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Mackintoshia persica Pacioni & C. Sharp

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Scientific name
Mackintoshia persica
Author
Pacioni & C. Sharp
Common names
Matifi
Chituli
Ichibu
Chanama
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Agaricales
Family
Cortinariaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2023-02-14
IUCN Red List Category
LC
Assessors
Gonçalves, S.C. & P. Cunha, S.
Reviewers
Westrip, J.R.S.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/238745687/238802653

Justification

Mackintoshia persica is an ectomycorrhizal sequestrate fungus with a wide distribution in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its minimum population size is estimated at 110,000 mature individuals, but is expected to be in decline due to the deforestation of Miombo woodlands. Nevertheless, M. persica has multiple potential hosts and while habitat loss is significant in some regions, it does not reach criteria for threatened categories across the whole range of the species. Therefore, it has been assessed as Least Concern (LC).

Taxonomic notes

Mackintoshia persica has no synonyms and is the only species in its monotypic genus, which was created based on the distinct microscopic features of this species (Pacioni and Sharp 2000).

Geographic range

So far, nine sites have been described in the literature or are present in GBIF records (six described and one undisclosed location in Zimbabwe, one in Angola and, one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) (GBIF.org 2022, Pacioni and Sharp 2000, Castellano et al. 2000, Degreef and De Kesel 2017). Since the species is also known from Mozambique and Zambia (Degreef and De Kesel 2017), there are a minimum of 11 known sites. However, based on the distribution of suitable habitat, it is likely to be more a lot more widespread than these known sites. This species is difficult to differentiate from Mycoamaranthus congolensis without microscopy, which may lead to confusion in its documentation.

Population and Trends

Considering that this species has a wide distribution across Sub-Saharan Africa, and following the guidelines by Dahlberg and Mueller (2011), the population size is estimated at a minimum of 110,000 individuals (11 known sites; 10 mature individuals per site; with a scaling factor of 1,000 to take into account the full potential range based on suitable habitat). The population size may be declining due to a decrease in area of habitat, caused by deforestation of miombo woodlands.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Mackintoshia persica is an ectomycorrhizal sequestrate fungus, epigeous or more rarely semi-hypogeous, that occurs in African miombo woodlands. Specimens in the original description were found under Brachystegia spiciformis and Burkea africana (Pacioni and Sharp 2000), but it is usually reported to associate with Brachystegia, Julbernardia and Uapaca species, often gregariously, sometimes solitary (De Kesel et al. 2017).

Threats

This species occurs in African miombo woodlands, which are subjected to increasing human-pressures and forest loss due to harvesting of plant species for charcoal production and conversion to agricultural land. In fact, between 1990 and 2015 millions of hectares of forest were lost in this region, including miombo, with more than 8 million ha lost in Zimbabwe alone (Gumbo et al. 2018). In 2016, the Miombo Network, an organisation that aims to research and guide sustainable management of these woodlands, estimated that 250,000-300,000 ha of miombo are degraded or lost per year (Miombo Network 2016). Degradation and loss of habitat can in turn lead to a decrease in subpopulations of Mackintoshia persica.

Conservation Actions

The main conservation action needed is the protection of Mackintoshia persica's habitat, miombo woodlands. Agricultural expansion into these areas and excessive harvesting of plant hosts should be managed to prevent further population declines. Quantifications of the loss of miombo woodland in the distribution area of this species are needed to estimate a potential population size reduction due to habitat loss.

Use and Trade

Mackintoshia persica is an edible species, used for human consumption in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Zambia (De Kesel et al. 2017).

Source and Citation

Gonçalves, S.C. & P. Cunha, S. 2023. Mackintoshia persica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2023: e.T238745687A238802653. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2023-1.RLTS.T238745687A238802653.en .Accessed on 7 January 2024

Country occurrence