• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • Preliminary Assessed
  • DDAssessed
  • 5Published

Bovista californica Kreisel

Search for another Species...

Scientific name
Bovista californica
Author
Kreisel
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Agaricales
Family
Agaricaceae
Assessment status
Assessed
Preliminary Category
DD
Proposed by
Noah Siegel
Assessors
Noah Siegel
Comments etc.
James Westrip, Michael Wood
Reviewers
Gregory Mueller

Assessment Notes

Justification

Bovista californica is a small to tiny puffball with a tuft or pad of basal mycelium, and a tomentose to finely floccose exoperidium that breaks up into pale small scales, giving it a spotted or mottled appearance. Although many California puffballs resemble this species, few are routinely this small. This, along with the often-gregarious growth on the edges of alpine lakes and seeps in meadows, along with micromoprhological features help distinguish it. The species is currently only known from nine disjunct locations in the mountains of western USA, six of which are in California but with a single disjunct record from Wyoming. While its distribution is large, the very small number of records, even in well sampled areas, suggest that is a rare species. It is not possible to infer population trends due to the small number of records.  Thus it is assessed as DD.


Taxonomic notes

Bovista californica was described from a collection made at Hat Lake in Lassen National Park (Kreisel, 1967). Jarvis (2014) noted that Bovista californica and the European B. limosa are very closely related, based on ITS phylogenetic data and suggested that they may be synonymous, while noting slight morphological differences. More work is needed to see if Bovista californica is a distinct species. It is considered as a distinct species for this assessment pending data from other DNA markers that may provide additional resolution. .


Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

A small to tiny puffball with a tuft or pad of basal mycelium, and a tomentose to finely floccose exoperidium that breaks up into pale small scales, giving it a spotted or mottled appearance. Although many California puffballs resemble this species, few are routinely this small. This, along with the often-gregarious growth on the edges of alpine lakes and seeps in meadows, along with microscopic features help distinguish it. Known from nine sites in western North America, six of which are in California.


Geographic range

The species is endemic to western USA.  It is only known from isolated subpopulations in the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Mountains of California, USA, plus single sites in the Cascade Range in California, Oregon and Washington, and a single location in Wyoming.


Population and Trends

The species is currently only known from nine disjunct locations in the mountains of western USA, six of which are in California. While its distribution is large, the very small number of records, even in well sampled areas, suggest that is a rare species.  It is not possible to infer population trends due to the small number of records.

Population Trend: Uncertain


Habitat and Ecology

Bovista californica is saprotrophic; growing in humus and rich or sandy soil, often on the shores of alpine lakes, riparian zones and seeps in meadows. It is has mostly been found in clusters or groups, rarely solitary, and fruiting in summer and early fall.

Temperate Forest

Threats

Trampling of lake shorelines near recreation areas is a probable source of habitat degradation for this species. Cattle grazing and hoof damage in and around meadows and seeps is also common and very likely to degrade suitable habitat.

Tourism & recreation areasNomadic grazingScale Unknown/Unrecorded

Conservation Actions

Limit cattle grazing and controlling tourist access in habitats where it is known to occur would reduce habitat decline..

Site/area management

Research needed

Targeted surveys for this species to better document its population size and habitat requirements are needed. Revisiting sites of historic populations is also needed. Taxonomic research with additional genetic markers is needed to determine the relationship between B. californica and European Bovista limosa.

TaxonomyPopulation size, distribution & trends

Use and Trade

None known.


Bibliography

Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M. G. and Stevens, F.A. 2015. California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Jarvis, S.S. 2014. The Lycoperdaceae of California. Master’s thesis, San Francisco State University.

Kreisel, H. 1967. Taxonomisch-Pflanzengeographische monographie der Gattung Bovista. Beihefte zur Nova Hedwigia 25: 1–244

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.


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted