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Russula albolutescens McNabb

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Scientific name
Russula albolutescens
Author
McNabb
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Russulales
Family
Russulaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2019-07-24
IUCN Red List Category
NT
Assessors
Cooper, J.A.
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/154290138/154290202

Justification

Russula albolutescens is a recognisable uncommon ectomycorrhizal fungus in New Zealand associated with tea-tree (Myrtaceae). It has been recorded at ten sites of which four are in unprotected areas. Over the last five years, 2,500 observers have recorded 54,000 observations of fungi in New Zealand using the iNaturalist platform. 20,000 observations have been verified by multiple experts. This mushroom has not been seen despite increased level of recording. Considering the broad geographic extent of the host, there is a strong possibility of multiple undetected sites. There may by up to a total of 1000 suitable sites at which it could potentially occur, giving an estimated population size of 30,000 mature individuals. However, New Zealand tea-tree has been, and continues to be, cleared for farming, with scrub remnants especially prone to clearing to support the deployment of large-scale automated irrigation equipment. Given the historic extent of the host we suspect a decrease of at least 20% of suitable habitat (area and quality) during the last 50 years and that this is likely to continue at the same rate in the future.

The species is assessed as Near Threatened as it nearly qualifies Vulnerable A2c+3c+4c.

Taxonomic notes

Russula albolutescens is one of the more recognisable but uncommon Russula species associated with Tea Tree (Myrtaceae) with a thin pale cap and pectinate cap edge. The genus has been extensively surveyed and studied in New Zealand over a period of 60 years. This species, and most other New Zealand Russula species are sequence barcoded.

Geographic range

Russula albolutescens is known from from all North Island and northern South Island of New Zealand.

Population and Trends

Russula albolutescens is one of the more recognisable but uncommon Russula species, a genus extensively surveyed and studied in New Zealand over a period of 60 years. It has been recorded 23 times at ten sites of which four are in unprotected areas with <30% indigenous cover (indicating past clearance) adjacent to pasture grassland. The type locality, and centre of most records, is west of Auckland, where the original location from 1967 is now a built-up area and another has been cleared of tea-tree. Over the last five years, 2,500 observers have recorded 54,000 observations of fungi in New Zealand using the iNaturalist platform. 20,000 observations have been verified by multiple experts. This mushroom has not been seen. Despite this increased level of recording, there is a strong possibility of multiple undetected sites. Considering the broad geographic extent of the host, we estimate a total of 1000 potential sites. Assuming three mycelial genotypes per site (each representing ten mature individuals) this corresponds to a maximum of 30,000 mature individuals.

New Zealand tea-tree has been, and continues to be, cleared for farming, with scrub remnants especially prone to clearing to support the deployment of large-scale automated irrigation equipment. Given the historic extent of the host we suspect a decrease of at least 20% of suitable habitat (area and quality) during the last 50 years and this is likely to continue at the same rate in the future.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

The fungus is ectomycorrhizal and is only associated with tea-tree (Myrtaceae).

Threats

The known populations west of Auckland in the Waitakai ranges are in areas with popular walking tracks and the area with significant Kauri die-back disease. Management of the disease may impact on the populations.

In many areas of New Zealand tea-tree has been, and continues to be, cleared for farming, with scrub remnants especially prone to clearing to support the deployment of large-scale automated irrigation equipment.

Conservation Actions

Recognition of the species might prevent damage to its habitat in protected sites through its inclusion in management plans. 

Greater survey effort in known sites is required to assess the extent of local populations.

Use and Trade

The species is not utilized.

Source and Citation

Cooper, J.A. 2019. Russula albolutescens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T154290138A154290202. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T154290138A154290202.en .Downloaded on 31 January 2021

Country occurrence