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Atroporus diabolicus (Berk.) Ryvarden

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Scientific name
Atroporus diabolicus
(Berk.) Ryvarden
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Palacio, M., Alves-Silva, G., Martins da Cunha, K., Kossmann, T., Costa-Rezende, D.H., Trierveiler-Pereira, L. & Drechsler-Santos, E.R.
Mueller, G.M.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/209595320/209596975


Atroporus diabolicus is a rare polypore growing on fine woody debris in the Amazon and northern Atlantic Forest in Brazil. It has been found in at least five sites and may occur in up to another 1,000-2,000 sites. It is estimated to have a total population of 10,000 to 20,000 mature individuals. Although it is a generalist wood decaying fungus, only five of the more than 300 collections of the genus Atroporus that have come from the Amazon and Atlantic Forest are A. diabolicus. Focused surveys for Polyporus sensu lato in the Atlantic Forest since 2008 have not recovered the species. Due mainly to climate change and deforestation of the Amazon and the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, its population is expected to be declining by at least 10-15% in the next 20 years. The species is assessed as Near Threatened C1.

Taxonomic notes

Polyporus diabolicus Berk.= Polyporus vernicosus Berk. Atroporus diabolicus was considered as a synonym of Neodictyopus dictyopus (= Polyporus dictyopus), however with detailed morphological and phylogenetic analyses it was confirmed as an independent species (Palacio et al. 2017).

Geographic range

Atroporus diabolicus is currently known from five different sites in Brazil. The species is distributed in the Amazon and northern Atlantic Forest. In Amazon it can be found in Amazonas and Pará states, in Parque Nacional de Anavilhanas (Novo Airão, Amazonas), Panuré (Amazonas), and Floresta Nacional de Tapajós (Belterra, Pará). In the northern Atlantic Forest it has been found in Estação Ecológica Wenceslau Guimarães (Bahia) and in Parque Estadual Turístico do Alto Ribeira (Iporanga, São Paulo).

Population and Trends

Only five records from five different sites are known: Tapajós (Pará), Panuré (Amazonas), Anavilhanas (Amazonas), Wescesclau Guimarães (Bahia), and Morro de Santana (São Paulo). Considering that Atroporus diabolicus is a lignicolous fungus occurring in small pieces of wood, there are estimated ten mature individuals at each site. The species is expected to occur in 1,000 to 2,000 additional sites, resulting in an estimated 10,000-20,000 mature individuals. The species' habitat is declining due to climate change and deforestation of the Amazon and Atlantic forests in Brazil. The Atlantic Forest has only 28% of its original area remaining, mostly composed of secondary forests (Tabarelli et al. 2010, Rezende et al. 2018), and the decline is predicted to continue. The species' population decline is tied to its habitat with a suspected decline in population size of at least 10-15% in the next 20 years (three generations).

Population Trend: decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

The species is a generalist wood inhabiting fungus, growing on fine woody debris in Amazon and northern Atlantic Forest. It forms annual to biannual basidiomata.


In general, the threats to Atroporus diabolicus are the degradation and fragmentation of its habitat, due mainly to climate change and deforestation of the Amazon and Atlantic forest in Brazil. The Amazon ecosystem has been facing a rapid increase in deforestation and fire frequency following years of decline (INPE 2020), and the forest could be dangerously approaching a tipping point when the forest can no longer sustain its own water cycles, drastically changing into a savanna, leading to huge biodiversity losses (Amigo 2020). The Amazon domain in Brazil suffers from continued commercial logging and deforestation for cattle and implementation of soybean plantations as a result of the economic plan for Brazilian Amazonia (Fernside 2008). Additionally, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, is regarded as a biodiversity hotspot for conservation priorities due to its high diversity, endemism rates and habitat loss (Myers et al. 2000). This phytogeographical domain is estimated to have only 28% of its vegetation remaining, with the remnants being fragmented and composed mostly by secondary forests (Tabarelli et al. 2010, Rezende et al. 2018). According to Pinto et al. (2006), the Atlantic Forest is found in this situation due to predatory exploitation of resources and human actions, like territorial occupation. About 60% of the Brazilian population lives in the Atlantic Forest, mainly in coastal areas, where the country’s largest cities are located (Rezende et al. 2018). Other threats to the Atlantic Forest include increase in fire frequency and intensity, introduction of exotic and invasive species and the connection between these factors (Brooks and Balmford 1996, Tabarelli et al. 2006, Pinto et al. 2006)

Conservation Actions

The main action to prevent the decline of Atroporus diabolicus' population is the preservation of habitat, both known and not yet discovered sites, by creating and appropriately managing conservation areas. More surveys and long-term studies are also needed to better understand the species' ecology, distribution, and population size and trends.

Use and Trade

There is no use/trade of this species.

Source and Citation

Palacio, M., Alves-Silva, G., Martins da Cunha, K., Kossmann, T., Costa-Rezende, D.H., Trierveiler-Pereira, L. & Drechsler-Santos, E.R. 2021. Atroporus diabolicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T209595320A209596975. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T209595320A209596975.en .Accessed on 22 December 2021

Country occurrence