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Polyporus sapurema Möller

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Scientific name
Polyporus sapurema
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Palacio, M., Magnano, A., Drewinski, M., Alves-Silva, G., Martins da Cunha, K., Kossmann, T., Costa-Rezende, D.H., Trierveiler-Pereira, L., Baltazar, J.M., Vieira de Miranda, M. & Drechsler-Santos, E.R.
Mueller, G.M.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/209595344/209596582


Polyporus sapurema is a rare Brazilian endemic species which causes white-rot in dead buried wood, growing on the ground from a pseudosclerotia, which is used as food by indigenous peoples in Amazon regions. This species is also known from the southern Atlantic Forest. A total of six records are known of P. sapurema, and it is estimated that there are up to 1,000-2,000 sites, each site with 10 mature individuals, resulting in a total population size of 10,000-20,000. An ongoing decline in the species' habitat will result in a predicted population decline of at least 10-15% over 20 years (three generations). The species is assessed as Near Threatened C1.

Taxonomic notes

Polyporus sapurema has been confused with Polyporus indigenous since both species grow from a pseudosclerotia, and are known as “Indian Bread” The two species are morphologically and phylogenetically distinct and are easily separated in the field.

Geographic range

Polyporus sapurema is known from Atlantic Forest in the states Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo, and Santa Catarina, and it also occurs in the Amazon forest in Acre and Roraima states (Gomes-Silva et al. 2012). Polyporus sapurema was originally described from Blumenau, Santa Catarina, and only six records have been made for this species, with most records collected between 1955 and 1978, and there is only one recent collection from 2005, from Rio Grande do Sul. Thus it is considered a rare species of Polyporus sensu stricto.

Population and Trends

Polyporus sapurema is a rare species, with only six records in areas extensively explored in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest. Polyporus sapurema's disjunct population can be considered as two subpopulations, one distributed in northern Brazil in the Amazon forest, and another subpopulation in southern Brazil in the southern Atlantic Forest. P. sapurema basidiomes grow from a conspicuous pseudoesclerotia and each site is estimated to have around 10 mature individuals. There are an estimated 1,000-2,000 sites, resulting in a population size of 10,000 to 20,000 mature individuals. Due mainly to climate change and deforestation of Amazon and Atlantic forest in Brazil, with the latter ecosystem having just 28% of its original area remaining, mostly composed by secondary forests (Tabarelli et al. 2010, Rezende et al. 2018), and an ongoing decline predicted to continue in the near future, the species has a past and projected decline in population size of at least 10-15% over three generations (20 years).

Population Trend: decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Polyporus sapurema is a rare and saprotrophic species causing white-rot on dead wood. Basidiomes are solitary and grow on the ground from a dense pseudoesclerotia, it is known from the Brazilian Amazon and Atlantic forests.


In general, the threats to Polyporus sapurema are the degradation and fragmentation of its habitat, due mainly to climate change and deforestation of the Amazon and Atlantic forest in Brazil. The Amazon ecosystem has been facing a rapid increase in deforestation and fire frequency following years of decline (INPE 2020), and the forest could be dangerously approaching a tipping point, when the forest can no longer sustain its own water cycles, drastically changing into a savanna, leading to huge biodiversity losses (Amigo 2020). The Amazon domain in Brazil suffers from continued commercial logging and deforestation for cattle and implementation of soybean plantations as a result of the economic plan for Brazilian Amazonia (Fernside 2008). Additionally, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, regarded as a biodiversity hotspot for conservation priorities due to its high diversity, endemism rates and habitat loss (Myers et al. 2000). This phytogeographical domain is estimated to have only 28% of its vegetation remaining, with the remnants being fragmented and composed mostly by secondary forests (Tabarelli et al. 2010, Rezende et al. 2018). According to Pinto et al. (2006), the Atlantic Forest is found in this situation due to exploitation of resources and human actions like territorial occupation. About 60% of the Brazilian population lives in the Atlantic Forest, mainly in coastal areas, where the country’s largest cities are located (Rezende et al. 2018). Other threats to the Atlantic Forest include increase in fire frequency and intensity, introduction of exotic and invasive species and the connection between these factors (Brooks and Balmford 1996, Tabarelli et al. 2006, Pinto et al. 2006)

Conservation Actions

The main action to prevent the decline of Polyporus sapurema is preservation of its habitat, both known and potential not yet discovered sites, by creating and appropriately managing conservation areas. More surveys and long term studies are also needed to identify other sites and to better estimate its distribution, population size and trends. Research on potential increased use as a food source would also be beneficial.

Use and Trade

The sclerotium, known as "Indian Bread" is used as a traditional food by indigenous peoples.

Source and Citation

Palacio, M., Magnano, A., Drewinski, M., Alves-Silva, G., Martins da Cunha, K., Kossmann, T., Costa-Rezende, D.H., Trierveiler-Pereira, L., Baltazar, J.M., Vieira de Miranda, M. & Drechsler-Santos, E.R. 2021. Polyporus sapurema. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T209595344A209596582. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T209595344A209596582.en .Accessed on 24 December 2023

Country occurrence