• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • Preliminary Assessed
  • Assessed
  • VUPublished

Ramaria purpurissima R.H. Petersen & Scates

Search for another species...

Scientific name
Ramaria purpurissima
Author
R.H. Petersen & Scates
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Gomphales
Family
Gomphaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2018-11-01
IUCN Red List Category
VU
IUCN Red List Criteria
A2c; C1
Assessors
Siegel, N.
Reviewers
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/125433318/125433322

Justification

Ramaria purpurissima is a rare ectomycorrhizal fungus, endemic to the Pacific Northwest of North America. It is characteristic for old-growth conifer forests. Ramaria have been extensively surveyed for under the Northwest Forest Plan since 1998, although this species in not on the list, it still has been collected as part of that effort. It’s a highly distinctive fungus, with large fruitbodies and bright purple colours, but still only known from 11 locations. The old growth forest habitat has become very rare due to timber logging during the last century, and the habitat is assessed as still declining (>60% population reduction in the past 100 years based on >90% loss of old growth forest). Population declines for Ectomycorrhizal fungi are measured over 50 years for assessment under Criterion A (corresponding to three generations). The decline of R. purpurissima during the last 50 years is estimated to exceed 30% and to be ongoing at a lower rate. The total number of locations is not considered to exceed 200 and the total number of mature individuals to be less than 10,000 mature individuals. Though the present known 11 sites are protected, the future of unrecorded localities and the habitat is insecure. It is assessed as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic notes

Described in 1987, based on a collection made in Idaho. Ramaria purpurissima var. gigantea (K.S. Thind & Anand) R.H. Petersen pertains to a species from India and southeast Asia; it is undoubtedly genetically distinct from the western North American species.

Geographic range

Only known from three isolated areas in California, Oregon and Idaho, USA.

Population and Trends

Ramaria purpurissima is a very rare and highly distinctive fungus, with large fruitbodies and bright purple colours, but still only known from 11 locations (2018). Ramaria have been extensive surveyed for under the Northwest Forest Plan since 1998, although this species in not on the list, it still has been collected as part of that effort. Of the 11 known location are two in California from Mendocino National Forest, just south of the Yolla Bolly Wilderness; seven from southwest Oregon (Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath and Lane counties) and two from Idaho in Kootenai County. It is characteristic for old-growth conifer forests. The old growth forest habitat has become very rare due to timber logging during the last century, and the habitat is assessed as still declining. The population of R. purpirissima is estimated to have been reduced by >60% in the past 100 years based on >90% loss of old growth forest. Population declines for Ectomycorrhizal fungi are measured over 50 years for assessment under Criterion A (corresponding to three generations; Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). The decline of R. purpurissima during the last 50 years is estimated to exceed 30% and to be ongoing at a lower rate. The total number of locations, considering unrecorded ones, is not considered to exceed 200 and the total number of mature individuals to be less than 10,000 mature individuals. Though the present known 11 sites are protected, the future of unrecorded localities and the habitat is insecure.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

It is an ectomycorrhizal terrestrial fungus confined to old-growth forests where it forms ectomycorrhiza with Abies spp., Pseudotsuga menziesii, and Tsuga heterophylla.  In California, it is known from old growth, mixed conifer forests dominated by Red Fir (Abies maginifica) and White Fir (A. concolor). Ectomycorrhizal fungal mycelia is perennial and may live for several decades and potentially much more than a century with a continuous presence of living trees and presence of an old-growth habitat.

Threats

This is an ectomycorrhizal fungus species dependent on living host trees for viability. The major threat to this species and its co-occurring co-generic brethren is habitat destruction, via the logging of old-growth forests to which it is confined. The extent of old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest of North America has declined 90% in the last century (Society of American Foresters 1984, Haynes 1986).
Fire is big threat to this species’ populations. A stand replacing fire could severely degrade and/or diminish its current range. Logging and machine clearing of understory vegetation should be limited in mature and old growth forests in areas where this species might occur. In California, it tends to occur in drier ‘fringe’ habitat, drought-induced death of its host trees is a concern.

Conservation Actions

Many of the known occurrences are on US Forest Service land; forest managers should be made aware of this species for additional protection.

Use and Trade

None known.

Source and Citation

Siegel, N. 2019. Ramaria purpurissima. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T125433318A125433322. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T125433318A125433322.en .Downloaded on 30 January 2021

Country occurrence