The apparently natural occurrence of this species in two such distant distributions (Brazil and Fiji) is surprising. Application of molecular techniques may reveal differences between these two morphologically similar populations.
This fungus is an obligate symbiont of endemic Podocarpus trees in Brazil and Fiji. Although described as abundant in Paraná state of Brazil in 1986, there are fewer than 30 records, the last known being in 1997.
Brazil (Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, São Paulo), Fiji. Recorded up to 1500 m above sea level, but most abundant between subtropical humid forest at 500 m above sea level, and the drier more temperate plateau vegetation of 1000 m above sea level.
Reported to be very common in Paraná (SPEER, 1986), but while Podocarpus lambertii, the most frequently associated plant, is cultivated, its conservation status in natural environments is currently threatened, suggesting that Speer observed an abundance which was only rather local. On that basis the fungus was evaluated as “threatened / data deficient” by Minter (2006). Most recent known records of this fungus are as follows. Brazil: Paraná , Rio Grande do Sul , Santa Catarina , Sao Paolo . Fiji . The almost complete absence of records in the past fifty years makes it impossible to calculate a meaningful current extent of occurrence and area of occupation.
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. Associated plants are: Podocarpus elatus, P. lambertii, P. neriifolius [records also under the synonym P. decipiens]. P. neriifolius var. degeneri, Podocarpus sp.
Loss of habitat for its associated plants, and fragmentation of populations.
Survey to establish up-to-date estimates of extent of occurrence and area of occupation.
Ex situ conservation. There is one report of this species being grown in pure culture, where its optimum growth temperature was said to be 25°C, but no fungal culture collection is known with isolates of this fungus (Minter, 2006). No genetic information about this fungus is stored in Genbank [accessed 1 March 2014].
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