Buglossoporus magnus is a very rare wood-inhabiting fungus growing on coarse fallen logs in old growth lowland rainforest of the Malay Peninsular. It has only been recorded three times at three localities despite having conspicuous, up to 60 cm wide orange-pinkish slowly decaying sporocarps and extensive macro fungal surveys conducted in the Malay Peninsula as well as in surrounding areas including Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and other Southeast Asian countries. It was first collected (1940) from the small forest reserve Bukit Timah in Singapore. It has since been recorded twice in two lowland rainforest reserves in Malaysia ( Endau Rompin Forest Reserve in 2009, and Pasoh Forest Reserve in 2010). All known sites are located within protected areas.
Today, there is little left of lowland rain forest in Peninsular Malaysia, once the most extensive forest formation. The few sites remaining includes Pasoh Forest Reserve and Endau-Romain where B. magnus has been recorded. It is therefore plausible that the amount of appropriate habitat for B. magnus has decreased significantly due to logging and deforestation during the last century. Probably, this decline and deterioration of the habitat of B. magnus is still ongoing. However, due to the extreme rareness and very few records of B. magnus, the past and ongoing population trend is difficult to infer, and the assessment is conservatively based on the estimated total number of localities. Hence, B. magnus is assessed as VU (Vulnerable) based on criterion D2, considering the total number of localities not to exceed five, and if logging occurs at any of the known sites the species will rapidly move towards Critically Endangered.
This species was described as a member of Buglossoporus by E.J.H. Corner. However, his genus concept is already outdated, and Buglossoporus is probably not a proper genus to accommodate this species. This is most possibly a member of Fomitopsidaceae, and could be allied with Laetiporus, but detailed phylogenetic studies are desirable to reveal its phylogenetic position.
Buglossoporus magnus produces a very conspicuous sporocarp with a large and massive pileus up to 60 cm wide, and orange to pinkish coloration. E.J.H. Corner stayed in Singapore from 1929 to 1946, and made intensive collections in Singapore and other areas in Malaysia, but only a single specimen (holotype) was collected by him during his stay in Singapore despite its conspicuous and “slowly decaying (Corner 1984)” sporocarps. This suggests that it is a very rare, and possibly an infrequently fruiting species.
On and after the 1990s, mycological teams from ‘Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)’ and ‘Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI)’ made intensive collections of polypores in various areas in Malay Peninsular. During the expeditions, however, only 2 additional records were made from 2 localities.
All collections were made on large fallen logs in old growth forests in lowland areas of Malay Peninsula suggesting that this fungus is associated with old growth lowland rainforests.
Buglossoporus magnus is only known from three localities, each with a single collection. All localities are situated in lowland areas of middle to southern parts of Malay Peninsular. Despite its conspicuous fruiting bodies, it has not been reported from the surrounding areas including Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and other Southeast Asian countries.
Buglossoporus magnus appears to be a very rare fungus restricted to old growth lowland rainforests in the Malay Peninsula as it only has been recorded three times despite producing a very conspicuous and large, up to 60 cm wide, orange to pinkish sporocarp.
The holotype of B. magnus was collected in Bukit Timah, Singapore in 1940. This is a small forest reserve with an area of 1.6 km2. The collection was made and the species described by the mycologist E.J.H. Corner who lived in Singapore from 1929 to 1946, and despite extensive fungal collections in Singapore and other areas in Malaysia, only recorded this single specimen.
Two additional records at two localities have been made after 1990s by the mycological teams from ‘Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)’ and ‘Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI)’ during extensive collections of polypores in various areas in Malay Peninsular. These two records were made at Endau Rompin Forest Reserve (northern part of Johor) in 2009, and Pasoh Forest Reserve (Negeri Sembilan) in 2010. The former covers an area of 870 km2, and the latter 24.5 km2. Pasoh is a field research station of Forest Research Institute Malaysia. Despite intensive collections of macrofungi, B. magnus has only been recorded once in Pasoh Forest Reserve.
Population trend is not clear, but old growth rainforests in lowland Malaysia has significantly been reduced during the last 100 years due to logging, deforestation and oil palm plantations (eg. Collins et al 1991). This decline and deterioration of its habitat is probably still ongoing. However, due to the
extreme rareness and very few records of B. magnus, the assessment of the species is conservatively based on expected number of total number of localities and not on inferred past or ongoing population trend.
We infer the total number of localities not to exceed five.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Buglossoporus magnus is a wood-inhabiting saprotrophic fungus only recorded a few times and always from coarse fallen logs in old growth lowland rainforests in the Malay Peninsula. Sporocarps are annual but may persist for one or two months, because they decay slowly. The mycelia in the wood possibly persist for decades in the voluminous log (cf. Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). It is associated with a brown rot and its host tree association is unknown. More detailed information of its ecology and life form is lacking, but it may also be a heart rot fungus of living trees.
The occurrence of Buglossoporus magnus is restricted to old growth lowland rainforests, once the most extensive forest formation in the Malaysian Peninsula. However, due to forest logging and deforestation for oil palm plantations during the last century, there is little such lowland rain forest left (e.g. Collins et al. 1991). Hence, it is reasonable to believe that the potential amount of appropriate lowland rain forest habitat for B. magnus has been significantly reduced. All three known localities are located within protected Forest Reserves, and the survival of B. magnus in these sites is potentially secured. It is obviously a very rare species but probably also fruits infrequently as it only have been recorded once in each of these locality. It is likely that a few additional yet undiscovered localities with B. magnus may exist. These potential sites may be under threat from logging and deforestation.
Conservation of old growth lowland rain forests is the primary action. Many of the old growth forests in Malaysia are already reserved as national parks or other forest reserves. Logging activities in mature forests should be controlled.
More intensive monitoring is desirable in Endau Rompin and other old growth lowland rain forests in Malay Peninsula and surrounding areas to reveal its exact distribution area. It is also desirable if this fungus shows specificity or preference for certain tree species.
Corner 1984. Ad Polyporaceas II, Polyporus, Mycobonia and Echinochaete; III, Piptoporus, Buglossoporus, Laetiporus, Meripilus and Bondarzewia. Beif. Nova Hedwig. 78:1-219.
Hattori, T; Ota, Y; Sotome, K; Lee, S.S. 2010. Possible endangered polypores from Peninsular Malaysian lowland. IMC9 The biology of fungi. Programme Book. P2.163.
Hattori, T; Yamashita, S; Lee, S.S. 2012. Diversity and conservation of wood-inhabiting polypores and other aphyllophoraceous fungi in Malaysia. Biodiversity and Conservation 21:2375–2396.