Described based on a collection made in Washington, USA (Marr & Stuntz 1973).
Preliminarily phylogenetic research has shown multiple species with the name Ramaria aurantiisiccescens applied; more work is needed.
Field identification of Ramaria is often very difficult, with macromorphological differences being subtle and often intergrading (especially in older fruitbodies).
Ramaria aurantiisiccescensis an uncommon but widespread species in the Pacific Northwest, northern California and the Rocky Mountains; currently known from ~40 locations.
Habitat requirements remain largely unknown, and preliminarily phylogenetic research has shown multiple species with the name Ramaria aurantiisiccescens applied. Until these issues are sorted out, I suggest listing as Data Deficient (DD).
From southern British Columbia, Canada south through the Coast range into northern California, USA, and the Cascade Range into southern Oregon. Also reported from a single site in northern Idaho and Colorado.
Population occurs over a widespread area, with continuous records in the Cascade Range, and some disjunct outliers in northern California, Idaho and Colorado. Currently known from ~40 locations (Siegel et al. 2019, Mycoportal 2021). Data to fully assess trends is lacking.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Solitary or scattered on ground; ectomycorrhizal with conifers; especially Fir (Abies spp.), Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Fruiting in fall.
Data to assess habitat preferences is lacking, and although this species appears to have a preference for mature and old growth forests, it does not appear to be restricted to this habitat.
Climate change and droughts, along with forest management practices has made western forests highly susceptible to stand replacing forest fires. Fire is big threat to this species’ populations. A stand replacing fire could severely degrade and/or diminish its current range.
This species is included on the United States Forest Service Northwest Forest Plan Survey and Manage list of rare/old growth forests dependent fungi, and has been actively surveyed for since the late 1990’s. (Castellano et al. 1999). The Oregon Natural Heritage rare fungi list (Oregon Biodiversity Information Center 2019) list it as a S2S3 species, and the Washington Natural Heritage list as a S1 species.
Modern taxonomic research on Ramaria. A better understanding of habitat requirements of this species, and if it is restricted to mature and old growth forests.
Castellano, M.A., Cázares, E., Fondrick, B. and Dreisbach, T. 2003. Handbook to additional fungal species of special concern in the Northwest Forest Plan (Gen. Tech Rep. PNW-GTR-572). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: Portland, OR. 144 p.
Exeter, R.L., Norvell, L. and Cázares, E. 2006. Ramaria of the Pacific Northwestern United States. United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management: Salem, OR. 157 p.
Marr, C.D. and Stuntz, D.E. 1973. Ramaria of Western Washington (Bibliotheca Mycologica, Band 38). J. Cramer: Vaduz, Liechtenstein. 232 p.
MyCoPortal. 2021. http://mycoportal.org/portal/index.php. Accessed on February 15.
Siegel, N., Vellinga, E.C., Schwarz, C., Castellano, M.A. and Ikeda, D. 2019. A Field Guide to the Rare Fungi of California’s National Forests. Bookmobile: Minneapolis, MN. 313 p.
Oregon Biodiversity Information Center. 2019. Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species of Oregon. Institute for Natural Resources, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.
Washington Natural Heritage Program List of Macrofungi https://www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/amp_nh_macrofungi.pdf