Sequencing for AFTOL project shows it is not closely related to the type of the genus (Larsson & Larsson 2003). It is expected that it will be transferred to another genus but this has no bearing on its conservation status.
A wood-inhabiting tooth fungus forming highly distinctive and conspicuous basidiomata on trunks and large branches of old (“pluricentenari”) live standing Juniperus phoenicea and J. macrocarpa trees in Italy (Sardinia).
Requires very old trees to fruit. There are only 15 occupied trees (estimated to comprise 30 ramets) known worldwide and all are in Sardinia. Not found at sites with Lenzitopsis oxycedri, another Juniperus-dependent wood-inhabiting species. No evidence known for decline in populations or distribution area, hence Criterion D is most appropriate. Acknowledging that there will be some populations to be discovered, we estimate that there are <250 individuals and assess as EN D in Europe. Possibly also present in non-European Mediterranean region, so unless data is rapidly forthcoming, the global assessment is DD for now.
First collection made by Annarosa Bernicchia in 1997 and species described in 1998 but by 2005 there were apparently still only 3 sites known worldwide and all were in Sardinia (Bernicchia 2005).
The Sardinian populations are: Capo Comino (Nuoro) on a Juniperus phoenicea trunk in dunes where Bernicchia (in litt.) has tried to refind it “but the old trunk has been cut”; Lanaittu Valley (Nuoro) at 180m altitude from 1997 onwards “on old trunks” of J. phoenicea, “no more than 5-6” occupied trees seen and no more than 10 estimated in the area (Bernicchia in litt.); Portixeddu (Cagliari) on an old trunk of J. macrocarpa in 1999 (site not revisited by Bernicchia). It is expected that one genet occurs within most occupied trees and it is hypothesised that the fungus is long-lived. The host tree is not of conservation concern although it should be emphasized that it is only the very oldest trees that support fruiting populations of this fungus. Based on the documented collections in Bernicchia et al. (2011), it seems that currently there are no more than 15 known occupied trees worldwide although clearly not all suitable habitat has been surveyed.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Fruiting on trunks and large branches of old (“pluricentenari”) live standing Juniperus phoenicea and, to a lesser degree, J. macrocarpa trees. Despite fruiting on living trees, this species is expected to be mainly or exclusively associated with dead parts of the tree. It has been suggested that such Mediterranean veteran juniper habitat represents a glacial refugium and this habitat supports an entire suite of fungi with highly restricted distributions (Bernicchia et al. 2011)
Loss of “pluricentenari” trees of Juniperus phoenicea and J. macrocarpa. Fide Bernicchia (in litt.) these are frequently cut for many purposes such as firewood and for making items such as fireplaces and sheepfolds.
Site protection required for all the remaining populations of this fungus
Younger Juniperus trees at known sites should be allowed to reach old age and die in situ to maximise the likelihood that E. ryvardenii will persist as an extant species and colonize new sites
Surveys of all old J. phoenicea and J. macrocarpa stands required.
Population genetics work required (extent of genets, how many per tree, degree of genetic difference between them)
Bernicchia A. 2005. Polyporaceae s.l. Fungi Europaei 10. Edizioni Candusso, Alassio.
Bernicchia A., Gorjon S.P., Nakasone K.K. 2011. Arrasia rostrata (Basidiomycota), a new corticioid genus and species from Italy. Mycotaxon 118: 257-264.
Larsson E. & Larsson K.-H. (2003). Mycologia 95(6): 1037-1065