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Boletopsis nothofagi J.A. Cooper & P. Leonard

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Scientific name
Boletopsis nothofagi
Author
J.A. Cooper & P. Leonard
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Thelephorales
Family
Bankeraceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2015-06-26
IUCN Red List Category
EN
IUCN Red List Criteria
B2ab(ii,iii,v); D
Assessors
Leonard, P.L., McMullan-Fisher, S., May, T., Buchanan, P. & Cooper, J.A.
Reviewers
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/80188388/95382635

Justification

Boletopsis nothofagi is an ectomycorrhizal fungus of wet forests with Nothofagus in New Zealand. This large, conspicuous and obviously rare fungus is a pored member of the Thelephorales. The number of known locations in New Zealand is two, based on both herbarium collections and observational records. Boletopsis nothofagi was  discovered and described after  the last review of the New Zealand Threat Classification System (Molloy et al. 2002). Its classification is currently under consideration by the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

The species is assessed as Endangered (EN) under criterion B. The extent of occurrence (B1) is estimated to be 5,000 km2 of available beech forest in an area encompassing the two known sites. The area of occupancy (B2) for the two subpopulations is estimated at 35 km2.  The populations meet the subcriteria (a) severely fragmented/few locations, with one subpopulation in the Orongorongo Valley in the Rimutaka Forest Park in North Island and the other at West Bay in the Nelson Lakes National park in South Island. There is also concern over a continuing decline in extent and quality of habitat fulfilling the subcriterion b(iii), as both known sites are open recreational areas under increasing visitor pressure as local populations increase (census increase of 6.4% in the Wellington region in the period 2006-2013). Both populations of B. nothofagi may be considered within the context of the recognised vulnerable Temperate Broadleaf Forest ecoregion of the northern part of New Zealand’s South Island, (http://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/aa0408).

The species are also  assessed as Endangered under criterion D  as the number of mature individuals is estimated to be less than 250 but higher than 50. This is a conservative estimate based on the number of known genotypes being only two, which is inferred to correspond to a maximum of 10 mature individuals (using a x 5 multiplier to convert to mature individuals (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011)). Recorders state that sightings consist of single clump of fruit-bodies at each site.


Taxonomic notes

The species is described by Cooper and Leonard (2012).

Note: This is an amended assessment produced to include J.A. Cooper as an Assessor; he was accidentally left off the original assessment.

Geographic range

Boletopsis nothofagi appears to be endemic to New Zealand. There are no other occurrences of any other species of Boletopsis in the southern hemisphere. The next closest record of Boletopsis is in Costa Rica.

Population and Trends

The first collection of B. nothofagi was made in 2009 and the species described 2012 (Cooper and Leonard 2012). Only two small subpopulations have been identified, one in the Orongorongo Valley in the Rimutaka Forest Park in North Island  and the other at West Bay in the Nelson Lakes National Park in South Island, both at New Zealand. The two subpopulations are separated by the Cook Strait and there is almost no suitable habitat that might be colonised in the area between the currently known location.

There has been extensive surveying by mycologists of the Thelephorales and other mycorrhizal fungi by Cunningham (1958 and 1963) between 1925 and 1945, by McNabb (1968) in the 1960s and by Horak (1971) between 1960 and 1990.New Zealand has a well-documented, if largely undescribed mycota, with national/international mycologists contributing to the PDD fungarium of over 100,000 collections. In addition New Zealand beech forests have come under increasing scrutiny over the last twenty years by annual week-long fungal forays (FUNNZ) attended by between 20-40 people generating over 12,000 observation records, and more recently Naturewatch New Zealand with 4,000 observers contributing 8,000 fungal records to date. From this extensive surveying there are no reports of B. nothofagi other than records from the two locations cited here. 

Boletopsis nothofagi is clearly a very rare fungus, It has only  been recorded at two locations despite extensive fungal surveying and having are unusually large and conspicuous sporocarps.

The number of mature individuals is estimated to be less than 250 but higher than 50. This is a conservative assessment based on the calculation that the number of known genotypes is only two which is estimated to correspond to a maximum of 10 mature individuals (using a x 5 multiplier to convert to mature individuals (Dahlberg and Mueller, 2011) and also taking unrecorded genotypes of B. nothofagi into account. Recorders state that sightings consist of single clump of fruit-bodies at each site.

There is concern about the decline of the habitat of B. nothofagi, as both known sites are open recreational areas under increasing visitor pressure as local populations increase (census increase of 6.4% in the Wellington region in the period 2006-2013). Both subpopulations of B. nothofagi may be considered within the context of the recognised vulnerable Temperate Broadleaf Forest ecoregion of the northern part of New Zealand’s South Island, (http://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/aa0408).








Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Boletopsis nothofagi form ectomycorrhiza with southern beech (Nothofagus) forests and associated with old Nothofagus trees growing in relatively open mature forest with a sparse understorey of Leptospermum scoparium.  Ground cover was dominated by lichens in the West Bay site and by mosses in Orongorongo.

Threats

The West Bay site lies within the Nelson Lakes National Park and thus receives protection from development. But the site is between a heavily used campsite and a quarry used to extract road fill and not far (200 meters) from a road which has recently seen construction works on a new bridge over the Buller River and a popular walking track. The Orongorongo site is within 5 meters of a well used walking and (cycling?) track. Both subpopulations may be vulnerable to the loss of a single mature tree due to storm, fire or disease.

There is concern over a decline of  the habitat of B. nothofagi, as both known sites are open recreational areas under increasing visitor pressure as local populations increase (census increase of 6.4% in the Wellington region in the period 2006-2013). Both subpopulations of B. nothofagi may be considered within the context of the recognised vulnerable Temperate Broadleaf Forest ecoregion of the northern part of New Zealand’s South Island, (http://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/aa0408).

Conservation Actions

The identification of the sites in the management plans for both locations would at least protect the species from direct or accidental destruction. Protecting ancient tree specimens and ensuring a succession would at least enhance the chances of the population’s survival. Better understanding of the biology and ecology of the Bankeraceae would be of great value but would perforce best be conducted in areas where the populations are more secure than these in New Zealand.

Use and Trade

The species is not eaten or used.

Source and Citation

Leonard, P.L., McMullan-Fisher, S., May, T., Buchanan, P. & Cooper, J.A. 2016. Boletopsis nothofagi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T80188388A95382635. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016.RLTS.T80188388A95382635.en .Downloaded on 30 January 2021

Country occurrence