This species has been collected from the Nahuel Huapi National Park in Argentina and in the Puyehue National Park in Chile. It is likely to occur over a wider range than where it has been collected, and may have already been observed at other sites. The total population size is estimated to be c. 500 mature individuals, taking into account that its range could be as much as 10 times larger than currently known. It is listed as Vulnerable.
Amanita morenoi is sometimes misidentified as the Australian taxon A. umbrinella, an Australian species that is clearly differentiated phylogenetically (Truong et al. 2017).
This ectomycorrhizal species strictly associates with Nothofagus in Chile and Argentina, with a restricted distribution currently limited to Northern Patagonia.
Amanita morenoi has been collected from five localities in northern Patagonia, in the Nahuel Huapi National Park in Argentina and in the Puyehue National Park in Chile.
The species fruits abundantly in the fall which may indicate that the subpopulations are large. Although observations indicate that additional subpopulations probably exist, the distribution of Amanita morenoi is probably restricted to northern Patagonia (M. Smith and P. Sandoval pers. comm.). Taking into account that it may occur at 10 times the number of sites where it has been collected, and that there could be 10 mature individuals at each site, then the overall population size can be estimated to be c. 500 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Amanita morenoi is an ectomycorrhizal species that exclusively associates with Nothofagus species and has so far only been reported from Nothofagus dombeyi pure or mixed stands. The species fruits abundantly in the fall.
This species is associated with an increasingly threatened Nothofagus forest. Forest fires (intentional and accidental), tourism and volcanic activity in the area are a growing threat.
All localities of Amanita morenoi known so far are within protected areas (national parks) in Chile and Argentina.
The current distribution of the species needs to be further investigated to find out if more populations exist over a larger geographic area. Enhanced knowledge about its habitat requirement and host specificity would be beneficial to assess its conservation status. Further taxonomic studies of type specimens of Amanita with ornamented spores (Tulloss and Halling 1997) are needed to assess if they constitute synonyms of this species.
No uses or trade are known so far.
Truong, C., Sánchez-Ramírez, S., Kuhar, F., Kaplan, Z., & Smith, M. E. (2017). The Gondwanan connection – Southern temperate Amanita lineages and the description of the first sequestrate species from the Americas. Fungal Biology, 121, 638–651. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2017.04.006.
Tulloss, R. E., & Halling, R. E. (1997). Type studies of Amanita morenoi and Amanita pseudospreta and a reinterpretation of crassospores in Amanita. Mycologia, 89(2), 278–288.