Gloiocephala quercetorum is reported from wet montane forests dominated by oak species in Colombia and Costa Rica at sites ranging from 1,800-3,000 m asl in elevation. It likely occurs in Panamanian oak forests, but has not yet been documented from there. It is reported as being saprotrophic on soil and litter, but this needs to be verified by stable isotopic analysis. It has been commonly encountered in small groups at the sites where it has been reported. A loss of habitat directly impacts G. quercetorum and it is estimated that the species has undergone rapid population decline in the past and that will continue into the future resulting in a population decline of around 30-40% in Colombia, the primary country that it inhabits. As the sites in Costa Rica are relatively stable while the sites in Colombia will continue to face significant threats and continued decline, the ongoing decline for the population of G. quercetorum is suspected to be between 20-25% over three generations. Therefore, it is listed as Near Threatened.
Gloiocephala quercetorum is a tiny, viscid and white agaric that has been reported from mountain areas under Quercus in Colombia and Costa Rica.
Gloiocephala quercetorum is a tiny, viscid and white agaric that grows in mountain areas with oak. There are not enough information about the trend of the population of G. quercetorum. However, habitat loss and degradation are the main threatened. Tropical forests dominated by Quercus are restricted to mountain areas with anthropic pressures due to land use change, deforestation, timber extraction causing a decrease in populations, fragmentation and loss of habitat quality.
Gloiocephala quercetorum is a saprotrophic fungus only known from oak-dominated forests in Colombia and Costa Rica (Halling and Mueller 2005, Vasco-Palacios and Franco-Molano 2013). This species is common near San Gerardo de Dota in the Talamanca mountains in Costa Rica in altitudes ranging from 1,800-3,000 masl (Halling and Mueller 2005). In Colombia, it has been found in mountain forests with Quercus humboldtii in Antioquia, Boyacá, Huila, Nariño, Santander and Tolima (Sierra-Toro et al. 2011, Vasco-Palacios and Franco-Molano 2013, Vargas and Restrepo 2019). There are Colombian specimens of the species housed in the herbarium at the University of Antioquia (HUA) and Fungi Collection of the Andes University (Andes-F)). Costa Rican material are housed at the National Museum (CR) and the herbarium of University of South Alabama (USAM) and University of Tennessee (TENN). It is possible that the species occurs in Quercus-dominated forests in Panama, but there are no reports.
Gloiocephala quercetorum is found growing in soil and litter. This saprotrophic species has only been reported from oak dominated forests in Costa Rica and Colombia. In Colombia it has been reported from different localities in Antioquia, Boyacá Tolima and Santander. Oak-forests have a wider distribution in Colombia, and this species likely occurs in other localities around the country. In Costa Rica, G. quercetorum is only known from 5 herbarium collections from a few scattered sites in the Cordillera Talamancas where it has been found in forests with Quercus costaricensis and Q. seemannii (Halling and Mueller 2005). There are no reports of the species occurring in Panama, but it may occur there.
There is no direct information that the population has declined, but a significant decline is inferred due to extensive past and ongoing habitat loss and decline in habitat quality. Further pressure and population reductions are expected to continue. Deforestation in Colombia has increased in recent years and is anticipated to continue into the future. Deforestation has increased in recent years, for example form 2015 to 2016 it increased by 44% (MinAmbiente 2017). The tropical wet mountain forests in Colombia have been categorized as Vulnerable (VU) in the Red List of Habitats (Etter et al. 2017) and nearly 38% has been lost in the last 20 years (Etter et al. 2006, Armenteras et al. 2011, MinAmbiente 2017, Nepstad et al. 2013). There is less data available to predict the decline of the species in Costa Rica. Parts of the Talamancas are protected in National parks, but other areas are privately held, and there is limited logging ongoing as well as commercial and housing developments. For the mountain areas where this species occurs, the total forest cover has not significantly changed in the last 20 years (MINAE et al. 2018).
A loss of habitat directly impacts G. quercetorum and it is estimated that the species has undergone rapid population decline in the past and that will continue into the future resulting in a population decline of around 30-40% in Colombia, the primary country that it inhabits. As the sites in Costa Rica are relatively stable while the sites in Colombia will continue to face significant threats and continued decline, the ongoing decline for the population of G. quercetorum is suspected to be between 20-25% over three generations.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Gloiocephala quercetorum is restricted to wet montane forests dominated by oak species in Colombia and Costa Rica in sites ranging from 1,800-3,000 m asl elevation. It is reported as being saprotrophic on soil and litter, but this needs to be verified by stable isotopic analysis. It has been commonly encountered in small groups at the sites where it has been reported.
The main known threat to Gloiocephala quercetorum is declining habitat and fragmentation resulting in a decrease in area and quality of wet mountain forests dominated by Quercus (Armenteras et al. 2011, Etter et al. 2017, MinAmbiente 2017). Anthropogenic pressure for land use change and urbanization continues. In Colombia there are several large mining initiatives being considered in the regions where the species has been reported and if they come to fruition they will have a significant negative impact. Deforestation in Colombia has increased in recent years and is anticipated to continue into the future. Due to a policy aimed at conserving remaining natural areas, there is a lower threat level for the species in Costa Rica (MINAE et al. 2018).
Habitat protection and improved forest management are needed. In Colombia, patches of wet tropical mountain forests with Quercus humboldtii occur in several protected sites, including the slopes of Nevados del Puracé and Huila, Parque Nacional Darién, Los Guacharos National Park, Corredor de Conservación de Robles Guantiva – La Rusia – Iguaque, and biological reserves on private land (Cárdenas and Salinas 2007). However, most of the habitat is unprotected and susceptible to deforestation or degradation. Fungi are not included in Colombian conservation and biodiversity policy and laws. The sites where this species occurs in Costa Rica are mostly protected.
Research is needed to evaluate population trends. Also more distributional data are needed, especially in Panama. While reported as saprotrophic, this should be verified through stable isotopic analysis. Studies with DNA are needed for phylogenetic inference and to provide information to enable identification of environmental samples required for molecular based ecology studies. A taxonomic review of the collections deposited in the Colombian and Costa Rican herbaria should be carried out as there are many unidentified agaric specimens.
There are no uses/trade of this species.
MinAmbiente“Bosques Territorios de Vida” la Estrategia Integral de Control a la Deforestación y Gestión de los Bosques
Etter, A., C. McAlpine, S. Phinn, D. Pullar, and H. Possingham. 2006. Unplanned land clearing of Colombian rainforests: Spreading like disease? Landscape and Urban Planning 77:240-254
Etter, A., Andrade, A., Saavedra, K. and Cortés, J., 2017. Actualización de la Lista Roja de los Ecosistemas Terrestres de Colombia: conocimiento del riesgo de ecosistemas como herramienta para la gestión. Biodiversidad.
Nepstad, D., Bezerra, T., Tepper, D., McCann, K., Stickler, C., McGrath, D.G. and Ruedas, A., 2013. Addressing agricultural drivers of deforestation in Colombia: Increasing land-based production while reducing deforestation, forest degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and rural poverty. Earth Innovation Institute, CA, USA, 158.
Aldana-Gómez R.; Franco-Molano A.E. 2001. A new species of Gloiocephala from Colombia. Mycotaxon. 80:447-452