This species has only been scientifically collected from one site, but is known by the Yanomami people who utilize it for basket making. Its full distribution is very uncertain, as there is no information on its ecological requirements. It is therefore also not possible to estimate its population size or trends. It is therefore assessed as Data Deficient.
The species is known only for the type location (Maturacá region in the Amazon State) and its rhizomorphs are tradicionally used by Yanomami women to adorn baskets
It occurs in the Yanomami Indigenous land, Maturacá region in the Amazon State. It has only been collected from one site: lat: 0.554667 long: -66.189333 WGS84. Further sites in this area are known by the Yanomami people. It is possible that it is found more widely in the Amazon region, but as its ecological requirements are unknown it is not possible to predict other sites at which it could be present, or its extent of occurrence.
It is a hard to find species due to its diminished basidiome and its inconspicuous, long and thin black rhizomorph. It has been collected only in the Yanomami Land in the Maturacá region. It is not possible to estimate a total number of sites at which it occurs due to a lack of knowledge regarding its ecological requirements, therefore it is not possible to estimate its population size. The population trend is uncertain: there has so far been quite a slow rate of forest loss in this area, but this may change, and it may also occur in sites with more rapid forest loss.
Population Trend: Uncertain
It is a marasmioid, gregarious mushroom that produces rhizomorphs, growing from decomposing wood buried in the litter. The basidiomes usually grow when the rhizomorphs climb up the base of dicotyledonous tree trunks. It is saprotrophic, decomposing rotten wood of dicotyledonous tree in the litter of ombrophylous dense Amazon forest. It is used by birds to make nests: the bird with the Yanomami name kuxiximi is known to use this species, and around 100 bird species use various similar rhizomorphs.
The Yanomami Indigenous land has been threatened by illegal mining for decades. As a result of the gold extraction, the land is suffering with the contamination of the aquatic ecosystems, erosion and topsoil loss. Furthermore, the Amazon has been suffering from deforestation and illegal fires due to clearing for agriculture, illegal logging, real estate and mining. According to the Amazon Monitoring Program of INPE between 2018 and 2019 there was a substantial increase in these activities. Approximately 17% of the original Amazon vegetation has already been cleared. The rate of forest loss in the area from which it has been recorded has so far been quite slow. However, currently there are decreasing levels of protection of indigenous lands and therefore increased threats to the indigenous people, their way of life, and the species they share the forest with.
The Yanomami Indigenous land was demarcated and approved by the federal government. Despite this fact, the land is still threatened by deforestation and illegal mining. The maintenance and protection of the Yanomami Indigenous land is essential to preserve the species’ habitat. Furthermore, actions are needed such as enforcement of land protection, monitoring of deforestation and mining and resuming and intensifying campaigns to stop and prevent fires.
Research is needed to better understand how the species is distributed and its population size and trends. Ecological research is also needed to establish its habitat requirements.
The rhizomorphs of this species are collected from the forest by Yanomami women of the Maturacá region to adorn their baskets. As described in the book “Përɨsɨ: Përɨsɨyoma pë wãha oni” (Marasmius yanomami: the fungi that yanomami women use to adorn their baskets), they have a system of altering the collection spot to avoid negatively impacting the population.
Yanomami, F.C.P., Vieira, M.A.R. de Mattos, I.N.K. (2019). Përɨsɨ: Përɨsɨyoma pë wãha oni/Marasmius yanomami: o fungo que as mulheres yanomami usam na cestaria
Ramos, A.R.A., Rodrigues, F.D.S. (2018). Illegal artisanal mining in the Yanomami Indigenous land between the indigenous worldview and state actions
Stropp, Umbelino, Correia, Campos-Silva, Ladle & Malhado (2020). The ghosts of forests past and future: deforestation and botanical sampling in the Brazilian Amazon