This species is associated with a habitat that is under threat as a result of land use change, invasive species, habitat quality reduction through feral animals. Repeated survey of known sites has not resulted in any further observations. With a population of 200 at 12 existing and potentially undiscovered sites we assess the species as endangered under B2b & c and D1.
Russula littorea Pennycook
Some records are under McNabb’s earlier illegitimate name of R. littoralis
Proposed by Pat Leonard. Uncommon species known from 11 records from 6 locations. A single outlier in SI of New Zealand has been excluded pending confirmation. Extent of Occurrence 96,772.377 km2 Area of Occupancy 44.000 km2
Found in North and South Islands of New Zealand
The known population of this species is of 10 collections although some of those are doubtful as they are recorded as being with Nothofagus..
There is an increase in the records made between 2000 and 2010 when Cooper and Leonard were reviewing Russula. There has been annual surveys of two known sites for this fungus and no repeat observations have been made in 15 years. There is only a single post 2010 record. 10 functional individuals represent 100 mature individuals at 6 sites. Given the level of survey for this genus we think it reasonably to propose that there might be double the existing number of sites resulting in a population of 200 at 12 sites.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Russula littorea is a mycorrhizal fungus associating with Leptospermum and possibly also with Kunzea.
Most of the sites for this fungus are not protected and in one of the sites where the fungus has been recorded the habitat has been destroyed by recreational improvements. The host tree is under threat from land use change for farming and forestry, by invasive species and by grazing by cattle, sheep and pigs which lead to soil compaction and nutrient enrichment. The locations where this fungus has been found represent a severely fragmented habitat.
Recognition of the species might prevent damage to its habitat in protected sites through its inclusion in management plans.
Dahlberg A. and Mueller G.M. (2011) Applying IUCN red-listing criteria for assessing and reporting on the conservation status of fungal species. Fungal Ecology 4: 147-162.
Geospatial Conservation Assessment Tool: geocat.kew.org
Global Biodiversity Information Facility: gbif.org
Manaaki Whenau - Landcare Research databases: https://nzfungi2.landcareresearch.co.nz/
McNabb, R.F.R. (1971): The Russulaceae of New Zealand. 1. Lactarius DC ex S.F. Gray. New Zealand Journal of Botany 9(1): 46-66.