The species was described in 2001 based on a number of collections.
A characteristic, very bright coloured, endemic species, restricted to high elevation cloud forest in Puerto Rica - threatened by documented climatic changes on the island, where the cloud forest will be drying out. Species suggested by D. Jean Lodge, resident mycologist on the island, documentation for changing climate is forthcoming (D. Jean Lodge pers.com.). Many other possible sites in the region have been surveyed for Hygrocybe species, and H. miniatofirma has not turned up anywhere else. Dendroica angeliae (Elfin Wood-Warbler) occurs in the same habitat and is likewise endemic to Puerto Rican cloud forests with Podocarpus. These forest are protected
Assessedf as B1a,b (III) &B2ab;(III) CR (very limited area 8 sq km), C 2a( i) CR, (A may be relevant in the future if data show a steep decline in cloud forest extend)
Known from maximum fruiting mycelia within a very limited area (two sites) of the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Only found within a narrow zone in elfin forest/cloud forest of the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico. Species of Hygrocybe were formerly considered to be saprotrophic but recent data based on carbon isotopes suggest a biographic lifestyle of unknown type. A related species, Cuphophyllus virgineus, can be found as an endophyte in Plantago and can be dispersed within the seeds of the Plantago.
There are now data to show a dramatic prospected decline in the cloud forest cover of the island (Lodge pers.com.). The forest currently covers the very tips of the mountain range and there is thus no possibility for moving up the slope.
Cantrell, S.A. & Lodge, D.J. 2001. Hygrophoraceae (Agaricales) of the Greater Antilles: Hygrocybe subgenus Pseudohygrocybe section Firmae. Mycological Research 105(2): 215-224.