Leccinum andinum is an ectomycorrhizal species associated with Q. costaricensis and Q. seemannii in Costa Rica and Q. humbioldtii in Colombia. Neotropical Quercus dominated forest where Leccinum andinum is present are restricted to the mountainous areas and therefore are expected to suffer a reduction in their area of distribution due to climate change (Hu and Riveros-Iregui 2016). In addition other anthropogenic activities such as land use change, logging, deforestation, urbanization (Cárdenas, 2007; Gallagher, 2018), habitat degradation, atmospheric nitrogen deposition, and pollution are expect to affect these forests reducing their geographic distribution, causing fragmentation or degrading the habitat.
The species has been reported in Colombia and Costa Rica. It was first described in Colombian montane forests near Medellín (Halling 1989). In Colombia, it has been reported in the departments of Antioquia and Tolima, specifically in the municipalities of Santa Rosa de Osos and Murillo respectively. In Costa Rica, its has been reported near San Gerardo and Villa Mills in the Talamaca mountain range (Halling and Mueller, 2017).
There is no available information about the population size or population trends for this fungal species. However, the department of Antioquia, where the largest number of L. andinum collections have been made, is an area of intensive anthropogenic use and therefore Quercus forest and very fragmented. The latest reported collection of this species was made in 2010 in the Tolima department.
The host species of Leccinum andinum in Colombia, Q. humboldtii, has been classified as a LC species by the UICN. Despite the patchy population distribution of Q. humboldtii, there are still populations distributed in the three mountain ranges, with the eastern mountain range having the largest extension of these forests in the country (128,350 ha) (Guerrero et al., 2010). However the species has a decreasing trend in population size (Gallagher 2018).
Population Trend: Decreasing
It inhabits montane forest ecosystems dominated by oaks, in an altitude ranging from 2,400 to 3,100 masl. This species can be solitary or grouped and forming ectomycorrhizal associations with oak species (Franco-Molano et al., 2000). The habit of the species is scattered to gregarious in soil under Quercus costaricensis, Q. seemannii Liebm in Costa Rica, and to Q. humboldtii in Colombia (Halling and Mueller, 2017).
The main threats of Leccinum andinum are associated with the degradation of its habitat and the decrease of host species like Quercus humboldtii, Quercus costaricensis or Q. seemannii Liebm. The main threats affecting neotropical oak forests are anthropogenic like land use change, logging, deforestation, urbanization (Cárdenas, 2007; Gallagher, 2018), habitat degradation, atmospheric nitrogen deposition, and pollution. In Colombia, timber exploitation of Q. humboldtii is mainly due to the importance this species’ wood in the construction of houses, furniture, and the production of coal.
In Costa Rica, Quercus seemannii and Q. copeyensi are being threatened by commercial forest exploitation and the expansion of the agricultural frontier, in addition to the fragmentation of the landscape that occurred due to the construction of the South Inter-American Highway (Kappelle, 1996).
To conserve Leccinum andinum it is necessary to focus on the conservation of their natural habitats, that is, the oak forests. These conservation actions are based on designing strategies that integrate local communities and delimitation of protected areas for preservation (Cárdenas, 2007).
Evaluation of population trends
No uses has been reported for this species