Cantharellus solidus is a chanterelle mushroom of West Africa. It is currently only known from west Benin, and if it were to be restricted to that one site then it could potentially be listed as Critically Endangered. However, potential host species do have a wide range in West Africa and into Central Africa, so it could be more widespread than currently known. Even if it were to be more widespread, the rate of forest loss in West Africa in recent years has been rapid, and the species may be declining at a rate of 30-49% over 50 years (three generations). Therefore, this species at least qualifies as Vulnerable under criterion A4c. It is tentatively assessed as such, but if further survey effort finds the species to have a restricted range then it could warrant uplisting to a higher threat category.
Cantharellus solidus is currently only known from the region around Bassila in western Benin (see De Kesel et al. 2011). However, it has been found in forest with Berlinia grandiflora and Uapaca togoensis (De Kesel et al. 2011), and so further surveying work could find it to be widespread in West Africa.
Overall, primary forest in West Africa is disappearing rapidly (Butler 2006), and between 2000 and 2019 just under 20% of forest cover at 30% canopy cover was lost (based on the area from southern Senegal, through the Guinean forest to western Nigeria, and using World Resources Institute 2021). This species is suspected to be ectomycorrhizal, and so trends need to be looked at over a three generation period of 50 years (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). If this is extrapolated forward, and forest loss is suspected to continue for the next 30 years at a constant level, then the amount of canopy cover loss in this region could reach 47.5% over 50 years (three generations). Admittedly, it is difficult to accurately convert such canopy loss figures to population changes in fungi, and so further details need to be taken into account. Firstly, this species occurs in old growth riparian forest, so it could be more significantly impacted by any habitat degradation, and rates of forest cover loss have increased in recent years (World Resources Institute 2021). However, one potential host (Berlinia grandiflora) does also occur into Central Africa (Mackinder and Hargreaves 2017), so specific trends in West Africa may be slightly too high. Taking everything into account, if it is assumed that this species may be more widespread than its currently known range, then it is suspected that it may be declining at a rate of 30-49% over three generations (50 years).
While there is no quantitative information regarding population size, there are conflicting descriptions of its overall abundance, with De Kesel et al. (2011) describing it as locally abundant in the type description, while De Kesel et al. (2016) instead described it as rare. Further studies are, therefore, required.
Population Trend: Decreasing
This species occurs in old gallery forest containing Berlinia grandiflora and Uapaca togoensis (De Kesel et al. 2011).
There are many threats impacting forests in West Africa, which have severely reduced the area of primary forest since the beginning of the 21st Century. Such threats include logging, mining and land conversion for agriculture, all exacerbated by road construction (Butler 2006).
This species is currently only known from Forêt Classée de Bassila, Benin. Work to ensure that there is effective protection of this site will be important. Measures also need to be taken to try to reduce the amount of deforestation in West Africa, which would be likely to be driving rapid population declines in this species if it is found to be more widespread than just this site.
Survey work is required in West Africa in order to ascertain how widespread/restricted the species’ distribution may be, and to get a clearer idea of the abundance of the species.