Cantharellus guineensis is currently only known from one site in west Benin. Forest cover in West Africa has declined rapidly over recent years, and if the species were to be restricted to this one site it could be at an extremely high risk of extinction. However, its potential host tree (Berlinia grandiflora) is fairly widespread in West Africa, and into Central Africa. Even if C. guineensis does occur throughout this range, though, it appears to favour old growth riparian forest and so could be sensitive to habitat degradation. Given the high rate of forest cover loss in West Africa over recent years, an ongoing decline of 30-49% is suspected over three generations (50 years). Therefore, C. guineensis is assessed as Vulnerable A4c.
Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?
Currently this species is only known from the type locality in Forêt Classée de Bassila, Benin (De Kesel et al. 2016). However, it is noted to be present in riparian woodland containing Berlinia grandiflora, and this tree species is fairly widespread in West Africa, and into Central Africa (Mackinder and Hargreaves 2017).
Population and Trends
Primary forest in West Africa is disappearing rapidly (Butler 2006). 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). As a suspected ectomycorrhizal species, 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). It is difficult to accurately convert such canopy loss figures to population changes in fungi. However, further details need to be taken into account. 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); but at the same time its potential host (Berlinia grandiflora) does also occur into Central Africa (Mackinder and Hargreaves 2017). 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).
Population Trend: Decreasing
Habitat and Ecology
At the type locality this species is known from old gallery forest and riparian woodland with Berlinia grandiflora (De Kesel et al. 2016).
There are a suite of threats impacting forests in West Africa, which have severely reduced the area of primary forest during the 21st Century. Such threats include logging, mining and land conversion for agriculture, all exacerbated by road construction (Butler 2006).
Small-holder farmingMining & quarryingRoads & railroadsUnintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]Unintentional effects: large scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]
This species is currently only known from Forêt Classée de Bassila. Ensuring effective protection of this site will be important. Measures need to be taken to try to reduce the amount of deforestation in West Africa, which is likely to be driving rapid population declines in this species if it is found to be more widespread than just this site.