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.
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 occurs in Dicymbe corymbosa (Fabaceae) and forests; it is known from the upper basins of the Potaro and Mazaruni rivers in the Pakaraima Mountains of Guyana. There are reports of this species from Colombia (A.M. Vasco-Palacios unpublished data), however the sequences have low genetic similarity to the Guyanan collections, and so we currently regard them as belonging to a separate species.
It has been reported from four sites in Guyana, with multiple localities at some sites:
1. Region 8 Potaro-Siparuni: Pakaraima Mountains, Upper Potaro River Basin, within 10 km radius of 5.301, -59.911, 710–750 m: 2 km southeast of base camp near Dicymbe plot 2; 3 km southwest of base camp near Dicymbe plot 3; 2.5 km southeast of base camp in mixed forest plot 2; 1 km northeast of base camp near Leon’s camp; 1.5 km east of Ayanganna airstrip on ironstone ridge north of Potaro River; vicinity of old Ayanganna airstrip; 1.5 km southeast of base camp in Dicymbe plot 1; 1 km west of base camp
2. Region 8 Potaro-Siparuni: ~4.5 h walk NE of Kopinang Village, near 5.05, -59.80, 640 m, on ground along creek in Dicymbe-dominated forest; Kopinang Mountain, SE slope along Kopinang-Orinduik Trail
3. Region 8 Potaro-Siparuni: 1.5 h walk S of Kopinang Village on steep slope, near 4.95, -59.88, 750–790 m, on ground under caesalpinioid legumes.
4. Region 7 Cuyuni-Mazuruni: Pakaraima Mountains, Upper Mazaruni River Basin, foothills immediately S of Mount Ayanganna, ~1 km W of Pong River, on ground in forest dominated by Inga, Dicymbe and Swartzia, near 5.467, -60.067, 550–600 m.
Based on the currently known sites, it has an EOO of 2,527.331 km2 and an AOO of 16 km2, however the true extent of its distribution is not known.
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. Given the records of a morphologically similar fungus from Colombia which appears to represent a different species, it is possible that there are multiple similar species in this group each with somewhat restricted ecological requirements and/or distributions.
It occurs frequently during the May-June rainy season, but not in large abundance.
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 exclusively found in Dicymbe corymbosa forests. “Scattered, caespitose, in pairs or rarely solitary in humus layers on lateritic ironstone soils in D. corymbosa-dominated forests; common throughout May–Jul rainy season; basidiomata persistent 1–3 wk. Known from the upper basins of the Potaro and Mazaruni rivers 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.
No conservation actions are currently in place for this species. Protection of habitat is needed. Potential impacts of harvesting on population genetics should be investigated.
Additional survey work to document the species’ distribution and abundance, taxonomy, and life history are needed, along with ascertaining the impacts of harvesting on population genetics.
This species is a prized wild edible. It fills an important dietary role seasonally for the Patamona people of Guyana (Henkel et al. 2004, 2011).
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.