This species has a restricted range in the Polylepis australis forest of the Cordoba High Mountains of Argentina. It is only known from two sites, and the overall population size is estimated to be very small (100-200 mature individuals) and in decline. Therefore, this species is listed as Critically Endangered.
There are no synonyms reported.
Gasteroid fungi are a very well documented group in central and northern Argentina. Most species present wide distribution ranges bus this species was only recorded prom its type location, in the central forests dominated by the endemic tree Polylepis australis, which ins endangered due to reduction, invasion and cattle load.
It is restricted to Polylepis australis mature woodlands from Cordoba High Mountains in central Argentina.
Materials were collected at: Dpto. San Javier: (1) Quebrada El Hueco (i.e. 31º58’33’‘S, 64º57’42’‘W) and (2) Quebrada del Tigre (i.e. 32º00’39.3’‘S, 64º57’33.3’‘W).
Given the intense sampling efforts and the fact that no further reports were made, we can assume that the population, measured in fruiting bodies, is small. This is also supported by revisions of herbarium materials of gasteroid fungi from the surrounding provinces without matches with this species. The species seem to be restricted to the Polylepis australis forests. Assuming that there could be 5 to 10 times as many sites for this species within its restricted habitat, and that there could be up to 10 mature individuals per site, an overall population size of 100-200 mature individuals is estimated. This extremely small population is considered to be in decline due to ongoing habitat deterioration and fragmentation.
Population Trend: Decreasing
It is saprotrophic on soil and litter in dry Polylepis australis forests.
This species is impacted by soil and litter modification caused by heavy invasions of non-native plants. Ligustrum lucidum and Pyracantha coccinea are the main tree species invading these forests and research shows that at least L . lucidum heavily modifies the substrate conditions. Agricultural expansion could also be an issue causing habitat fragmentation.
Strict measures are needed to control the advance of the invasive species without compromising the gene flow between forest patches. Conservation of remaining forest patches would also be beneficial.
There are many ongoing research lines on invasive species in this area but actions involving citizens would help improve the chances, since a massive effort is needed to control these species. Further research on the abundance of this species would be very useful to determine whether the species may be more abundant than precautionarily estimated here.
There are no uses recorded.
Hernandez Caffot, M. L., Domínguez, L. S., Hosaka, K., & Crespo, E. M. (2011). Tulostoma domingueziae sp. nov. from Polylepis australis woodlands in Cordoba Mountains, central Argentina. Mycologia, 103(5), 1047-1054.
Renison, D., Cuyckens, G. A., Pacheco, S., Guzmán, G. F., Grau, H. R., Marcora, P., ... & Bellis, L. (2013). Distribución y estado de conservación de las poblaciones de árboles y arbustos del género Polylepis (Rosaceae) en las montañas de Argentina. Ecología austral. 23(1):27-36