Extremely rare species, in Mediterranean known only from single locality in Spain and Turkey. This distinctive and conspicuous species has only been recorded in association with juniper trees. The known populations are very small and the species has not been seen in association with other hosts.
Veluticeps berkeleyi causes a brown cubical heartrot on ponderosa pine in Arizona. This fungus does not fruit on living trees but basidiocarps develop abundantly on stumps and logs on the ground (Gilbertson, 1974). According to Nakasone (1990), the species is distributed in western U.S.A., Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Taiwan, and Japan. In Northern and Central America the species is found on pine trees, especially on Pinus ponderosa, while in Taiwan and Japan it is associated with a brown cubical rot of yellow cypress, Chamaecyparis obtuse var. formosana. The species Veluticeps pini from Indochina is conspecific with Veluticeps berkeleyi (Nakasone 2004). The cultural morphology of V. berkeleyi is described by Gilbertson and al. (1968). Martin & Gilbertson (1973) report that V. berkeleyi has a tetrapolar (or bifactorial) incompatibility system.
According to Nakasone (1990), the species is distributed in western U.S.A., Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Taiwan, and Japan. In Turkey was collected two times on stump of Juniperus excelsa. In Europe is very rare and known only from Spain.
SPAIN: Based on the documented collections (up to Bernicchia et al. 2011), there could be around 25 occupied trees known. It is expected that 1-2 genets (and probably mostly only 1?) are present per tree and it is hypothesised that the fungus is long-lived. The host tree is not of conservation concern although it should be emphasized that it is only the very oldest trees that support fruiting populations of this fungus.
Locality: Castilla y Leуn, Salamanca, Vilvestre, Monte Gudнn, 29TPF8855, 450 m, mixed forest of Juniperus oxycedrus and Quercus suber, 29.12.2008, leg. & det. S.P. Gorjуn, coll. 2421, growing on bark of Juniperus oxycedrus.
TURKEY: The material was collected on a stump of Juniperus excelsa from Mersin Arslanköy district, situtated in the southern Mediterranean part of Turkey. The forest mainly consists of Cedrus libani mixed with Abies cilicica ssp. cilicica, Quercus coccifera, Phyllurea media, but in some places there is pure juniper forest (Juniperus excelsa and Juniperus foetidissima). The altitude of the locality is approximately 1.700 m. The species was collected on 22 November, 2004.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Veluticeps berkeleyi causes a brown cubical heartrot on ponderosa pine in Arizona. This fungus does not fruit on living trees but basidiocarps develop abundantly on stumps and logs on the ground (Gilbertson, 1974). In Northern and Central America the species is found on pine trees, especially on Pinus ponderosa, while in Taiwan and Japan it is associated with a brown cubical rot of yellow cypress, Chamaecyparis obtuse var. formosana. In Turkey was collected two times on stump of Juniperus excelsa, and in Spain on Juniperus oxicedrus.
Reduced amount of habitat should be the main cause of the decline. Main reason for that is the uncontrolled wood cutting and logging for fire, potential danger of forests fires, the pressures of tourism, buildings and other human activities, etc.
Setting aside juniper forest reserves where the species have good populations. Raise awareness among site managers of the presence of this extremely rare species.
Mapping and monitoring of the species.
Gilbertson, R.L. et al. (1968). “Veluticeps berkeleyi and its decay of pine in North America”. Mycologia 60 (1): 29–41.
Gilbertson, R.L (1974). Fungi that decay Ponderosa pine. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.
Nakasone K.K., 1990: Taxonomic study of Veluticeps (Aphyllophorales). Mycologia 82(5): 622-641.
Hjortstam, K. and M.T.Tellería (1990). Columnocystis, a synonym of Veluticeps. – Mycotaxon 37: 53-56.
Nakasone K.K., 2004: Morphological studies in Veluticeps, Pileodon and related genera. Sydowia 56(2): 258-280.
Binder, M. et al. (2005). “The phylogenetic distribution of resupinate forms across the major clades of mushroom-forming fungi (Homobasidiomycetes)”. Syst. Biodivers. 3 (2): 113–157.
Perez Gorjon S. & Bernicchia A., 2010: Veluticeps berkeley (Gloeophyllaceae, Basidiomycota) nuova per l’Europa. Micol. e Veget. Medit., 25 (2): 109-113
M. Karadelev, H.H. Doрan, The first record of Veluticeps berkeleyi (Basidiomycetes in the Mediterranean, Mikologija i fitopatologija, 44 (2010) 381-386.