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Galeropsis polytrichoides (Zeller) Zeller

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Scientific name
Galeropsis polytrichoides
Author
(Zeller) Zeller
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Agaricales
Family
Bolbitiaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2018-11-01
IUCN Red List Category
VU
IUCN Red List Criteria
C2a(i)
Assessors
Siegel, N.
Reviewers
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/125433985/125435520

Justification

This is a small brown mushroom growing in wet meadows with a cap that doesn’t open; as the name suggests it is reminiscent of Polytrichum moss capsules. The declining snow pack, and drier climate in California has reduced suitable habitat. Rarely reported; known from eleven locations in the Sierra Nevada, USA, three locations on Mount Shasta, and a single location from Mount Lassen. It appears to need saturated meadows and mossy areas. The declining snow pack, and drier climate in California has reduced suitable habitat. It is currently known from 15 sites; based on data regarding numbers of wet meadows in mid to high elevations in potential range, we assume the total number of populations not to exceed 400 with in total less than 10,000 mature individuals. It is assessed as Vulnerable as it has a small and declining population size as C2a(i).

Taxonomic notes

Described by Zeller (1941) as Secotium polytrichoides, based on a collection made at Mount Shasta, in Siskiyou County, California. Galeropsis was erected in 1943 to accommodate this species.

Geographic range

Only known from California, USA. Currently known from 15 sites in high elevation meadows and seeps on Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen in the southern Cascades and scattered sites in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. A collection was reported from Colorado, USA (2017), but has been discounted based on different micro-morphology.

Population and Trends

Currently known from 15 locations, in high elevation meadows and seeps in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges. Meadows in the California mountains are well mapped; Viers et al. (2013) estimate that there are 17,039 meadows in the Sierra Nevada, covering 191,900 acres (77,659 hectares). However, just a small portion of these meadows have suitable habitat for Galeropsis polytrichoides. The declining snow pack, and drier climate in California has reduced suitable habitat. It is likely that dispersal limitation is an important factor influencing this species’ distribution and population dynamics.The diminutive stature and dull colours make this a difficult mushroom to spot, and thus, it is likely to be under reported. Based on data regarding numbers of wet meadows in mid to high elevations in potential range, we assume the total number of locations not to exceed 400 locations/populations with on average 20 mature individuals (cf Dahlberg and Mueller 2011) with in total less than 10,000 mature individuals.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Galeropsis polytrichoides is a small to tiny saprobic brown mushroom with a thin stipe, a wispy partial veil of whitish to buff fibrils and cylindrical to obtuse-conical cap that doesn’t open, as the name suggests a reminiscent of Polytrichum moss capsules. It grows solitarily or scattered in bogs, moist meadows, seeps, and along stream banks; often in moss or grass. It appears to need saturated meadows and mossy areas. Fruiting in spring and summer, from snowmelt moisture, known sites are from 1,500 m to 3,050 m asl. This species has an uncommon combination of above ground fruitbodies with sequestrate fertile surfaces, and without apparent adaptations for mammal dispersal; it is likely that dispersal limitation is an important factor influencing this species’ distribution and population dynamics. No specific data are available on dispersal methods.

Threats

Loss of winter snowpack in the Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges; especially in lover elevations has changed the water regimes in meadows. Invasion of non-native grasses has has altered the plant dynamics. Cattle grazing, trampling and soil compaction has degraded habitat. Channels (from cattle or humans) have caused considerable runoff; and as a result many wet meadows have become dryer. Tree encroachment on meadow systems due to fire suppression in the Sierra Nevada has also made meadows considerably dryer.

Source and Citation

Siegel, N. 2019. Galeropsis polytrichoides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T125433985A125435520. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T125433985A125435520.en .Downloaded on 31 January 2021

Country occurrence