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Cortinarius tucumanensis M.M. Moser

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Scientific name
Cortinarius tucumanensis
Author
M.M. Moser
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Agaricales
Family
Cortinariaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2023-05-29
IUCN Red List Category
VU
IUCN Red List Criteria
A3c; C2a(ii)
Assessors
Niveiro, N.
Reviewers
Drechsler-Santos, E. & Martins da Cunha, K.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/238218405/245224365

Justification

Cortinarius tucumanensis has medium-sized basidiomes with striking colours, with a gregarious habit, usually with several scattered basidomatas, which makes it a relatively easy species to observe. It is an endemic species of the montane forests of the southern Yungas. It is an ectomycorrhizal species associated with Alnus acuminata (Aliso del Cerro) in cloud forests. Despite its conspicuousness and sampling efforts, only 17 collections have been made since 1949 in the area of the Aliso del Cerro forests in three localities in Tucuman, Catamarca and Salta provinces, Argentina. It is expected that there could be about 60 sites in Argentina and Bolivia where the conditions for this species exist. It is estimated that there are currently between 9,000 and 18,000 mature individuals of this species. The three generation time period of this species is 50 years, and it is predicted that due to climate change, the suitable area for the specific forest which harbours this species could decrease by 25-50% in the next 30 years (year 2050) (Wicaksono et al. 2017). This could cause a suspected population size reduction of at least 30-49% in C. tucumanensis over three generations. Considering these threats and its population size and decline, C. tucumanensis is precautionarily assessed as Vulnerable under criteria A3c; C2a(ii).

Geographic range

Seventeen collections (1949-2011) are known for this species from Tucuman, Salta and Catamarca provinces, Argentina. Cortinarius tucumanensis is an endemic species of the montane forests of the southern Yungas. Since this species has an ectomycorrhizal habit, its distribution pattern is likely related to the distribution of its host, Alnus acuminata, which is distributed throughout the Andean countries and Central America, up to Mexico (according to GBIF there are 525 observations from northwest Argentina to Mexico). Nevertheless, considering the records of C. tucumanensis, its distribution might be restricted to the southern Yungas, which encompasses the cloud forests of northwestern Argentina and Bolivia (Morrone 2002). Therefore, the species is tentatively assumed to be present in 60 areas in Argentina and Bolivia, based on occurrences sites of Alnus acuminata within the southern Yungas (Wicaksono et al. 2017).

Population and Trends

Cortinarius tucumanensis has medium-sized basidiomes with striking colours, with gregarious habit, usually with several scattered basidomatas, which makes it a relatively easy species to observe. Soil and root metagenomic analysis of Alnus acuminata forest carried out in northwest Argentina (Becerra et al. 2005, Geml et al. 2014, Wicaksono et al. 2017) did not found OTUs associated with C. parabibulus or C. tucumanensis, but there is one record of Cortinarius sp. (Geml et al. 2014, Wicaksono et al. 2017) which would indicate that it is a rare species to find. Despite its conspicuousness and sampling efforts, only 17 collections have been made since 1949 in the area of the Aliso del Cerro forests in three localities in Tucuman, Catamarca and Salta provinces. An average of three specimens were observed per site (one to six specimens in each locality), but it is considered that it could appear five to 10 times more at each site with a greater sampling effort (15-30 functional individual/site). Due to the fact that it is an ectomycorrhizal species, and that it is usually found forming several scattered basidiomatas, we considered there to be 10 ramets (mature individuals) for each function individual. With these values, together with a potential for 60 sites in its putative range, we approximated that currently there is a population of 9,000 to 18,000 mature individuals in one subpopulation. The three generation time of this species is 50 years (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011), and it is suspected that the suitable area for the specific forest which harbours this species will decrease by 25-50% in the next 30 years (year 2050) (Wicaksono et al. 2017). While accurate translation across to a population size reduction of C. tucumanensis over three generations is difficult, it is suspected that there would be a reduction of at least 30-49% over three generations.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Cortinarius tucumanensis is an ectomycorrhizal species associated with Aliso del Cerro forests (Alnus acuminata) in the montane cloud forests of the southern Yungas.

Threats

Cortinarius tucumanensis is associated with Alnus acuminata, its ectomycorrhizal host. This host species is distributed in the cloud forests that are located on the border between montane forest and the grassland, often in ravines, which generate a prosperous microclimate for the species. One of the main threats to this ecosystem is climatic change, which is predicted to alter environmental conditions in such a way to make it easier for habitat shifting of the montane forest from a lower altitude, displacing the cloud forests at higher altitudes. Current and future (year 2050) habitat models developed for A. acuminata predict a 25–50% decrease in suitable area (Wicaksono et al. 2017). The species is also threatened by its proximity to anthropic influence caused by cattle grazing, deforestation and prescribed fires.

Conservation Actions

Most known collections of Cortinarius tucumanensis were found in protected areas, therefore, the main action to prevent a possible decline of the species is the preservation of quality of habitat. In addition, cloud forest is located on boundaries of protected areas where anthropogenic influence exists. Considering this, it is suggested to reinforce controls in these areas so the protection of the species is effective. Furthermore, it is essential to strengthen policies that stimulate citizen science, making the community know, value and collaborate in the conservation of species. To achieve the conservation of the species, it is also essential to confirm if its distribution extends to the cloud forests of other regions of the Yungas.

Use and Trade

No use or trade is known.

Source and Citation

Niveiro, N. 2023. Cortinarius tucumanensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2023: e.T238218405A245224365. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2023-1.RLTS.T238218405A245224365.en .Accessed on 7 January 2024

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