Phallus aureolatus is a species restricted to Brazil, occurring in fragments of Atlantic Forest in southern and southeastern regions. Up to date, there are only a few records of the species from four different sites. The total population is estimated at around 2,700 mature individuals, in one subpopulation. Based on the habitat decline within the area, we suspect a population decline around 10% in the last three generations (20 years). Phallus aureolatus is, therefore, assessed as Vulnerable VU C1+2a(ii).
Phallus aureolatus was described from Southern Brazil in 2017 (Trierveiler-Pereira et al., 2017). Synonyms for the species are not known.
Phallus aureolatus is a species that occurs in Southern and Southeastern Brazil, occurring in some preserved fragments of the Atlantic Forest, one of the Earth’s biodiversity hotspots with high levels of diversity and endemism.
Phallus aureolatus is found in the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest through the Southern and Southeastern regions of Brazil, in areas near the coast. It was first recorded from the State of Paraná, but there is also one record from the State of Santa Catarina and São Paulo (Trierveiler-Pereira et al., 2017; 2019). The species is expected to occur in fragments of Dense Ombrophilous Forest in Southern and Southeastern Brazil, in areas near the coast.
There are four collections of the species from four different sites. The species is rarely collected but it is expected to occur along the Atlantic Forest in the Dense Ombrophilous Forest near the coast, in Southern and Southeastern Brazil, with up to 300 additional potential sites. Its population is estimated ca. 2,700 mature individuals, restricted to one subpopulation.
The Atlantic Forest has been deforested over decades, and the remaining fragments are suffering from biomass and biodiversity erosion. The Atlantic Forest is one of the most fragmented tropical/subtropical forests in the world, and only around 28% percent of the original forest in Brazil is left, much of it in small, unconnected fragments (Rezende et al., 2018).
Population decline was estimated in light of extensive loss of suitable habitat (Rezende et al., 2018) and the putative influence that habitat degradation has on species occupation in a given environment (Berglund & Jonsson, 2003; Haddad et al., 2015). Based on this information, we precautionarily assume there has been a habitat loss of at least 10% within the past three generations (20 years) and that this also equates to a population decline of the fungus of at least 10% or more within this timeframe.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Phallus aureolatus usually produces solitary basidiomes, growing on forest soil among the litterfall, in the Atlantic Rainforest (Dense Ombrophilous Forest lowlands) near the Brazilian coast. The species is not difficult to recognize in the field, being highly detectable since its light-colored basidiomes contrast with the litterfall and its characteristic smell (Trierveiler-Pereira et al., 2017). Since the species occurs on forest soil among the litterfall, we estimate that three generations = 20 years.
The loss of habitat is the main threat to Phallus aureolatus. The Atlantic Forest is home to this species and has been suffering from deforestation and some of the problems are connected to urbanization, industrial and silvicultural centers leading to pollution (Galindo & Câmara, 2003). Also, the introduction of alien species, such as species of Eucalyptus and Pinus contributes to this loss. As a result of this deforestation, only 28% of Atlantic Forest’s natural coverage remains, largely composed of small forest fragments and secondary forests (Tabarelli et al., 2010; Rezende et al., 2018).
The main action to preserve the species is the protection of its habitat and creation of new conservation areas to harbor the probable microhabitats to which the Atlantic Forest may be restricted in the future. The preservation of pristine forests could be critical for the maintenance of this species, since it has only been found in preserved areas. Also, forest protection policies must be taken to assure that the protected Atlantic Forest areas reach a mature state.
More studies are necessary to better understand the species distribution and ecology and population trends.
Berglund H, Jonsson BG. 2003. Nested plant and fungal communities; the importance of area and habitat quality in maximizing species capture in boreal old-growth forests. Biological Conservation 112(3): 319–328.
Galindo C, Câmara I. 2003. The Atlantic Forest of South America: biodiversity status, threats, and outlook. Island Press, Washington, USA.
Haddad NM, Brudvig LA, Clobert J et al. 2015. Habitat fragmentation and its lasting impact on Earth’s ecosystems. Science Advances 1: e1500052.
Rezende CL, Scarano FR, Assad ED, Joly CA, Metzger JP, Strassburg BBN, Tabarelli M, Fonesca GA, Mittermeier RA. 2018. From hotspot to hopespot: An opportunity for the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Perspectives in ecology and conservation 16: 208–214.
Tabarelli M, Aguiar AV, Ribeiro MC, Metzger JP, Peres CA. 2010. Prospects for biodiversity conservation in the Atlantic Forest: Lessons from aging human-modified landscapes. Biological Conservation 143(10): 2328–2340.
Trierveiler-Pereira L, Meijer AAR, Reck MA, Kentaro H, Silveira RMB. 2017. Phallus aureolatus (Phallaceae, Agaricomycetes), a new species from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Phytotaxa 327: 223–236.
Trierveiler-Pereira L, Meijer AAR, Silveira RMB. 2019. Phallales (Agaricomycetes, Fungi) from Southern Brazil. Studies in Fungi 4(1): 162–184.