• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • CRPreliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Puccinia embergeriae McKenzie & P.R. Johnst.

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Scientific name
Puccinia embergeriae
Author
McKenzie & P.R. Johnst.
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Rust and Smut
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Pucciniomycetes
Order
Pucciniales
Family
Pucciniaceae
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
CR B1ab(iii)
Proposed by
Cvetomir M. Denchev
Assessors
Cvetomir M. Denchev
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Status Notes

Preliminary red-list assessment: CR B1ab(iii); D (Critically Endangered)

Taxonomic notes


Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Puccinia embergeriae is a host specific rust fungus which develops uredinia and telia on leaves of the Chatham Island sow thistle (Sonchus grandifolius, Asteraceae).

The name of the host plant was initially reported as Embergeria grandifolia. The genus Embergeria was considered as a monotypic genus, endemic to the Chatham Islands, New Zealand (e.g., Kim et al. 1996; Heenan et al. 2010; de Lange et al. 2011). Based on evidence from molecular data, recently it was recommended the circumscription of Sonchus be enlarged to include Embergeria (Garnock-Jones 2014). Currently, this plant is treated as Sonchus grandifolius, a species that is restricted to the Chatham Islands. This species is found on the main islands and some islets, and is regionally ranked as At Risk – Recovering, and qualified as Conservation Dependent (de Lange et al. 2009, 2013). Over the last decades, on Chatham and Pitt Islands this plant was under a serious risk of extinction, threatened by domestic stock and other browsing animals, coastal development and coastal erosion, and competition by invasive plants (de Lange 2003). Consequently, it has been a subject of specific conservation actions.

The rust fungus, Puccinia embergeriae, is known only from Chatham (Rekohu) Island, found in three, closely situated localities at Kaingaroa (in Kaingaroa Point Reserve, Kaingaroa Beach, and Ocean Mail Scenic Reserve). It is not known whether there is an alternate host on which the rust fungus completes its life cycle.

Sonchus grandifolius is a distinctive, herbaceous plant with stout, fleshy rhizomes and basal leaves up to 1 m long. It grows on sand dunes (usually the foredunes), also on coastal cliff ledges, clay promontories, and talus slopes (de Lange 2003). As a plant with conservation status, S. grandifolius is well studied and mapped. Infected plants with Puccinia embergeriae are established only in the above mentioned three localities. There are five collections of this rust fungus kept at the New Zealand Fungal and Plant Disease Fungarium, collected in 1992–2011. The known, closely situated localities must be considered as belonging to one location, in which the plant and its rust fungus are threatened by identical threats.

Sonchus grandifolius is a coastal plant. Continuing decline has been observed in the extent and quality of the habitat. In the localities of Puccinia embergeriae, the host plant and its parasitic fungus are threatened by domestic stock and other browsing animals (including cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, possums, and rodents) causing trampling (including pugging, rooting, and disturbance) (Dopson et al. 1999; de Lange 2003), competition from invasive plants (like marram grass, Ammophila arenaria) (Moore & Davis 2004), coastal erosion (de Lange 2003), fires (Walls & Baird 1995), and habitat disturbance from the use of motorised vehicles (Sawyer 2004). If a major fire or coastal erosion happen in that location, it can be detrimental. Sonchus grandifolius is a very well studied species. Puccinia embergeriae is much rarer than its host plant. The tree localities of this rust fungus are accepted as one location since they are very closely situated (less than 10 km between the two most remote localities) and face the same threats. Puccinia embergeriae fulfills B-criterion using EOO (extent of occurrence estimated not to exceed 100 km2) and meets CR B1, regarding subcriteria a and b (iii) (continuing decline – observed, inferred or projected – in the area, extent, and quality of the habitat). Each infected plant individual is treated as a separate functional fungal individual. The number of the functional individuals is estimated to be fewer than 50 and the rust fungus meets CR D.

Preliminary red-list assessment: CR B1ab(iii); D (Critically Endangered)


Geographic range

Puccinia embergeriae is known only from Chatham (Rekohu) Island, found in three, closely situated localities at Kaingaroa (in Kaingaroa Point Reserve, Kaingaroa Beach, and Ocean Mail Scenic Reserve) (McKenzie & Johnston 2004; McKenzie 2015). These localities must be considered as belonging to one location, in which the plant and its rust fungus are threatened by identical threats.

The host plant is endemic to the Chatham Islands and has a very restricted distribution area.


Population and Trends

There is no specific information on population size or trends. However, the host plant is endemic to the Chatham Islands.

Population Trend: Deteriorating


Habitat and Ecology

The uredinia and telia of Puccinia embergeriae develop on leaves of the Chatham Island sow thistle (Sonchus grandifolius). This fungus is host-specific and is absolutely dependent on its host for survival.

Sonchus grandifolius is a distinctive, herbaceous plant with stout, fleshy rhizomes and basal leaves up to 1 m long. It is a coastal plant which grows on sand dunes (usually the foredunes), also on coastal cliff ledges, clay promontories, and talus slopes (de Lange 2003).

Marine Coastal/SupratidalCoastal Sand Dunes

Threats

Sonchus grandifolius is a coastal plant. Continuing decline has been observed in the area, extent, and quality of the habitat.

In the localities of Puccinia embergeriae, the host plant and its parasitic fungus are threatened by domestic stock and other browsing animals (including cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, possums, and rodents) causing trampling (including pugging, rooting, and disturbance) (Dopson et al. 1999; de Lange 2003), competition from invasive plants (like marram grass, Ammophila arenaria) (Moore & Davis 2004), coastal erosion (de Lange 2003), fires (Walls & Baird 1995), and habitat disturbance from the use of motorised vehicles (Sawyer 2004). If a major fire or coastal erosion happen in that location, it can be detrimental.

Residential & commercial developmentHousing & urban areasAgriculture & aquacultureLivestock farming & ranchingHuman intrusions & disturbanceRecreational activitiesNatural system modificationsFire & fire suppressionInvasive & other problematic species, genes & diseasesInvasive non-native/alien species/diseasesNamed speciesClimate change & severe weatherStorms & flooding

Conservation Actions

Two localities are included in protected areas: Kaingaroa Point Reserve and Ocean Mail Scenic Reserve.

The plant communities on the coastal dunes need the domestic stock and other browsing animals to be controlled in order to prevent further damage to native vegetation, invasive plants to be controlled, and damage by humans (e.g., trampling, coastal development, and using of motorised vehicles) to be prevented. Conservation of the host plant is needed. Ex situ conservation of the plant will not necessarily protect the fungus: in situ conservation is needed.

Land/water managementSite/area managementHabitat & natural process restorationEducation & awarenessAwareness & communications

Research needed

Further information is needed about population levels and distribution of the fungus.

ResearchPopulation size, distribution & trendsMonitoringPopulation trendsHabitat trends

Bibliography

de Lange, P.J. 2003. Sonchus grandifolius. New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=62. Downloaded on 20 March 2015.

de Lange, P.J., Norton, D.A., Courtney, S.P., Heenan, P.B., Barkla, J.W., Cameron, E.K., Hitchmough, R. and Townsend, A.J. 2009. Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand (2008 revision). New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 61–96.

de Lange, P.J., Heenan, P.B. and Rolfe, J.R. 2011. Checklist of Vascular Plants Recorded from Chatham Islands. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

de Lange, P.J., Rolfe, J.R., Champion, P.D., Courtney, S.P., Heenan, P.B., Barkla, J.W., Cameron, E.K., Norton, D.A. and Hitchmough, R.A. 2013. Conservation Status of New Zealand Indigenous Vascular Plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington.

Dopson, S.R., de Lange, P.J., Ogle, C.C., Rance, B.D., Courtney, S.P. and Molloy, J. 1999. The Conservation Requirements of New Zealand’s Nationally Threatened Vascular Plants. Threatened Species Occasional Publication, no. 13. Biodiversity Recovery Unit, Department of Conservation, Wellington.

Garnock-Jones, P.J. 2014. Evidence-based review of the taxonomic status of New Zealand’s endemic seed plant genera. New Zealand Journal of Botany 52: 163–212.

Heenan, P.B., Mitchell, A.D., de Lange, P.J., Keeling, J. and Paterson, A.M. 2010. Late-Cenozoic origin and diversification of Chatham Islands endemic plant species revealed by analyses of DNA sequence data. New Zealand Journal of Botany 48: 83–136.

Kim, S.-C., Crawford, D.J. and Jansen, R.K. 1996. Phylogenetic relationships among the genera of the subtribe Sonchinae (Asteraceae): Evidence from ITS sequences. Systematic Botany 21: 417–432.

McKenzie, E.H.C. 2015. Puccinia embergeriae. In: New Zealand Fungal & Plant Disease Collection (PDD). https://scd.landcareresearch.co.nz/Search. Downloaded on 20 March 2015.

McKenzie, E.H.C. and Johnston, P.R. 2004. Puccinia embergeriae sp. nov. on Chatham Islands sow thistle (Embergeria grandifolia) and a note on Miyagia pseudosphaeria on sow thistles (Sonchus spp.) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 657–661.

Moore, P. and Davis, A. 2004. Marram grass Ammophila arenaria removal and dune restoration to enhance nesting habitat of Chatham Island oystercatcher Haematopus chathamensis, Chatham Islands, New Zealand. Conservation Evidence 1: 8–9.

Sawyer, J.W.D. 2004. Plant Conservation Strategy, Wellington Conservancy (excluding Chatham Islands), 2004–2010. Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.

Walls, G. and Baird, A. 1995. Winds of Change: Monitoring Vegetation Condition and Trend in the Chatham Islands. Conservation Advisory Science Notes No. 130, Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.


Citation
Denchev, C.M., McKenzie, E.H.C. & Denchev, T.T. 2015. Puccinia embergeriae McKenzie & P.R. Johnst. In: The Global Fungal Red List Initiative. http://iucn.ekoo.se/iucn/species_view/370658/.


Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted