This is a wood-inhabiting, brown-rotting, pileate annual polypore forming highly distinctive and conspicuous basidiomata on wood of Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. oxycedrus trees. Only recorded from Italy (Sardinia) on Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. oxycedrus at the type locality and at two sites in southern France, one on Juniperus oxycedrus and one on Cedrus atlantica. Given it has only been recorded on one cedar tree, the role of this tree in the ecology of the fungus is uncertain.
The habitat, arborescent matorral (code 5210) (Natura2000) is in danger of disappearing. Moreover old juniper shrubs or trees, the preferred substrate for the growth of the fungus, are threatened and declining. 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).
Although there are only 3 small areas with fruitbodies known worldwide, there is uncertainty about the extent of its true distribution and the role of fire in relation to fruiting. The number of mature individuals is estimated not to exceed 800, with no more than 250 mature individuals in the largest subpopulation. A continuing decline is inferred based on the reduction in number of old trees on which it can grow. It therefore qualifies as EN C2a(i).
The species has been observed fruiting on dead Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. oxycedrus trunks and logs lying on the ground (at most 4-6 fruitbodies seen per year), between 1985 and 2004 (Bernicchia in litt.) at the type locality in Italy (Sardinia, Nuoro, Supramonte di Orgosolo, Campu’e su Mudrecu). The type locality is at 1,000 m altitude and was formerly in a very extensive forest destroyed by fire in 1931 (Bernicchia 2005). Juniperus regeneration has recently been observed at the site and it is expected that fruiting is still occurring on the same few burnt logs (Bernicchia in litt.). French collections were made on J. oxycedrus in 1997 and 2000 in burnt garigue in the Réserve de Fontdurane in an area of ca. 100 m2 and on one Cedrus atlantica tree in 2002 (by Bernard Rivoire & Max Pieri) although no further searches have been made (Rivoire in litt.). It is estimated that 10-20 occupied trees are currently known although clearly not all suitable habitat has been searched. It is likely that there are around two mycelia per occupied tree and two mature individuals per mycelium, i.e. four mature individuals per tree. Therefore there are up to 80 mature individuals in total at the currently known sites, which is here multiplied by ten to account for the likely unknown sites including the potential for it to be found in Mediterranean Africa.
Population Trend: unknown