Fomitiporia atlantica is a rare species, endemic to Dense Ombrophilous forests in thhe Atlantic Forest of Southern Brazil. Its population is estimated to be between 10,000 and 20,000 individuals all within one subpopulation. Its habitat is under an array of various threats and the species population is negatively impacted by this habitat loss and degradation. We infer that F. atlantica has had a decline of ca. 26% over the past 50 years (three generations) and this decline is ongoing. Fomitiporia atlantica is assessed as NT A3;C1+2a(ii).
Fomitiporia atlantica was recently described based on (Li et al. 2016). It bears similarities with its sister species, F. subtilissima, and also species of F. apiahyna complex, but is readily recognizable by its robust and imbricate basidiomata and large spores.
Fomitiporia atlantica is a recently described species, phylogenetically related to F. subtilissima and F. apiahyna complexes (Li et al. 2016). While this group of polypores received great attention in the last decades (i.e. Amalfi et al. 2012, Amalfi & Decock 2013, Amalfi et al. 2014, Alves-Silva et al. 2020), F. atlantica is still only known for two sites, and one of them is now occupied due to urbanization.
Fomitiporia atlantica is endemic to the Atlantic Forest of Southern Brazil. Only two sites of occurrence are currently known: Parque Natural Municipal São Francisco de Assis in Blumenau, Santa Catarina; and São Salvador, Montenegro, Rio Grande do Sul. These two sites are part of the same vegetational domain, the Atlantic Forest, but are 390 km apart. Despite continuous surveys on a nearby and large protected area, Parque Nacional da Serra do Itajaí, as well other National Parks of Santa Catarina, no additional records were made. Further fungarium revisions revealed that one specimen collected by Rick in 1944 is Fomitiporia atlantica, from a site that now corresponds to an urbanized area. Its role as a plant pathogen suggests specificity with a host species or taxon that may influence its distribution but any specificity remains unknown.
This species is endemic to the Atlantic Forest domain of Southern Brazil. While many localities in this domain have been and continue to be sites surveyed for polypores, this species has been recorded from only two sites, suggesting that the species is rare and locally endemic. This species may be a plant pathogen, and uncovering its host species or group of species could clarify its population trends.
The two sites are in Dense Ombrophilous forests in Parque Natural Municipal São Francisco de Assis in Blumenau, Santa Catarina (five samples), and São Salvador, Montenegro, Rio Grande do Sul (one sample). These two sites are 390 km apart, but are part of the the same vegetational domain, the Atlantic Forest. There is an estimated 300 to 500 potential sites the species may occur in throughout the Dense Ombrophilous forests of Southern Brazil. The population is estimated at between 10,000 to 20,000 mature individuals within one subpopulation.
Atlantic Forest suffered severe habitat loss which continues due to an array of threats. Population decline is inferred in due to loss of suitable habitat (Silva et al. 2020) and the influence that habitat degradation has on species occupation in a given environment (Berglund & Jonsson 2002, Haddad et al. 2015). We infer that F. atlantica has had a decline of ca. 26% over the past 50 years (three generations) and this decline is ongoing.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Fomitiporia atlantica is a polypore endemic to Dense Ombrophilous forests in the Atlantic Costal domain of Southern Brazil. This species is found decaying recently dead hardwood stumps and trunks. Although it is found on dead wood, some species of Fomitiporia and other Hymenochaetaceae genera have some level of host species specializations, and F. atlantica is likely to be a pathogen on standing trees before the tree’s death.
The species is restricted to the Brazilian Coastal Atlantic Forest which is known to be undergoing exceptional loss of habitat due to human occupation, land use changes, deforestation and fire (Myers 2000). Other threats to the Atlantic Forest include introduction of invasive species and the interaction between these factors (Pinto et al. 2006). Also, the reduction and ‘savannization’ of Atlantic Forest is expected due to climate change in the next decades (Salazar et al. 2007).
The main actions to prevent the decline of the species is the protection of its habitat by the implementation of protected areas and enforcement of public policies to maintain and appropriately manage high quality sites and recover secondary forests. Additional sites where this species may occur must be considered as priority areas for this species conservation. Its host, if restricted, may clarify its threats.
Additional surveys at other sites of Atlantic Forest are needed to confirm F. atlantica distribution. Revision of fungarium specimens may reveal additional records and sites of occurrence. Fomitiporia atlantica may play a role as plant pathogen, and research on its potential host species or group of taxa may clarify its distribution range and threats.
No use or trade is known for this species.
Alves-Silva, G., Reck, M. A., da Silveira, R. M. B., Bittencourt, F., Robledo, G. L., Góes-Neto, A., & Drechsler-Santos, E. R. (2020). The Neotropical Fomitiporia (Hymenochaetales, Basidiomycota): the redefinition of F. apiahyna s.s. allows revealing a high hidden species diversity. Mycological Progress, 19(8), 769-790.
Amalfi, M., & Decock, C. (2013). Fomitiporia castilloi sp. nov. and evidences for multiples clades around F. apiahyna in Meso-and South America, representing potential spec. Mycologia, 105(6), 1.
Amalfi, M., Robledo, G., & Decock, C. (2014). Fomitiporia baccharidis comb. nov., a little known species from high elevation Andean forests and its affinities within the neotropical Fomitiporia lineages. Mycological progress, 13(4), 1075-1087.
Li, G. J., Hyde, K. D., Zhao, R. L., Hongsanan, S., Abdel-Aziz, F. A., Abdel-Wahab, M. A., ... & Maharachchikumbura, S. S. (2016). Fungal diversity notes 253–366: taxonomic and phylogenetic contributions to fungal taxa. Fungal diversity, 78(1), 1-237.
Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, Fonseca GA, Kent J (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403(6772): 853-858.
Pinto LP, Bede LC, Paese A, Fonseca M, Paglia AP, Lamas I (2006) Mata Atlântica brasileira: Os desafios para a conservação da biodiversidade de um hotspot mundial. In: Rocha CFD, Bergallo HG, Sluys MV, Alves MAS. Biologia da conservação: Essências (ed. 1). Rima Editora. 91-118.
Rezende CL, Scarano FR, Assad ED, Joly CA, Metzger JP, Strassburg BBN, Tabarelli M, Fonseca GA, Mittermeier RA (2018) From hotspot to hopespot: An opportunity for the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 16 (4): 208-214.
Salazar LF, Nobre CA, Oyama MD (2007) Climate change consequences on the biome distribution in tropical South America. Geophysical Research Letters 34(9).