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Aegis luteocontexta (Ryvarden & de Meijer) Westph.

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Scientific name
Aegis luteocontexta
Author
(Ryvarden & de Meijer) Westph.
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Polyporales
Family
Phanerochaetaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2020-04-01
IUCN Red List Category
VU
IUCN Red List Criteria
C1
Assessors
Bittencourt, F., Calle, A., Drechsler-Santos, E.R., da Cunha, K.M., Kossmann, T., Sandoval-Leiva, P. & Vasco-Palacios, A.M.
Reviewers
Mueller, G.M.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/172817975/172861292

Justification

Aegis luteocontexta is a conspicuous saprotrophic polypore species that was described 18 years ago. It is known from only 13 records distributed in 3 countries: Brazil, Costa Rica and Guyana. There are 3 subpopulations, one each in the Atlantic Forest of South and South-east Brazil, in rainforest mono-dominated by Dicymbe corymbosa of Guyana, and Mesoamerican forests of Costa Rica. The species has not been reported from the Amazon region of Brazil, but since it has been reported from Guyana, it likely occurs there. In the areas that have been intensively sampled, the species is rarely encountered and only 2-3 mature individuals occur at each site. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that it is rare throughout its range. Even though the area of potential suitable habitat is very large, the total population size is estimated to be no more than 6,000-9,000 mature individuals. This was calculated from an estimated 3,000 potential sites, each with 2-3 mature individuals. All three subpopulations occur in threatened Neotropical forests, which are declining in area and quality through continued deforestation, increase in fire frequency and intensity, and impacts of climate change (Myers et al. 2000, INPE 2020). The number of individuals is estimated to be smaller now than they were in the past, and the decline is predicted to continue into the future, with a projected decline in population size of at least 10% over the next 20 years, which covers three generations of this species. It is listed as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic notes

Aegis luteocontexta was originally described by Ryvarden and Meijer (2002) as Antrodiella lueteocontexta Ryvarden and Meijer 2002. It would be a Trametopsis based only on morphological characters (Gomez-Montoya et al. 2017); however, using phylogenetic analysis the species was transferred to Aegis by Westphalen et al. (2019).

Geographic range

The species has been reported from the Atlantic Forests of South and South-east Brazil, including São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul (Ryvarden and Meijer 2002, Meijer 2006, 2008, Gomez-Montoya et al. 2017, Pires et al. 2017, Westphalen et al. 2019); Dicymbe corymbosa-dominated rainforests of Pakaraima Mountains, Guyana (part of Amazon Forest) (Aime et al. 2007); and Mesoamerican forests of Costa-Rica (Ruiz-Boyer 2006). The subpopulations of Guyana and Southern Brazil are separated by nearly 3,500 km, while the subpopulations of Costa Rica and Guyana are separated by approximately 2,700 km. The Extent of Occurrence (EOO) of this species is estimated to be 6,620,975 km², based on the polygon formed by the known localities. There are at least eight localities of large area within the South-Southeast Brazilian subpopulation. The species has not been reported from the Amazon region of Brazil, but since it has been reported from Guyana, it likely occurs there. In the areas that have been intensively sampled, the species is rarely encountered and only 2-3 mature individuals occur at each site.

Population and Trends

Only three subpopulations are currently known for Aegis luteocontexta: one in Southern Brazil, with the highest number of the samples; and one each in Costa Rica and Guyana. There are only 13 known collections of the species, 11 from Brazil and one sample each from the other two countries. In the Southern Brazil subpopulation some collection points are separated by over 100 km, but the species likely occurs at additional sites within the region. As the species is conspicuous but has only been found very few times, even in sites that have been intensively sampled, Aegis luteocontexta is considered a rare species. Subpopulations were defined for this species using the circular buffer method with a scale of 1/10th max (Rivers et al. 2010). There are at least eight sites of large area within the Southern Brazilian subpopulation. The species has not been reported from the Amazon region of Brazil, but since it has been reported from Guyana, it likely occurs there. In the areas that have been intensively sampled, the species is rarely encountered and only 2-3 mature individuals occur at each site. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that it is rare throughout its range. Even though the area of potential suitable habitat is very large, the total population size is estimated to be no more than 6,000-9,000 mature individuals. This was calculated from an estimated 3,000 potential sites, each with 2-3 mature individuals. 
All three subpopulations occur in threatened Neotropical forests, which are declining in area and quality through continued deforestation, increase in fire frequency and intensity, and impacts of climate change (Myers et al. 2000, INPE 2020). The subpopulation with the largest estimated number of individuals occurs in the Atlantic Forest domain, of which less than 30% of its natural coverage remains today (Rezende et al. 2018). The number of individuals are estimated to be smaller now than they were in the past, and the decline is predicted to continue into the future, with a projected decline in population size of at least 10% over the next 20 years, which covers three generations of this species.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

The species has been reported from multiple areas of neotropical rainforests: Atlantic Forest of South and South-east Brazil, Dicymbe corymbosa-dominated rainforests of Guyana and Mesoamerica nforests of Costa Rica. It likely occurs in the Amazon region as well. The species is saprotrophic, growing on dead wood and causing white rot. There are no data suggesting substrata specificity beyond growing on small branches of dead decomposing trees.

Threats

All three subpopulations occur in areas regarded as biodiversity Hotspots for conservation priorities due to their high diversity, endemism rates and habitat loss (Myers et al. 2000). These areas continue to be threatened with further decline due to land use changes, deforestation, and ‘savannization’ of tropical forests of South America due to climate change in the next decades (Salazar et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions

There is a need for habitat conservation and better management, including enhanced public policies, based on conservation plans. Additional mycological surveys are needed in additional sites of Atlantic Forest and the Amazon to identify more subpopulations and to better understand its biology. Revisions of existing herbarium specimens may reveal additional records of this species and help clarify its distribution.

Use and Trade

There is no known use/trade of this species.

Source and Citation

Bittencourt, F., Calle, A., Drechsler-Santos, E.R., da Cunha, K.M., Kossmann, T., Sandoval-Leiva, P. & Vasco-Palacios, A.M. 2020. Aegis luteocontexta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T172817975A172861292. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T172817975A172861292.en .Accessed on 31 January 2022

Country occurrence