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Pleurotus albidus (Berk.) Pegler

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Scientific name
Pleurotus albidus
Author
(Berk.) Pegler
Common names
hongo blanco patón
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Agaricales
Family
Pleurotaceae
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
NT A3c
Proposed by
Mariana Drewinski
Assessors
Genivaldo Alves-Silva, Mariana Drewinski, Nelson Menolli Jr
Reviewers
E. Ricardo Drechsler-Santos, Kelmer Martins da Cunha

Assessment Notes

Justification

Pleurotus albidus is an edible species known from around 70 sites within the Amazon forest in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, and Southeastern and Southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest, expanding its distribution to Semi-deciduous subtropical forest in Argentina, Humid Chaco in Paraguay, and to Central America and some regions in Mexico. The species is consumed, harvested, and commercialized by indigenous and original populations, being its use considered safe. It is common throughout its wide range, producing conspicuous basidiomata that grow abundantly, usually gregarious, in numerous groups on a wide variety of dead wood Although there is a continuous and high sampling effort in Atlantic Forest areas within Northeastern Brazil, the species was never collected in this region. A reduction of area in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest of around 8% is expected to be met in 30 years. In the Amazon, the P. albidus population is mainly threatened by impacts of climate change, where a reduction of around 14.7% is expected to be met in the same time frame. In Central America and the Mexican regions, it is expected a total reduction of 12.2% in three generations (30 years). For these regions, considering the impacts of habitat fragmentation in small patches, these percentages will probably reflect also in habitat quality loss, which can be projected in a loss of around 18.8% of suitable habitat. Based on the habitat area and quality losses within the next 30 years (three generations), P. albidus is considered Near Threatened under A3c.


Taxonomic notes

Pleurotus albidus (Berk.) Pegler, Kew Bull., Addit. Ser. 10: 219 (1983)

The species was first described as Lentinus albidus by Berkeley in 1843. Later, Pegler (1983) examined the holotype and the name was transferred to Pleurotus (Fr.) P. Kumm.

Basionym:
Lentinus albidus Berk., London J. Bot. 2: 633 (1843)

Synonymy:
Agaricus jacksonii Berk. & Cooke [as ‘jacksoni’], J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 15: 367 (1877)
Agaricus laciniatocrenatus (Speg.) Speg., Anal. Soc. cient. argent. 16(5): 247 (1883)
Dendrosarcus jacksonii (Berk. & Cooke) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. (Leipzig) 3(3): 464 (1898)
Lentinus albidus Berk., London J. Bot. 2: 633 (1843)
Lentinus calvescens Berk., Hooker’s J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 8: 141 (1856)
Panus crenatolobatus Speg. [as ‘crenato-lobatus’], Anal. Soc. cient. argent. 9(6): 282 (1880)
Panus laciniatocrenatus Speg. [as ‘laciniato-crenatus’], Anal. Soc. cient. argent. 9(4): 164 (1880)
Pleurotus calvescens (Berk.) Singer, Mycologia 48(6): 855 (1957)
Pleurotus jacksonii (Berk. & Cooke) Sacc. [as ‘jacksoni’], Syll. fung. (Abellini) 5: 353 (1887)
Pleurotus laciniatocrenatus (Speg.) Speg., Bol. Acad. Nac. Cienc. Córdoba 23(3-4): 381 (1918)
Pocillaria albida (Berk.) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. (Leipzig) 2: 865 (1891)
Pocillaria calvescens (Berk.) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. (Leipzig) 2: 865 (1891)
Pocillaria laciniatocrenata (Speg.) Kuntze, Revis. gen. pl. (Leipzig) 3(3): 506 (1898)


Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Pleurotus albidus was described as Lentinus albidus by Berkeley in 1843 based on material growing on Citrus sp in the state of Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In 1983, Pegler examined the holotype and the species was transferred to Pleurotus based on the monomitic hyphal system. The species is well distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas, being more common in South America, mainly in Brazil and Argentina. This is a species with medium to high detectability, growing abundantly on a wide variety of dead wood. Pleurotus albidus is an edible species and has been reported to be used by traditional communities in Mexico, Guatemala, and Brazil.


Geographic range

The species has a wide distribution, occurring in tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas. The species was described as Lentinus albidus by Berkeley in 1843 based on material growing on Citrus sp in the state of Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Additional records to Brazil are from Northern to Southern, with occurrences to the states of Amazonas, Amapá, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, and Roraima (Spegazzini 1889; Pegler 1988; Pegler 1997; Meijer 2001, 2006, 2008; Albertó et al. 2002; Sótão et al. 2004; Menolli et al. 2014; Gambato et al. 2016; Sanuma et al. 2016; Castro-Alves et al. 2017; Timm 2018; GBIF 2024). Other records in South America include Argentina, to the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Misiones, Santa Fe, and Tucumán; Colombia, to the department of Risaralda; Guiana; Paraguay, to the departments of Distrito Capital and Paraguarí; and Peru, to the Madre de Dios region (Albertó et al. 2002; Lechner et al. 2004; Lechner et al. 2005; Lechner & Albertó 2011; Grassi et al. 2016; Giorgi et al. 2018; Flecha-Rivas et al. 2014; Flecha-Rivas & Niveiro 2019; GBIF 2024). In Central America and the Caribbean, the species was recorded to Cuba, in Cienfuegos; Costa Rica, in San José and Puntarenas province; Guatemala, in departments of Totonicapán, Chimaltenango, and Huehuetenango; Panamá; and in Trinidad and Tobago, in St. Augustine (Minter et al. 2001; Albertó et al. 2002; Morales et al. 2010; Guzmán & Piepenbring 2011; Godínez et al. 2018; GBIF 2024). In North America, P. albidus was recorded to Mexico, in the states of Hidalgo, Morelos, Veracruz, and Tabasco (Moreno-Fuentes & Bautista-Nava, 2006; Carreño-Ruiz et al. 2013; Sánchez & Royse 2017; Sosa et al. 2019; GBIF 2024). Additional records from Jamaica (GBIF 2024, gbifID 1986823001 and 1986822944; Martinique (GBIF 2024, gbifID 1990616065) and Puerto Rico (GBIF 2024, gbifID 4438677184, 3059018831, 2249240710) don’t fit to P. albidus and records to the USA must to be confirmed (GBIF 2024, gbifID 1928349328 and 3916165372). Kumari et al. (2012) reported the occurrence of P. albidus in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Northern India, based only on morphological characters; this is the only record of the species outside the Americas and probably does not represent the species.


Population and Trends

Pleurotus albidus is a species with medium to high detectability, growing abundantly, usually gregarious, in numerous groups of basidiomata on a wide variety of dead wood. Pleurotus albidus is known from about 70 sites and more than 120 collections. The species is well distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas, but is more common in South America, mainly in Brazil and Argentina. In Brazil, the species is found in the Amazon Forest and in the South and Southeastern Atlantic Forest. Although there is a continuous and high sampling effort in Atlantic Forest areas within Northeastern Brazil, the species was never collected in this region, and thus it is believed that its distribution does not reach higher latitudes in this biome. The species is expected to occur in other 2500–3000 sites with 36 individuals per site. The population size is estimated around 100000 mature individuals. The species habitat is threatened mainly by historical and continuing urbanization in the Atlantic Forest (Tabarelli et al. 2010, Rezende et al. 2018) and climate change impacts in the Amazon (Zhang et al. 2015). In Central America and the Mexican regions where the species has been reported, the mainly threats are similar to other in Tropical areas such anthropogenic disturbes and urbanization (Portillo-Quintero & Smith 2018). Considering those threats, it is projected that the species will suffer a reduction of 18.8% in the next 30 years (three generations). Population decline was projected in light of extension loss of suitable habitat (Silva et al., 2020; Zhang et al., 2015; Global Forest Watch 2024) and the putative negative influence that habitat degradation has on species occupation in a given environment (Berglund & Jonsson 2002, Haddad et al. 2015).

Population Trend: Decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Pleurotus albidus is a saprotrophic species, a wood decomposer that causes white rot. The basidiomata are usually gregarious, growing in numerous groups on a wide variety of dead wood (Citrus sp., Sterculia sp., Salix sp., Populus sp., Cordyline sp., Araucaria angustifolia, Ulmus sp., Phoebe porphyria, Bursera simaruba, Heliocarpus donnell-smithii, Lippia umbellata) and rarely on living trees (registered at the base of Platanus sp. trunk). The species occurs in a variety of ecoregions, such as Tropical Montane Cloud Forest in Guatemala, Amazon and Atlantic Forest in Brazil, Semi-deciduous subtropical forest in Argentina and Humid Chaco in Paraguay. According to interviews conducted with people of the Náhuatl ethnic group in Mexico, who consume and sell the species, P. albidus grows from April (when the rains start) to September, and, according to the community, there must be a new moon (crescent) and abundant rain. If only one of the conditions is present, the fungus does not manifest (Moreno-Fuentes & Bautista-Nava 2006). In Guatemala, according to Morales et al. (2010) the species is found in June and July, the period of greatest commercial movement in the edible fungi market in almost the entire country.

Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland ForestSubtropical/Tropical Moist Montane Forest

Threats

The Amazon Forest is essential for maintaining the global climate system (Swann et al. 2015). The changes in the land use and the expansion of the cattle and soy industries in the Amazon have increased deforestation rates (Zhang et al. 2015). Other threats are also constant such as fire, illegal gold mining, logging and lack of inspection and punishment by the Brazilian government (Condé et al. 2019). A number of modeling studies predict that about 50% of the Amazon basin will be replaced by savanna and arid land vegetation by the end of the 21st century (Zhang et al. 2015). As well as the Amazon Forest, the Atlantic Forest is also threatened. The Atlantic Forest has been suffering threats and loss of area over time. As a result of the long history of disturbance, most of the remaining Atlantic Forest is immersed in human-modified landscapes, with many small, edge-affected forest remnants (Joly et al. 2014). According to Rezende et al. (2018), there is only 28% of native vegetation cover for the Atlantic Forest biome, including both forest (26%) and non-forest native formations (2%). Habitat loss and fragmentation, logging, fire, hunting, and climate change have caused an alarming loss of biodiversity in the biome. The expansion of urban areas is also an important pressure further reducing the area of the Atlantic Forest (Joly et al. 2014). In Central America and the Mexican regions where the species has been reported, the mainly threats are similar to those in South America, which reflect the overall threats to Tropical forests (Portillo-Quintero & Smith 2018). Considering the annual area loss in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest from 1985-2018 of 0.25% (Silva et al., 2020) and a continuing decline, a reduction of around 8% is expected to be met in 30 years. In the Amazon, the P. albidus population is mainly threatened by impacts of climate change, where a reduction of around 14% is expected to be met in the same time frame (Zhang et al., 2015). In Central America and the Mexican regions where the species has been reported, from 2001-2022, an annual reduction of 0.4% has taken place, and considering a continuous declining, it is expected a total reduction of 12.2% in three generations (30 years) (Global Forest Watch 2024). For these areas, considering the impacts of habitat fragmentation in small patches, these percentages will probably reflect also in habitat quality loss (Berglund & Jonsson 2002, Haddad et al. 2015), which can be projected in a loss of around 18.8% of suitable habitat.

Housing & urban areasCommercial & industrial areasAgro-industry plantationsAgro-industry grazing, ranching or farmingMining & quarryingUnintentional effects: large scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]Increase in fire frequency/intensityHabitat shifting & alteration

Conservation Actions

The main conservation action to benefit the species population is the protection of its habitat. In Brazil, most specimens were collected in conserved areas, thus large fragments should be a priority to conserve the species as it guarantees habitat quality as well as the creation of new areas. Pleurotus albidus is an edible species and the collecting and sustainable use of the species is important. As the outcomes of climate change are among the main threats to the species population and its habitat, ex-situ conservation based on in-vitro cultures to protect the species genetic diversity.

Site/area protectionResource & habitat protectionSite/area managementHarvest managementAwareness & communicationsNational level

Research needed

New samplings are needed to better understand the distribution of the species, mainly in the Atlantic Forest in Northeastern Brazil, in the USA, and the Caribbean. Pleurotus albidus has been cultivated experimentally in Argentina (Lechner & Albertó 2011) and Brazil (Gambato et al. 2016; Castro-Alves et al. 2017), but research on production is still scarce. The immunomodulatory effects of P. albidus has been recognized (Castro-Alves et al. 2017) and other potential health benefits must be further investigated. The large scale harvest to commercial purposes of the species needs to be better understood regarding negative impacts in its population stability.

Population size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecologyHarvest, use & livelihoodsPopulation trendsHarvest level trendsTrade trends

Use and Trade

The mushrooms of P. albidus are edible and has been reported to be used by traditional communities in Mexico, Guatemala, and Brazil.
Pleurotus albidus is consumed by the Yanomami indigenous people in the Amazon Forest in Brazil (Sanuma et al., 2016). They consume the mushroom roasted in leaves. The species is not cooked in water, nor is salt and pepper used because, according to the indigenous people, the species has a slightly spicy flavor. Pleurotus albidus is traded by the Sanöma, part of the Yanomami people who inhabit the Awaris region, in the mountain forests of the extreme northwest of Roraima, Brazil. The Sanöma Mushroom mix that is sold by the Yanomami people may contain more than 10 mushroom species and is a product of the Yanomami agricultural system. Cutler II et al. (2021), using DNA metabarcoding to identify fungal contents of several food products, confirmed the presence of P. albidus in the product made by Yanomami. Pleurotus albidus is also traded in Mexico where it is sold in popular markets, mainly in the central states of the country (Moreno-Fuentes & Bautista-Nava, 2006; Guzmán & Piepenbring, 2011). Moreno-Fuentes & Bautista-Nava (2006) reported the sale of the species in the Huejutla market, in Hidalgo, by the Náhuatl ethnic group. Pleurotus albidus is used in Mexico to treat high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and headache. It is also used as diuretic, laxative, and stimulating (Guzmán 2008). In Guatemala, the species is collected and consumed by the K’iché people and by the peripheral communities of Sierra María Tecún, in Totonicapán (Godínez et al. 2018). Morales et al. (2010) also reports the sale of the species in Comalapa and Tecpán cities, both in Chimaltenango department, in Guatemala.

Food - humanMedicine - human & veterinary

Bibliography


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted