats. More research on neotropical polypores are needed to confirm the potential distribution of this species, its biology and population trends.
Phylloporia minuta is assessed as Vunerable (VU) under criterion C2a(ii).
Phylloporia minuta is a parasitic species so far known to grow exclusively on Doliocarpus schottianus, an endemic climbing plant of the coastal Atlantic Forest of Southern-Southeastern Brazil. It is currently known from a small urban protected area in the downtown of Blumenau municipality and in an experimental area of the University of Joinville municipality, both in Santa Catarina State, Southern Brazil. Its distribution is expected to match that of its host’s, spanning around 1,300 km in a linear distribution across the southern and southeastern coastal Atlantic Forest, from Santa Catarina state to Espirito Santo state, being endemic to this area. The core of its population is expected to be found between northern Santa Catarina and the south of São Paulo, where its host is most commonly found, with fewer sites throughout northern São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo states, where there are few records of D. schottianus.
The species is currently known from 2 sites and 11 collections. Its basidiomata are very small (<20 mm), and are found on living stems of climbing plants. The small size and its occurrence on an overlooked substrate for polypores are the probable reasons why it has only been recently described, despite the areas where it is known from being historically well sampled. The species inconspicuity makes it difficult to find, meaning that it could be more common than the current lack of collections may suggest.
Its distribution is expected to match that of its host’s, spanning around 1,300 km in a linear distribution across the southern and southeastern coastal Atlantic Forest, from Santa Catarina to Espírito Santo states, being endemic to this area. Its host, Doliocarpus schottianus, is usually found in climatic, humid forests of the coastal Atlantic Forest, especially close to water streams, but also secondary forest fragments. The habitat where it is usually found is now much rarer than it was in the past, as the Atlantic Forest is now reduced to less than 28% of what it once was, with the remaining areas being mostly fragmented and not fully mature (Rezende 2018). This suggests that in the past the species was probably much more abundant, with its population now being just a fraction of what it once was. Despite the large longitudinal range, there are an estimated 100 sites of occurrence along its host’s distribution, as it is expected to be restricted to humid areas, with sites mostly concentrated between northern Santa Catarina and southern São Paulo, where its host is most commonly found, and fewer sites throughout northern São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, where there are few records of D. schottianus.. Each site is estimated to contain up to 80 mature individuals. Total population size is estimated at no more than 8.000 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing
The species is an obligate parasite, growing on young stems of Doliocarpus schottianus, a climbing plant (Bittencourt et al. 2018) endemic to the Southern-Southeastern coastal Atlantic Forest in humid areas. According to Kubitzki and Reitz (1971), D. schottianus is a selective hygrophyte and sciophyte, frequent in the interior of primary forests. The fungus is expected to occur along its host throughout its distribution, also being endemic to the coastal Atlantic Forest.
Phylloporia minuta is found in the coastal Atlantic Forest of Brazil, regarded as a biodiversity hotspot for conservation priorities due to its high diversity, endemism rates and habitat loss (Myers et al. 2000). This phytogeographical domain is estimated to have only 28% of vegetation remaining (Rezende et al. 2018). According to Pinto et al. (2006), the Atlantic Forest is found in this situation due to predatory exploitation of resources and territorial occupation. Over 60% of the Brazilian population lives in the Atlantic Forest, mainly in coastal areas, where the country’s largest cities are located (Rezende et al. 2018). Other threats to the Atlantic Forest include hunting, increase in fire frequency and intensity, introduction of invasive species and the connection between these factors (Brooks & Balmford 1996, Tabarelli et al. 2004, Pinto et al. 2006). Also, reduction and ‘savannization’ of Atlantic Forest is expected due to climate change in the next decades (Salazar et al. 2007). The only two sites where P. minuta specimens were found are protected areas very close to urban areas, and other unprotected sites are possibly threatened with illegal land occupation, fire, exotic species , pollution and other anthropic activities.
The main actions to prevent the decline of the species are the protection of its habitat by the implementation of conservation areas and enforcement of public policies to recover secondary forests. Also, the conservation status of the host plant species should be assessed.
More surveys are needed to better understand the species distribution, as well as to confirm its host specificity and its phenology. Also, research regarding its host conservation, such as potential threats and its conservation status are needed.
Bittencourt F, Stürmer SL, Reck MA, Drechsler-Santos, ER (2018) Phylloporia minuta sp. nov. (Basidiomycota, Hymenochaetales): a remarkable species discovered in a small protected urban area of atlantic forest. Phytotaxa 348(3): 199-210.
Bresadola J (1986) Fungi Brasilienses lecti a cl. Dr. Alfredo Möller. Hedwigia 35(5): 276-302.
Brooks T, Balmford A (1996) Atlantic forest extinctions. Nature 380: 115.
Decock C, Amafi M, Robledo G, Castillo G. (2013) Phylloporia nouraguensis, an undescribed species on Myrtaceae from French Guiana. Cryptogamie, Mycologie 34(1): 15-27.
Ferreira-Lopes VF, Robledo GL, Reck MA, Góes-Neto, AG, Drechsler-Santos, ER (2016) Phylloporia spathulata sensu stricto and two new South American stipitate species of Phylloporia (Hymenochaetaceae). Phytotaxa 257(2): 133-148.
Fraga CN, Paula-Souza J (2015) Dilleniaceae in Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil. Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. Available at http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/jabot/floradobrasil/FB7362.
Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica (2018). Atlas dos Remanescentes Florestais da Mata Atlântica: Período 2017-2018. Arcplan. 35 p.
Kubitzki K, Reitz R (1971) Dileniáceas. In: Reitz R (Ed.) Flora Ilustrada Catarinense. Herbário Barbosa Rodrigues, Itajaí.
Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, Fonseca GA, Kent J (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403(6772): 853-858.
Pinto LP, Bede LC, Paese A, Fonseca M, Paglia AP, Lamas I (2006) Mata Atlântica brasileira: Os desafios para a conservação da biodiversidade de um hotspot mundial. In: Rocha CFD, Bergallo HG, Sluys MV, Alves MAS. Biologia da conservação: Essências (ed. 1). Rima Editora. 91-118.
Rezende CL, Scarano FR, Assad ED, Joly CA, Metzger JP, Strassburg BBN, Tabarelli M, Fonseca GA, Mittermeier RA (2018) From hotspot to hopespot: An opportunity for the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 16(4): 208-214.
Rick J (1931) Monographia hellvellinearum riograndensium. Brotéria, Série Botânica 15: 72-76.
Rivers MC, Bachman SP, Meagher TR, Lughanda EN, Brummitt NA (2010) Subpopulations, locations and fragmentation: applying IUCN red list criteria to herbarium specimen data. Biodiversity and Conservation 19(7): 2071-2085.
Salazar LF, Nobre CA, Oyama MD (2007) Climate change consequences on the biome distribution in tropical South America. Geophysical Research Letters 34(9).
Tabarelli M, Aguiar A, Grillo A, Santos A (2006) Fragmentação e Perda de Habitats na Mata Atlântica ao Norte do Rio São Francisco. In: Siqueira-Filho, JA, Leme, EMC. Fragmentos de Mata Atlântica do Nordeste: Biodiversidade, Conservação e suas Bromélias. Andrea Jacobsson Estúdio Editorial. 80-99.
Valenzuela R, Raymundo T, Cifuentes J, Castillo G, Amalfi M, Decock C (2011) Two undescribed species of Phylloporia from Mexico based on morphological and phylogenetic evidence. Mycological Progress 10: 341-349.