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Lichenomphalia altoandina Sand.-Leiva & Niveiro

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Scientific name
Lichenomphalia altoandina
Author
Sand.-Leiva & Niveiro
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Agaricales
Family
Hygrophoraceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2020-04-01
IUCN Red List Category
VU
IUCN Red List Criteria
C2a(i); D1
Assessors
Calle, A., Drechsler-Santos, E.R., Kossmann, T., da Cunha, K.M., Sandoval-Leiva, P., Torres, D. & Vasco-Palacios, A.M.
Reviewers
Mueller, G.M.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/172818074/172861307

Justification

Lichenomphalia altoandina is known from two areas in northern Chile in the Altiplano ecosystem which extends into Bolivia and southern Peru. It likely also occurs in Bolivia as the habitat extends into that country and the sites in Chile where it has been collected borders Bolivia. It possibly could be found in southern Peru, but there are no data to support this. There are only 6 collections of the species all from northern Chile, one with 50 basidiomes, the others with fewer. It is estimated that the species occurs in up to 50 sites in Chile, Bolivia, and southern Peru where there is suitable habitat. The estimated total population is approximately 600 (50 sites, each with up to 12 mature individuals), split into separate subpopulations. Due to impact of mining and other human activities, the population has declined over time, and will likely continue to do so. It is listed as Vulnerable.

Geographic range

This species is known from two localities in northern Chile that share the same environmental characteristics, in the xerophytic Puna phytogeographical region. This area is part of the Altiplano ecosystem which extends into Bolivia and southern Peru. It has been collected from the following areas: near Lirima in the Pica Municipality, Tarapaca Region, and near Colpitas in the General Lagos Municipality, Arica y Parinacota Region. It likely also occurs in Bolivia as the habitat extends into that country and the sites in Chile where it has been collected border Bolivia. It possibly could be found in southern Peru, but there are no data to support this.

Population and Trends

It has been recorded from 2 areas, in two different regions of northern Chile that share the same environmental characteristics. The holotype was collected from Tarapacá Region, growing on dead cushions of Zameioscirpus atacamensis and Oxychloë andina. Five more collections were obtained from sites in Arica y Parinacota Region, one with 50 basidiomes, the others with fewer, most with approximately 25 basidiomes. It is likely that the species also occurs in Bolivia and southern Peru. It is estimated that the species occurs in up to 50 sites where there is suitable habitat, but the number of subpopulations will be fewer than this. The estimated total population size is approximately 600 mature individuals (50 sites, each with up to 12 mature individuals).

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

It grows on dead cushions of Zameioscirpus atacamensis and Oxychloë andina with Deyeuxia curvula and Carex spp. in saline wetlands, all endemic to the Altiplano ecosystem over 3,000 m above sea level (Chong 1988, Josse et al. 2009), which is part of the xerophytic Puna phytogeographical region (Josse et al. 2009). Climatically this region encompasses the driest portion of the Andes Mountains and experiences markedly seasonal rainfall that is restricted to the summer months (Kalin Arroyo et al. 1988, Teillier 1998).

Threats

The area where the species occurs is made up of salt flats and salt lakes. This encompasses a large region that covers parts of northern Chile, Boliva, and southern Peru. This habitat is sensitive to many threats. Small changes in the hydrological budget can cause rapid and significant changes to the lakes, and therefore to the natural communities that they support. Nearly all environmental changes are due to human activities, including  water pumping for mining companies and mining itself (Williams 2002). Mining is the primary industry of the region, and of Chile in general. Additionally, the region suffers from secondary side effects including disturbance and removal of natural vegetation due to goat grazing and harvesting of native plants by local communities. This increases lake salinity and affects the diversity of the biota (Williams 2002).

Conservation Actions

No conservation actions are currently in place. Habitat and host plant protection is needed, in addition to raising awareness. Better restrictions, and enforcement, controlling mining in the region is also required. An increase in sampling effort is needed, especially in Bolivia and Peru to better define its geographical distribution and learn more about its ecology.

Use and Trade

There is no reported use/trade.

Source and Citation

Calle, A., Drechsler-Santos, E.R., Kossmann, T., da Cunha, K.M., Sandoval-Leiva, P., Torres, D. & Vasco-Palacios, A.M. 2020. Lichenomphalia altoandina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T172818074A172861307. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T172818074A172861307.en .Accessed on 31 January 2022

Country occurrence