Too little is currently known about distribution, and total population of this species.
Based on current data, it appears to be a rare species, but large swaths of habitat have not been surveyed for this species. Therefore I recommenced listing as Data Deficient.
Cantharellus quercophilus was described from a collection made in Burleson County, Texas, USA (Buyck et al. 2010).
Cantharellus quercophilus differs from typical C. cibarius like taxa by strong contrast between a pale hymenophore and the darker pileus and stipe. Also it has a strong and rapid yellowing of the context when handled and a distinct purplish-lilac tinge of the sectional context, and growth in southern oak forests.
Cantharellus quercophilus is a rare species, with two locations known from Texas associated with Post Oak (Quercus stellata), and a handful of records from the Gainesville, Florida area.
Currently known from two locations in Texas; the Type collection from Caldwell, Burleson County (Buyck et al. 2010), and two observations on Mushroom Observer from Washington County, ~40 miles from the type collection. Two voucher collections which were sequenced (MyCoPortal 2021) and additional photographic records (Mushroom Observer 2021) come from Gainesville, Florida. Oak woodland habitat is nearly continuous in between these locations, but extensive study of Cantharellus from the western Gulf Coast region has not turned up any other populations.
Known populations of Cantharellus quercophilus are highly disjunct, and apparently rarely fruit. Repeated visits have been made to the Type location in Burleson Co., Texas, since it was collected in 2007, but have seen it since (David P. Lewis personal communication). And work by D. Lewis and B. Buyck in Texas and the Gulf States have not found it at, despite extensive collecting of Cantharellus in the region. Mycologists in Oklahoma collecting in similar habitats has not observed this species.
Little is known about the preferred habitat of Florida collections, other that they came from urban areas with oaks.
More data is needed to assess trends and habitat requirements of this species.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Cantharellus quercophilus is ectomycorrhizal with oaks, and possibly other hardwoods. The Type collection was found in Post oak (Quercus stellata) savanna in sandy soil (Buyck et al. 2010). The Florida collections were under oak (Quercus spp) in sandy soil, in an urbanized area.
Cantharellus quercophilus remains poorly known, more data is needed to better understand habitat requirements and restraints.
Cantharellus quercophilus is a mycorrhizal fungus species so it is dependent on living host trees for population viability. This mutually beneficial symbiotic association between fungus and plant host roots conveys numerous critical advantages for plant host survival. Mycorrhizal fungi are essentially the uptake organs for many nutrients i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, numerous micronutrients, i.e., boron, selenium, copper, and plays a major role in uptake of water. Both the fungus and the plant host does not exist in nature without each other.
Severe drought may impact populations due to tree mortality. Another problem is the destruction of habitat due to feral hogs and cattle grazing; especially problematic in the Texas populations. Development and urbanization of habitat near the Florida populations could lead to loss of suitable habitat.
Identify and protect populations.
Targeted surveys for Cantharellus quercophilus in Post oak woodlands through eastern Texas and Oklahoma, and oak woodlands in Florida.
Most Cantharellus species are edible, but this species is likely too rare to be targeted as an edible.
Buyck, B., Lewis, D.P., Eyssartier, G. and Hofstetter, V. 2010. Cantharellus quercophilus sp. nov. and its comparison to other small, yellow or brown American chanterelles. Cryptogamie Mycologie 31: 17–33.
Mushroom Observer. 2021. http://www.mushroomoberver.org. Accessed on March 04.
MyCoPortal. 2021. http://mycoportal.org/portal/index.php. Accessed on March 04.