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Fomitiporia nubicola Alves-Silva, Bittencourt & Drechsler-Santos

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Scientific name
Fomitiporia nubicola
Author
Alves-Silva, Bittencourt & Drechsler-Santos
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Hymenochaetales
Family
Hymenochaetaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2020-05-27
IUCN Red List Category
VU
IUCN Red List Criteria
C2a(ii)
Assessors
Drechsler-Santos, E.R., Alves-Silva, G., Kossmann, T., Bittencourt, F. & da Cunha, K.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/187001148/187004600

Justification

Fomitiporia nubicola is a wood-inhabiting bracket fungus, known to grow only on Drimys angustifolia, a relic plant species found exclusively in small patches of fragmented cloud forests (mostly >1,000m asl) in southern and south-eastern Brazil. Cloud forests of this domain are dependent on rare microclimatic conditions (Bruijnzeel et al. 2010, Oliveira et al. 2014), making it one of the most susceptible ecosystems to threats caused by climate change (Salazar et al. 2007, Williams et al. 2007, Goldsmith et al. 2013, Gotsch et al. 2014, Pompeu et al. 2014). Cloud Forests of southern Brazil are also threatened by human activities such as cattle grazing, introduction of invasive species, anthropogenic fire and land use changes (Brooks and Balmford 1996, Tabarelli et al. 2006, Pinto et al. 2006), resulting in ongoing declines of this habitat, even in Protected Areas. Fomitiporia nubicola is currently known from only two sites, both in Santa Catarina state, but is expected to be found at up to 100 sites, each potentially containing around 50-100 mature individuals for a total of no more than 10,000 mature individuals all within one subpopulation. Due to the continued expected loss of required habitat, Fomitiporia nubicola is inferred to undergo an additional 15-20% reduction in the next 50 years (3 generations), driven mainly by degradation of its required habitat and impacts of climate change. It is assessed as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic notes

Fomitiporia nubicola is part of the Fomitiporia apiahyna complex (Vlasák and Kout 2011, Amalfi and Decock 2013), being macro- and micromorphologically difficult to discriminate, but eco-geographically distinct from other taxa (Alves-Silva et al. 2020). Its epithet refers to its habitat, as it is restricted to Cloud Forests associated with Drimys which distinguishes it from morphologically similar species.

Geographic range

Fomitiporia nubicola is a wood-inhabiting species found only on Drimys angustifolia, a relic plant species occurring exclusively in fragmented montane forests (mostly >1,000m asl) in southern and south-eastern Brazil. Fomitiporia nubicola is known only from two sites in Santa Catarina state, in the high Itajaí Valley and the highlands of Aparados da Serra Geral, in São Joaquim National Park. The species likely also occurs in other areas of cloud forest in the Atlantic Forest domain, following its host/habitat distribution, from Rio Grande do Sul state in the south, to Minas Gerais state in south-eastern Brazil, the known northern limit of the host plant. These high altitude forests have a fragmented and patchy distribution.

Population and Trends

The species is currently known from 2 sites and no more than 30 collections. It is very conspicuous and found growing on large living and dead standing trunks of Drimys (Winteraceae), likely specific on D. angustifolia, a relic plant species found exclusively in fragmented montane forests (especially cloud forests) in southern and south-eastern Brazil. Despite the extensive studies on polypores from cloud forests of southern Brazil and the conspicuous appearance of the species, it has only been described recently, as only recent DNA based analyses confirmed its delimitation within the Fomitiporia apiahyana complex. The species' distribution is expected to match that of its host, being endemic to fragments of cloud forest in the Atlantic Forest of southern and south-eastern Brazil. The habitat where it is found is now much rarer than it was in the past, as the Atlantic Forest is now reduced to 28% of what it once was, with the remaining areas being mostly fragmented and not fully mature (Tabarelli et al. 2010, Rezende et al. 2018). Cloud forests of this domain are restricted to small sized patches, and are dependent on rare microclimatic conditions (Bruijnzeel et al. 2010, Oliveira et al. 2014), making it one of the most susceptible ecosystems to threats caused by climate change (Salazar et al. 2007, Williams et al. 2007, Goldsmith et al. 2013, Gotsch et al. 2014, Pompeu et al. 2014). Moreover, data from the current status of forest coverage (e.g. in Santa Catarina) shows that the mixed needle-broadleaved Araucaria forest, where most areas of cloud forests are found, is highly fragmented, with only 21% of forest coverage remaining. Patches of 50 ha or less represent 82% of these remaining forests (Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica 2009, Vibrans et al. 2012). Cloud forests of southern Brazil are also threatened by human activities such as cattle grazing, introduction of invasive species, anthropogenic fire and land use changes (Brooks and Balmford 1996, Tabarelli et al. 2006, Pinto et al. 2006), resulting in a continuous decline of this habitat, even in Protected Areas. Although F. nubicola is currently known from only two sites, both in Santa Catarina state, it can potentially be found at up to 100 sites throughout it's host's range. Each site can potentially host 50–100 mature individuals resulting in a total estimated population size of up to 10,000 mature individuals, all within one subpopulation. Due to the expected loss of of required habitat, F. nubicola is inferred to undergo an additional 15–20% reduction in the next 50 years (3 generations), driven mainly by degradation of the habitat and impacts of climate change.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

The species is a wood-inhabiting saprotroph, growing on large living and dead standing trunks of Drimys angustifolia, a relictual plant species of the Winteraceae, endemic to cloud forests fragments of high altitude areas in southern and south-eastern Brazil. The fungus is expected to occur throughout its host’s distribution.

Threats

Fomitiporia nubicola is an endemic species restricted to cloud forests of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Cloud forests of this domain are restricted to small, fragmented patches, and are dependent on rare microclimatic conditions (Bruijnzeel et al. 2010, Oliveira et al. 2014), making it one of the most susceptible ecosystems to threats caused by climate change (Salazar et al. 2007, Williams et al. 2007, Goldsmith et al. 2013, Gotsch et al. 2014, Pompeu et al. 2014). This habitat is also threatened by human activities such as cattle grazing, introduction of invasive species, anthropogenic fire and land use changes (Brooks and Balmford 1996, Tabarelli et al. 2006, Pinto et al. 2006), resulting in a continuous decline of this habitat, even in Protected Areas. The loss of required habitat directly threatens this species.

Conservation Actions

The main action to prevent the decline of the species is the protection of its habitat by the establishment, and appropriate management, of conservation units and the enforcement of public policies to recover and protect the cloud forests of southern and south-east Brazil. Additionally, more surveys are needed to better understand the species' distribution, as well as to confirm its host specificity and phenology.

Use and Trade

No use/trade is known.

Source and Citation

Drechsler-Santos, E.R., Alves-Silva, G., Kossmann, T., Bittencourt, F. & da Cunha, K.M. 2020. Fomitiporia nubicola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T187001148A187004600. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T187001148A187004600.en .Downloaded on 31 January 2021

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