Xylaria compuncta has a pantropical distribution. It is a distinctive fungus on relatively fresh fallen branches of broadleaved trees, occurring in upland subtropical forests at the altitude between 600 to 2000 masl. More than 100 years ago it was stated as “frequent occurrence tin he East” such as in Indonesia, but during the last 50 years less than 10 confirmed cases have been recorded in Australia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Laos. The species is assessed as ……… under ….. due to a globally very small and restricted population.
Xylaria compuncta was originally described from “Javae insulae” in 1838. Notes from 1919 of CG Lloyd state “frequent occurrence, particular in ‘the East’ including Java and Samoa”. The GBIF website lists 16 records of which three from 1912 lack country occurrence and one record from Vietnam and South Africa lack date. It is unclear if these have been verified. Two Philippines records are more than 100 years old. Four records from Western Australia are from 1972, 2000 and 2010. Further, GBIF lists two records from Brazil in 1905 and 1930, as well as one from Costa Rica in 2000. iNaturalist website lists three records: Two from Northern Myanmar (one survey), ca. 800 masl. in 2019 and one from East Java, Indonesia in 2017 at nearly 2000 masl. The Mushroomobserver website lists only the species from Laos from 2016.
Population and Trends
The species has a pantropical to pansubtropical distribution. In the beginning 20 century it was reported as common in the far east, but since then infrequently reported, in spite of its rather distinctive morphology. In the 21 century is has been recorded once from Costa Rica, Indonesia and Laos and twice In Myanmar (same location) and Australia. Further, it may be found in south western part of China and northern part of Thailand as these areas share the ecology with Northern Myanmar and northern Laos.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Habitat and Ecology
The fungus has preference to subtropical climate. In Laos, the species was found in a small group on a 10-20 cm thick branch of a broadleaved tree in a semi-open community forest at an altitude of 1,100 masl at the later part of the rainy season. The branch was fallen down 6-8 months earlier. Information on habitat and ecology from other countries is scares.
Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane Forest
In Laos Xylaria compuncta has been found once and since then not re-encountered in subsequent surveys in the same forest area during 2016-2019. Similarly, in other countries it is rarely encountered compared to the abundance in Asia more the 100 years ago. Thus, the species has a negative trend, due to heavy deforestation and local collection of firewood.
Shifting agricultureUnintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target)
Survey and follow-up monitoring in upland areas. Carry out conservation zoning for better understanding the ecology and host trees. Encourage villages not to collect all wood for firewood and/or leave certain areas as untouched natural forest.