Flammulina stratosa is a diminutive Flammulina with a long stipe reminiscent of Phaeocollybia and growing on wood of southern beech (Nothofagaceae). The species is sequence barcoded and occupies an isolated and basal position in the genus. It’s nearest relative is Flammulina similis from Argentina indicating a Gondwana distribution for the two species.
Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?
Flammulina sratosa is a diminutive and rare species known from a single collection/location.
Preliminary category: Endangered: very small or restricted population
Population and Trends
Flammulina stratosa is known from a single location in 1994 and has not been found since, despite several dedicated searches at the type locality and extensive surveying of mushrooms across New Zealand over 50 years. The type locality, whilst in a protected area, is on a popular walking tack in an area with increasing tourism and with beech-associated species potentially impacted by invasive species.
We infer the presence of 1 genotypes, x 10 to account for undetected colonies, x 5 to convert to an estimate of 50 mature individuals. Extent of Occurrence 4 km2, Area of Occupancy 4 km2
Habitat and Ecology
Flammulina stratosa is known only from a single location and collection on the Peninsula Track at alpine Lake Rotoiti in the South Island of New Zealand. It was collected on a living standing beech tree (Nothofagaceae). It is likely the species is a saprophyte rather than parasitic. It is also likely the spores are wind-dispersed but dispersal may be supported by ingestion by native animals. The micro-habitat of trunks of living beech trees is shared with the beech scale-insect which produces copious amounts of honeydew which is then colonised by extensive areas of sooty molds. These in turn provide food for invertebrates, birds, reptiles. In recent years the introduced German Wasp populations have increased significantly, feeding on the honeydew, and reducing associated native animal populations which may support dispersal of the fungi associated with beech/sooty-mold colonies.
The species may be under threat from invasive species but urgently needs to be re-found and studied.
The species needs to be re-found and it’s ecological requirements assessed.