Entyloma maroccanum is a host specific smut fungus (Vánky 2009: 304) which develops sori in leaves of Eryngium maroccanum (Apiaceae).
Eryngium maroccanum is endemic to Morocco, included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is a rare species with a very restricted distribution area in the central part of the Middle Atlas, known from seven localities (Azrou, Boulmane, Tabainout, Tamalout, Timahdit, Aguelman, and near Kasba of Bou Arif), in 1400–2000 m elevation (Rhazi et al. 2010). The extent of occurrence of the species is about 1500 km2, within which the area of occupancy is less than 150 km2. The population of that plant was assessed as stable, even under high grazing pressure, but it was noted that this species is distributed in a habitat type (temporary wetlands) that is declining in Morocco and it might undergo a decline in population size in the future (Rhazi et al. 2010). The plant species is listed as Near Threatened but it merits to be re-assessed. Because the smut fungus is host specific, it cannot exceed the extent of occurrence of its host plant.
The smut fungus, Entyloma maroccanum, is collected only once, in 1923 near Azrou (the Middle Atlas). It is known only from the type collection. The considerably more limited distribution of Entyloma maroccanum (only one locality), comparing with the distribution of its host plant, and the fact that over the last ninety years this smut fungus is collected only once require a higher category for this species. In the known locality, the smut fungus is threatened by human impacts (the lakes of the Middle Atlas are exposed to high pressure from tourism activities and water pollution) and by drought.
Preliminary red-list assessment: EN B2ab(ii,iii) (Endangered)
This is an endangered parasitic fungus on a near threatened host plant that has a very restricted distribution area. It fulfills B-criterion using AOO (area of occupancy estimated not to exceed 150 km2) and meets EN B2, regarding subcriteria a (number of locations) and b (ii & iii) (continuing decline – inferred or projected – in the area of occupancy, and in the area and quality of the habitat).
Entyloma maroccanum is known to date only from one locality, situated in Morocco: the Middle Atlas, Ras-el-Ma, near Azrou, alt. ca. 1600 m (Maire & Werner 1937; Vánky 2011; Vánky et al. 2011). The host plant, Eryngium maroccanum, is endemic to Morocco and has a very restricted distribution area (extent of occurrence less than 1500 km2, within which the area of occupancy is less than 150 km2).
There is no specific information on population size or trends. However, the host plant is restricted to a few sites within less than 150 km2 (AOO) within an area subjected to ongoing and increasing tourism activities, water pollution, and drought.
Population Trend: Decreasing
The sori of Entyloma maroccanum are developed in leaves of Eryngium maroccanum. The fungus is host-specific and depends on its host plant.
Eryngium maroccanum is a perennial plant, found in temporarily flooded habitats, along temporary streams and in fens.
The host plant and its smut fungus are threatened by drought. The temporary wetlands is a habitat type that is under severe threat in Morocco, both from human impacts and from climate change. Specifically the lakes of the Middle Atlas are exposed to high pressure from tourism activities and water pollution (Rhazi et al. 2010).
The only known locality of this smut fungus is not included in a protected area. Assessment and conservation of the host plant is needed. Ex situ conservation of the plant will not necessarily protect the fungus: in situ conservation is needed.
Further information is needed about population levels and distribution of the fungus.
Maire, R. and Werner, R.G. 1937. Fungi Maroccani. Mémoires de la Société des Sciences Naturelles du Maroc 45: 1–147.
Rhazi, L., Grillas, P. and Rhazi, M. 2010. Eryngium maroccanum. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. http://www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 16 January 2015.
Vánky, K. 2009. Taxonomic studies on Ustilaginomycetes – 29. Mycotaxon 110: 289–324.
Vánky, K. 2011. Smut Fungi of the World. APS Press, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.
Vánky, K., Vánky, C. and Denchev, C.M. 2011. Smut fungi in Africa – a checklist. Mycologia Balcanica 8: 1–77.
Denchev, C.M. & Denchev, T.T. 2015. Entyloma maroccanum Maire. In: The Global Fungal Red List Initiative. http://iucn.ekoo.se/iucn/species_view/270599/.