• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Corynelia portoricensis (F. Stevens) Fitzp.

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Scientific name
Corynelia portoricensis
(F. Stevens) Fitzp.
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
Under Assessment
Proposed by
David Minter
David Minter
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

This fungus is an exceptionally rare obligate symbiont of endemic Podocarpus trees in the Caribbean. With probably fewer than 20 records from a very small number of locations, the last known being in 1944, there is a danger that this species may now be extinct.

Geographic range

Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands..

Population and Trends

This fungus is an endemic of a few Caribbean islands. Like the Podocarpus trees with which it is associated, populations of this species are highly fragmented. There are no recent records. As a result, it is not possible to estimate current extent of occurrence and area of occupation. Area of occupation is likely never to have been greater than about 100 km squared.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

This species produces stromata and fruitbodies on dead portions of green leaves and stems of the conifer genus Podocarpus. The life-cycle and biology have not been investigated, but disruption of colonized leaves is very localized, suggesting that the plant is well adapted to the presence of the fungus. There are no reports of the fungus causing harmful effects to the trees colonized. There is, for example, no evidence of premature leaf fall. The possibility that the fungus may have some beneficial effect on the tree has not been considered. Known only in association with Podocarpus buchii [itself red-listed as vulnerable] and P. coriacea.


Loss of habitat for its associated plant, and even greater fragmentation of populations are the main threats. Climate change and particularly global warming may reduce habitat options.

Conservation Actions

A search should be made to try to rediscover this species.

Ex situ conservation. No isolates of this species are known to be maintained in fungal culture collections. No genetic material of this species is stored in Genbank [accessed 1 March 2014]

Research needed

Use and Trade


BENNY, G.L., SAMUELSON, D.A. & KIMBROUGH, J.W., Studies on the Coryneliales. II. Taxa parasitic on Podocarpaceae: Corynelia. Botanical Gazette 146: 238–251 (1985). FITZPATRICK, H.M., Monograph of the Coryneliaceae [cont.]. Mycologia 12(5): 239–267 (1920). FITZPATRICK, H.M., Revisionary studies in the Coryneliaceae. Mycologia 34(4): 464–488 (1942). JOHNSON, P.R., The structure and taxonomic significance of the asci of Corynelia (Coryneliaceae, Ascomycetes). Unpublished MSc Thesis (Reading University, Reading, UK) 1–131 (1986). JOHNSON, P.R. & MINTER, D.W., Structure and taxonomic significance of the ascus in the Coryneliaceae. Mycological Research 92(4): 422–430 (1989). MINTER, D.W. Corynelia portoricensis. IMI Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria No. 1665 (2006). PIROZYNSKI, K.A. & WERESUB, L.K., A biogeographic view of the history of ascomycetes and the development of their pleomorphism. In Kendrick, W.B. (ed.), The Whole Fungus (Ottawa, Canada: National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museums of Canada & The Kananaskis Foundation) 1: 93–123 (1979).

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted