Chlorovibrissea chilensis is currently known from only one site, but likely occurs in other Nothofagus nitida forests along the Chilean south coast. These forests are under threat due to human activity and changes in precipitation due to climate change. It has an estimated total population of between 250 and 500 mature individuals, which is thought to be in decline. Therefore, it is listed as Endangered.
Chlorovibrissea chilensis Sandoval-Leiva, A.I. Romero & P.R. Johnst., sp. nov.
C. chilensis is the first record of the genus in south America, it is only known from its type locality in the evergreen Aisén forest close to the mouth of the Cuervo river,Aisén Fjord, southern Chile.
Assuming that the species is restricted to the mouth of Cuervo river, its population is threatened due to the fact that the forest itself is threatened. Gutiérrez, 2014, talks about the pressure hydrological balance changing due to excessive logging, fire, climate change.
This species is known from one locality in Aisén Province, southern Chile, close to the mouth of the Cuervo River, Aisén Fjord (45 20’ 59.79”S, 73 2’ 55.09” W) (Sandoval-Leiva et al. 2014).
It is only known from its type locality in the evergreen Aysén forest close to the mouth of the Cuervo river, Aysén Fjord, southern Chile. Chlorovibrissea chilensis has only been recorded from one decaying, very wet trunk of an unidentified tree. There were 50 ascomata on that tree trunk.
The species has not been found at other sites even though many areas of Chilean Nothofagus forest have been intensively surveyed, but the species is small with low detectability. It could be that it is restricted to Nothofagus nitida forests which mostly occur along the coast. It is estimated that there are 5 - 10 individuals per site and up to 50 sites along the coast with suitable habitat, giving an estimated total number of mature individuals of between 250 and 500.
Population Trend: Decreasing
The species was found growing on an water saturated trunk in a mixed forest of mainly Nothofagus nitida and Laureliopsis philippiana. According to Gajardo (1994) it is within the region of evergreen forest and Sphagnum bogs and is classified in the Koeppen’s classification system (Kottek et al. 2006) as having a humid, warm-temperate climate with a high, evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year (over 30,00 mm/y in nearby Puerto Chacabuco).
Coastal Nothofagus nitida forests are threatened by wood extraction, anthropogenic activities, including grazing by cattle, and fire. Also, a change in climate dynamics in the rainforests of the southern hemisphere has occurred, whereby the hydrological balance has changed, with annual precipitation having decreased by about 40% in the last century (time period 1901–2005) and summer rainfall is expected to decrease up to 50% more in the upcoming century (Gutierrez 2014). This could potentially impact the species too.
Habitat protection would benefit this species.
Research is required in order to document the species’ distribution and abundance, as well as its environmental requirements.
No use or trade has been recorded.
Gajardo R.(1994). La vegetación natural de Chile: clasificación y distribución geográfica. Santiago: Editorial Universitaria. 166 p.
Gutiérrez, A. G., Armesto, J. J., Dïaz, M. F., & Huth, A. (2014). Increased drought impacts on temperate rainforests from Southern South America: Results of a process-based, dynamic forest model. PLoS ONE, 9(7), [e103226]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0103226
Kottek, M., Grieser, J., Beck, C., Rudolf, B. and Rubel, F. (2006). World map of the Koeppen-Geiger climate classification updated. Meteorol Z 15: 259–263, doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130
Sandoval-Leiva, P., Carmarán, C. C., Park, D., Romero, A. I., & Johnston, P. R. (2014). Vibrisseaceous fungi from the southern hemisphere, including Chlorovibrissea chilensis (Helotiales, incertaesedis) sp. nov. Mycologia, 106(6), 1159–1167. doi:10.3852/14-009