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Podoserpula miranda Ducousso, S. Proust, D. Vigier & Eyssart.

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Scientific name
Podoserpula miranda
Author
Ducousso, S. Proust, D. Vigier & Eyssart.
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Boletales
Family
Amylocorticiaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2019-07-25
IUCN Red List Category
CR
IUCN Red List Criteria
C2a(ii)
Assessors
Leonard, P.L.
Reviewers
Mueller, G.M.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/154605211/154605228

Justification

Podoserpula miranda is a distinctive species, easy to identify in the field. Its distribution is limited; it is found only in an area located in the south of Grande Terre. Most reports of the species are from the area from the Col des deux Tétons to the hydraulic dam of Yate and the botanical reserve of the Pic du Grand Kaori. There are a few outlying records at Bogota. However, taking into account potential disperal distances, these are all considered to represent a single subpopulation. The species grows exclusively on the base of the trunk of Oak Gums (Arillastrum gummiferum (Brongn. & Gris) Pancher ex Baill). The sites it occupies are largely unmanaged and undergoing change due to fire and disturbance by feral pigs.

Due to the limited amount of suitable habitat and lack of sightings of this distinctive species it is probably truly rare, with the number of mature individuals is estimated to be between 80-240, all within a single subpopulation, and continuing decline. It is therefore assessed as Critically Endangered C2a(ii).

Geographic range

Podoserpula miranda is a New Caledonia endemic restricted to the southern half of the country and known only from from five sites, four proximate and one approximately 80 km distant. It has been found exclusively at the base of Arillastrum gummiferum (Oak Gum) which is restricted to the south half of the island.

Population and Trends

The species is only known from eleven sporocarps recorded from five sites in southern New Caledonia: two from near Bogota, and nine from sites occurring 80 km distant (1 at Lac de Yate, 2 at Pic de Grand Kauri, 6 at Bois du Sud). Suitable habitat for this species is restricted to this area of the country. Due to the limited amount of suitable habitat and lack of sightings of this distinctive species it is probably truly rare. It is estimated that it occurs at no more than 20 sites, with each site only having 2-3 functional individuals (mycelia), each representing 2-4 mature individuals. The number of mature individuals is estimated to be between 80-240, all within a single subpopulation. Fire frequency and intensity continues to increase, leading to a inferred continuing decline in the species' population.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Podoserpula miranda grows exclusively at the base trunks of Oak Gums (Arillastrum gummiferum (Brongn. & Gris) Pancher ex Baill). It is potentially parasitic. The habitat is largely unmanaged and undergoing change due to fire.

It only forms sporocarps during El Nino events, requiring a significant increase in rainfall compared to normal years.

Threats

Only a very small portion of the original forest cover of New Caledonia remains. Clearing in the past for timber and to create grazing and agricultural land has destroyed much of the forest cover. Wild fires and open cast mining have also accounted for extensive losses. What remains is now partially protected by Botanical Reserves and National Parks. There is however virtually no active management to encourage regeneration or to discourage invasive species.

Pigs are very numerous throughout New Caledonia’s forests. There are also established populations of feral cattle and horses in parts of New Caledonia. All these introduced species cause damage to native forests, in particular through selective grazing which impedes regeneration, changes species composition and through nutrient enrichment and digging (pigs) and compaction (horses and cattle). Additionally, fires continue to occur frequently throughout the area where this species occurs.

Conservation Actions

A key conservation action required is raising national recognition of the role of fungi in the ecology of forests and including references to fungi in management plans. More effective control of feral animals is needed.

Research on the effects of feral animals on vegetation in the country is ongoing but needs to be extended to cover fungal populations.

Use and Trade

This species is not utilised.

Source and Citation

Leonard, P.L. 2019. Podoserpula miranda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T154605211A154605228. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T154605211A154605228.en .Downloaded on 30 January 2021

Country occurrence