• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Tripospora macrospora Fitzp.

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Scientific name
Tripospora macrospora
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
Under Assessment
Proposed by
David Minter
David Minter
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

This fungus is an exceptionally rare obligate symbiont known only from Podocarpus lambertii [itself a species threatened in the wild] in Argentina and Brazil. There are probably fewer than 10 records, the last known being in 1976.

Geographic range

Argentina, Brazil (Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, São Paolo).

Population and Trends

The only plant with which this fungus has been associated, Podocarpus lambertii, is itself red-listed as threatened in the wild. If the pattern observed with other members of the Coryneliaceae is also valid for this species, then this fungus is likely to occur on only some, not all trees in populations of P. lambertii. Tellingly, in an extensive search resulting in the collection of more than two hundred samples of Tripospora species in Argentina, not a single specimen was identified as T. macrospora (Catania & Romero, 2001). The absence of recent records makes calculation of current extent of occurrence and area of occupation impossible.

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

This species produces stromata and fruitbodies on dead portions of green leaves and stems of the conifer genus Podocarpus. The life-cycle and biology have not been investigated, but disruption of colonized leaves is very localized, suggesting that the plant is well adapted to the presence of the fungus. There are no reports of the fungus causing harmful effects to the trees colonized. There is, for example, no evidence of premature leaf fall. The possibility that the fungus may have some beneficial effect on the tree has not been considered. Dispersal is by ascospores, possibly involving wind during humid spring weather, when the fertile extension expands and opens the upper chamber where dry masses of ascospores have accumulated. The ascospores bear a strong resemblance to the tetraradiate conidia of aquatic hyphomycetes, but the possibility that they too are adapted to specialized water dispersal has not been investigated. Associated plant: Podocarpus lambertii.


The main threats may be habitat loss and fragmentation of populations along with its associated plant.

Conservation Actions

A survey is needed to establish the current extent of occurrence and area of occupation of this species.

Ex situ conservation. No fungal culture collection is known to maintain isolates of this species. No genetic information about this species is stored in Genbank [accessed 1 March 2014].

Research needed

Use and Trade


BATISTA, A.C., BEZERRA, J.L., FISCHMAN, O., SILVA, A.A., SILVA, R.L. DA & MAIA, H. DA SILVA, Um pugilo de Ascomycotina de esporos contínuos. Atas do Instituto de Micologia, Universidade de Pernambuco, Recife 4: 223–237 (1967). BENNY, G.L., SAMUELSON, D.A. & KIMBROUGH, J.W., Studies on the Coryneliales. III. Taxa parasitic on Podocarpaceae: Lagenulopsis and Tripospora. Botanical Gazette 146: 431–436 (1985). DEL VALLE CATANIA, M. & ROMERO, A.I., Tripospora militaris sp. nov. from Argentina, with a key to the known species. Mycological Research 105(8): 1020–1024 (2001). FITZPATRICK, H.M., Revisionary studies in the Coryneliaceae. Mycologia 34(4): 464–488 (1942). JOHNSON, P.R. & MINTER, D.W., Structure and taxonomic significance of the ascus in the Coryneliaceae. Mycological Research 92(4): 422–430 (1989). MINTER, D.W. Tripospora macrospora. IMI Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria No. 1668 (2006). PIROZYNSKI, K.A. & WERESUB, L.K., A biogeographic view of the history of ascomycetes and the development of their pleomorphism. In Kendrick, W.B. (ed.), The Whole Fungus (Ottawa, Canada: National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museums of Canada & The Kananaskis Foundation) 1: 93–123 (1979). VIÉGAS, A.P., Alguns fungos do Brasil, II. Ascomicetos. Bragantia 4(1–6): 5–392 [esp. pp. 117–118] (1944).

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted