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Anthracoidea ortegae Kukkonen

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Scientific name
Anthracoidea ortegae
Author
Kukkonen
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Rust and Smut
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Ustilaginomycetes
Order
Ustilaginales
Family
Anthracoideaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2017-11-15
IUCN Red List Category
VU
IUCN Red List Criteria
B2ab(ii,iii)
Assessors
Denchev, C.M. & Denchev, T.T.
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/73661673/73662018

Justification

Anthracoidea ortegae is a host specific smut fungus which forms sori in ovaria of Carex caduca (Cyperaceae). The fungus is fully dependent on its host plant for its existence and inevitably more rare than its host plant.

The host plant, Carex caduca, is a sedge distributed in the Falkland Islands, Chile and Argentina. In the latter two countries the host plant mainly occurs in southern Patagonia (including Tierra del Fuego) but has isolated subpopulations in Los Ríos and Los Lagos regions in Chile, and in Neuquén Province in Argentina (Moore 1968, Wheeler 1989, Moreno et al. 2013). In South America, the northern limit of this species lies at ca 40° S latitude.

The smut fungus, Anthracoidea ortegae, is known only from the Falkland Islands and Tierra del Fuego. Three sites are reported from the Falkland Islands: Darwin Harbour and Eliza Cove (East Falkland), and Channel Hill (West Falkland). In Tierra del Fuego, it occurs only near Ushuaia.

The smut fungus is threatened by human impacts. In Tierra del Fuego, the known site is in close proximity to Ushuaia (4 km from the city outskirts) and is threatened by habitat degradation. In the Falkland Islands, the sites are in wet areas beside creeks which are threatened by recreational activities and by sheep grazing that alter or destroy the habitats.

Anthracoidea ortegae fulfils B-criterion using AOO (area of occupancy estimated to be minimally 16 km2, based on the four known sites, and maximally less than 2000 km2, based on the distribution of the host plant) and meets VU B2, regarding subcriteria a (number of locations is four based on the known sites, and whilst it probably also occurs in other as yet unknown sites the total number is not likely to exceed 10) and b (ii and iii) (continuing decline – inferred – in the area of occupancy, the area, extent, and quality of the habitat).

Geographic range

Anthracoidea ortegae is known from the Falkland Islands and Tierra del Fuego (Argentina). Three sites are reported from the Falkland Islands: Darwin Harbour and Eliza Cove (East Falkland), and Channel Hill (West Falkland) (Denchev et al. 2010). In Tierra del Fuego, it occurs only near Ushuaia (Baliza, 4 km SE from the city outskirts; Roivainen 1977).

The host plant, Carex caduca, is a sedge distributed in the Falkland Islands, Chile and Argentina. In the latter two countries the host plant mainly occurs in southern Patagonia (including Tierra del Fuego) but has isolated subpopulations in Los Ríos and Los Lagos regions in Chile, and in Neuquén Province in Argentina (Moore 1968, Wheeler 1989, Moreno et al. 2013). In South America, the northern limit of this species lies at ca 40° S latitude.

Population and Trends

There is no specific information on population size and trends. However, the host plant has a limited distribution within an area considered to be subject to ongoing and increasing recreational activities and sheep grazing that alter or destroy the habitats.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

The sori of Anthracoidea ortegae are developed in ovaria of Carex caduca. The fungus is host-specific and depends on its host plant.

Carex caduca is a tufted plant with shortly creeping rhizomes and culms 6–28 cm high. This species grows in wet areas: beside streams and creeks, in wet depressions among tufts of grasses and wet mountain ledges (Moore 1968, Wheeler 1989).

Threats

The smut fungus is threatened by human impacts. In Tierra del Fuego, the only known site is in close proximity to Ushuaia (at the end of the beacon trail, 4 km SE from the city outskirts), near a site which is a tourist attraction. If further sites were to be found in Tierra del Fuego, it is likely that they would be in the northeast of the island, where the main distribution of the associated plant occurs, and in that part grazing and trampling by cattle and the Canadian Beaver invasion are documented ongoing threats affecting the habitat (Lizarralde et al. 2004, Grootjans et al. 2014, Jernelöv 2017). In the Falkland Islands, the sites are in wet areas beside creeks which are threatened by recreational activities and by sheep grazing that alter or destroy the habitats (cf. Upson 2012).


Conservation Actions

The known sites of this smut fungus are not in any protected areas. Assessment of the conservation status of the host plant would be useful for a better understanding of the status and trends of Anthracoidea ortegae. Ex situ conservation of the plant will not necessarily protect the fungus: in situ conservation is needed.


Source and Citation

Denchev, C.M. & Denchev, T.T. 2019. Anthracoidea ortegae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T73661673A73662018. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T73661673A73662018.en .Downloaded on 30 January 2021

Country occurrence