Fuscoporia bifurcata is a lignicolous bracket fungus currently known only from the mangrove forests of Santa Catarina Island, Florianópolis, southern Brazil. It is expected to occur throughout the mangrove forests along the south-eastern and north-eastern Atlantic coast of Brazil. There are an estimated 300 sites, each potentially supporting an average of 50 mature individuals. Total population size is estimated at up to 15,000 mature individuals. The population is estimated to decline by at least 30-40% in the next 30 years, driven mainly by ongoing deforestation due to the expansion of shrimp farming and urban occupation and habitat loss due to sea-level rise as a consequence of climate change. Given the anticipated rapid continued population decline over the next 30 years, the species is assessed as Vulnerable.
Fuscoporia bifurcata is macromorphologically similar to F. gilva and F. callimorpha, but can be distinguished by its bifurcate setae and larger spores. It differs in habitat, growing exclusively on mangroves.
Fuscoporia bifurcata is a polypore currently known only from the mangrove forests of Santa Catarina Island, Florianópolis, Southern Brazil, but it is expected to occur throughout the mangrove forests of the southern-eastern and northeastern Atlantic coast of Brazil. Mangroves are an endangered biome, both by direct anthropogenic activity and climate change. The species is assessed as VU under criterion A3c.
Fuscoporia bifurcata is currently known only from the mangrove forests of Santa Catarina Island, Florianópolis, Southern Brazil. It is expected occur throughout the mangrove forests along the south-eastern and north-eastern Atlantic coast of Brazil.
Fuscoporia bifurcata is currently known from 8 collections found at 4 sites on Santa Catarina Island, southern Brazil. It is expected to occur along the south-eastern and north-eastern Atlantic coast of Brazil, growing in fragmented small patches of mangrove. There are an estimated 300 sites, each potentially supporting an average of 50 mature individuals. The total population is estimated to be no more than 15,000 mature individuals.
A population decline of at least 30-40% is suspected over the the next 30 years driven by habitat loss due to sea-level rise as a result of climate change, deforestation and pollution from the expansion of shrimp farming and urban development.
Population Trend: Decreasing
The species is saprobic and lignicolous. It is currently only known from living and dead trunks of Avicennia schaueriana and Laguncularia racemosa growing in mangrove forests along the Brazilian Coast.
Awareness of mangrove importance and the necessity for the conservation of this biome has increased in the last decades. In fact, 87% of the ecosystem in Brazil is within conservation units (ICMBIO 2018). Still, mangroves have lost more than 25% of their original area in the country, and Brazil’s population is heavily concentrated in coastal areas. Mangrove areas where cities have been established are usually under heavy pollution and other stress factors. Shrimp farming poses the highest short-term threat to mangrove forests, especially in Brazil’s north-east, as large areas are cleared and converted to shrimp farming tanks, and chemical spills damage adjacent remaining mangroves. According to the Brazilian Mangrove Atlas (2018), 36,000 ha of mangrove forests were converted to shrimp farms between 2013 and 2016. Moreover, mangroves are one of the fastest changing environments in face of climate change (Loarie et al. 2009). Due to rising sea-levels, mangroves migrate inland, however, that is only possible when changes occur slowly enough and when there are appropriate conditions (Mcleod et al. 2006). In areas already occupied by roads, agricultural fields, urbanization, etc., and areas where the topography is not appropriate, mangroves will not survive rising sea-levels.
About 87% of Brazil’s mangrove areas are in conservation units. However many of these sites are in urban areas or in river basins affected by human activities, especially pollution by sewage and heavy metals from industrial activities. Regulations and improvements of water treatment systems are needed to maintain the health of mangroves. Also, enforcement of regulation for developments and effluent treatment from shrimp farms is needed to reduce further damage. Restoration of abandoned shrimp farms back into mangroves could also help mitigate damage.
Research is needed to better understand the species’ actual distribution and its ecology, as well as the influence of anthropogenic activities such as pollution on its biology. There is also a need for revision of herbaria material housed under the name of the macromorphologically similar Fuscoporia gilva (and its synonyms, such as Phellinus gilvus), which could result in new records of F. bifurcata being identified.
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