This species is known from several sites in Guyana, where a tiny fraction of its possible suitable habitat has been surveyed. It has also been reported from Colombia. Potential host plants occur in a large region encompassing parts of Venezuela, northern Brazil and southeast Colombia. This entire region is very under-sampled, being very remote and completely unsurveyed. In total approximately 0.002% of its potential suitable habitat has been surveyed for fungi. It is not possible to estimate population size or trends, EOO, or AOO. Increasing threats from timber and mineral extraction, and land use changes are anticipated, with the potential for these to be rapid if further road construction occurs. It is therefore assessed as Data Deficient, and further survey work in this region is urgently needed.
Macro- and micromorphology, ecology, and sequence data from the ITS and 28S confirm the generic placement of C. kunmudlutsa.
The fruiting bodies of this fungus play a seasonally important dietary role Patamona people of Guyana. This species is new to science and endemic to Guyana. This species should be considered for the Global Red List Assessment due to its cultural value as a prized edible, and its narrow geographic endemism.
This species is exclusively found in Dicymbe corymbosa forests.
In Guyana, it has been recorded from three sites, in Region 8 Potaro-Siparuni, with multiple records from one of the sites:
1. Pakaraima Mountains, Upper Potaro River Basin, within 10 km radius of 5.301, -59.911, 710–750 m: 0.4 km southwest of base camp near confluence of Blackwater Creek and Potaro River; 3.5 km west of base camp near Dicymbe plot 3; vicinity of base camp; 1.5 km east of base camp near Leon’s camp on white sand soils; 2.5 km west of base camp near Dicymbe plot 3 on grey sands; vicinity of old Ayanganna airstrip on white sand soils; west side of old Ayanganna airstrip; 1.5 km west of base camp near Dicymbe plot 3; 2.5 km southeast of base camp near Dicymbe plot 1.
2. Kopinang Mountain, SE slope along Kopinang- Orinduik Trail, 1.5 h walk S of Kopinang Village on steep slope, near 4.95, -59.88, 750–790 m, on ground under caesalpinioid legumes.
3. ~4.5 h walk NE of Kopinang Village, near 5.05, -59.80, 640 m, on ground along creek in Dicymbe-dominated forest.
In Colombia, this species has been reported in the Amazon region from one site White sand forests with Dicymbe uaipirensis, but this collection is yet to be verified by sequencing. This is the only forest in which the fungal community has been studied in Colombia. The coordinates of the records are 4.009, -69.894 and 4.006, -69.899.
Based on these known sites, it has an EOO of 6590 km2 and an AOO of 16 km2, but its full distribution is unknown.
This entire region is very under-sampled, and there are areas in neighbouring Venezuela, northern Brazil and southeast Colombia with similar habitats but which are very remote and completely unsurveyed.
When present, it occurs predictably and in enough abundance to be targeted by indigenous people as a wild collected food. It appears “exclusively under Dicymbe corymbosa, in infrequent but gregarious patches during the early to mid May-June rainy season.” (Henkel et al. 2004).
This species is reported from one site in Colombia: this is the only white sand forest with Dicymbe uaipirensis which has been studied in Colombia. It was collected twice, in 2011 and 2012, from the same plot, and the collections are likely to represent different individuals.
It may be a common ectomycorrhizal associate of Dicymbe across the wider Guiana Shield region, however this is unknown. It is therefore not possible to estimate how many additional sites it could be found at, and therefore its population size is entirely unknown.
Population Trend: Uncertain
This species is an obligately ectomycorrhizal symbiont of Dicymbe corymbosa (Fabaceae). The report from Colombia was with Dicymbe uaiparuensis. It occurs preferentially in Dicymbe forests on white sand soils. “Scattered to occasionally gregarious on sandy soils, more rarely on lateritic clay soils, in rainforest dominated by D. corymbosa; common throughout May–Jul rainy season; basidiomata persistent 1–3 wk. Known from the Upper Potaro Basin east of Mount Ayanganna and east of Kopinang Mountain in the Pakaraima Mountains of Guyana.” (Henkel et al. 2011).
Current threats include climate change and small-scale mineral extraction that can cause habitat disturbance and water pollution although these threats are currently not thought to be severe as much of the interior of the region is very remote. Future threats from timber and mineral extraction, and land use changes are anticipated, with the potential for these to be rapid if further road construction occurs. Further impacts of climate change, particularly droughts, are also anticipated. In Colombia, white sand forests are distributed in patches of 1 to 10 ha.
No conservation actions are currently in place for this species. Protection of habitat is needed.
Additional survey work to document the species’ distribution and abundance, taxonomy, and life history are needed. Potential impacts of harvesting on population genetics should be investigated. Given the recent report from Colombia, the collection should be sequenced to confirm whether it is the same species. If so, it may be significantly more widespread, and so further surveys in the intervening area are needed to clarify this.
This species is a prized wild edible. It fills an important dietary role seasonally for the Patamona people of Guyana. “Clavulina kunmudlutsa is one of the most prized edible fungi of the Patamona Amerindians of the central Pakaraima Mountains (Henkel et al. 2004).” (Henkel et al. 2011).
Henkel, Terry W., et al. “Edible Mushrooms from Guyana.” Mycologist, vol. 18, no. 3, 2004, pp. 104–111., doi:10.1017/s0269915x04003027.
Henkel, Terry W., et al. “New Species and Distribution Records of Clavulina (Cantharellales, Basidiomycota) from the Guiana Shield.” Mycologia, vol. 103, no. 4, 2011, pp. 883–894., doi:10.3852/10-355.