R-L categories correct, but text here does not match final assessment. Updated version will be published in IUCN´s Red List June or Nov 2019.
Sarcodontia crocea bright yellow resupinate tooth fungus grows on old damaged fruit trees, mainly apple trees (Malus spp.) in old orchards, gardens, meadows, roadsides. Such host trees for species become rare because of the cutting of old and damaged fruit trees and modern cultivation of gardens and orchards. Urbanization coursing felling of old trees along roads and disappearing of old villages with old gardens is the main threat to fungus. The decline of suitable host tree and habitats is ongoing, thus the decline of population is expected. Currently, the population size probably not more than 50000 matures individuals with the most abundant population in Germany, but in many countries is small and fragmented. The species is assessed as Vulnerable (VU) (A2c+3c+4c) because the estimated reduction of population is more than >30% over the last 30 year (three generations) and decline projected to continue because of habitat loss.
Sarcodontia crocea grows on old damaged fruit trees in orchards and gardens rather abandoned, without intensive modern methods of cultivation, thus the fungus has become rare. It is regionally extinct (RE) in Estonia, known from several localities and red listed in Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Hungary. It has previously been considered as common parasite on apple trees, now is near threatened (NT).
Sarcodontia crocea is distributed in Europe, Asia and North America (Eriksson et al. 1981). The core distribution is in the western and southeastern part of Europe (Austria, United Kingdom, German, Poland (Szczepkowski 2010), Ukraine, Denmark, Latvia, Austria, France). The species found north to southern Sweden (Gotland and Öland) and southern Finland, not found in Norway. It is recorded in East European Forest steppe and Southern Preurals in Russia (Volobuev et al. 2015; Safanov 2006) and eastern part of United States of America. It appears rare and declining in many countries, extinct in Estonia. According to Kreisel (2006) distribution of Sarcodontia crocea from south to north is the possible effect of global warming.
Sarcodontian crocea is currently known from ca 400-500 localities in Europe. About 30 localities in Austria. In Germany is known from about 200 localities and not considered as rare. In Poland the fungus is rather well investigated and the number of localities is about 70 (Szczepkowski 2010, Szczepkowski et al. 2017) and proposed as near threatened (NT) according to D1 criteria. In UK it is found in ca 50 localities and vulnerable.
In Estonia it considered as regionally extinct (RE) and from several countries, Finland, Lithuania, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary, known only from several localities and evaluated as critical endangered (CR) and endangered (EN) (Venturella et al. 2006, Senn-Irlet et al. 2007). In Czech Republic Sarcodontia crocea was earlier considered as a dangerous parasite of apple orchards (Kotlaba 1953) now is near threatened (NT).
The species in North America is restricted to the eastern part (New York County, about 40 localities (GBIF)). In Russia rare and recorded scattered localities (Volobuev et al. 2015; Safanov 2006), but not included in any red data list of Russia.
The total number of localities may be 10 times higher and estimated to ca. 4000-5000. The number of trees (genet) in the locality is 5 and 2 ramet per genet and an approximate number of individuals 40000-50000.
In Europe the population is considered small, fragmented and declining due to felling of old fruit trees in gardens, orchards, villages, meadows and roadsides. Modern cultivation of gardens and urbanization probably contributes to the population decline in future >30% per 30 year (3 generation).
Sarcodontia crocea forming annual, resupinate, covered with densely crowded sulphur-yellow spines fruit bodies on living fruit tree from Rosaceae family mainly Malus spp. and Malus sylvestris (Kotlaba 1953, Eriksson et al. 1981, Szczepkowski 2010) rarely on Pyrus, Sorbus, Prunus but also known from other deciduous trees (Acer, Fraxinus, Fagus and Quercus) (Eriksson et al. 1981). It colonizes dead, dry branches or appears in bark cracks and rotted hollows of the trees in orchards, gardens, roadsides. It causes white rot of wood in stem and branches (Szczepkowski 2010). The fruit bodies appear in summer, autumn, sometimes in warm winter. It is distinguishable by bright sulfur-yellow fruit body and a remarkable sweetish-fruity (anise or pineapple) order.
The species seem to be favoured by damages of Scotylus beetle in fruit trees and confined to very old trees (about 60-70 years old) in old abandoned orchard, parks and gardens.
The main threat and cause for the decline of Sarcodontia crocea is felling of old fruit trees in gardens, villages, roadsides. It makes difficult the fungus to spread and established itself on a new host. Modern cultivation of fruit trees is unfavorable to fungus, because it establishes as parasite in old damage trees. Such trees are quickly eradicated in modern orchards and gardens.
Host tree conservation is the most important. Important the negotiation with owners of old gardens and orchard to leave old fruit trees. Conservation of wild fruit tree (Malus sylvetris) in roadsides, wood pastures in villages is also important to increase the possibility for species to spread as the modern garden agriculture propagate short-lived breeds fruit trees and use of fungicides and pesticides which are harmful to fungi.
The species is not known to be used.
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Kotlaba, F. 1953.Nebezpečný parasit jabłoni – Sarcodontia crocea (Schweinitz) c.n. Česká Mykologie. 7: 117-123.
Kreisel H. 2006. Global warming and mycoflora in the Baltic Region. Acta Mycologica 41: 79-96.
Læssøe, T. 2004. Æbleipig (Sarcodontia crocea) nu fundet i Danmark. Svampe 49: 40-42.
Safonov, M.A. 2006. Wood-inhabiting aphyllophoroid fungi of the Southern Preurals (Russia). Mycena 6: 57-66.
Senn-Irlet, B., Bieri, G., Egli, S., 2007. Rote Liste der gefahrdeten Grosspilze der Schweiz. Bern: BAFU, WSL.
Szczepkowski, A. 2010. Sarcodontia crocea (Polyporales, Basidiomycota) in Poland – distribution and decay ability in laboratory conditions. Polish Botanical Journal 55: 489-498.
Szczepkowski, A., Gierczyk, B., Borowski, J., Neubauer, G. 2017. New localities of Sarcodontia crocea (Polyporales, Basidiomycota) in Poland. Acta Mycologica 52: 1090.
Venturella, G., Bernicchia, A., Saitta, A. 2006. Three rare lignicolous fungi from Sicily (S Italy). Acta Mycologica 41: 95-98.
Volobuev, S.V., Logachev, A.A., Mushinikov, N.V., Okun, M.V. 2015. New records of aphyllophoroid fungi (Agaricomycetes, Basidiomycota) from the Les na Vorskle area of the Belogor’e Nature Reserve (Belgorod Region, Russia). Folia Cryptogamica Estonica 52: 89-93.