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Phaeoclavulina camellia (Corner) Giachini

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Scientific name
Phaeoclavulina camellia
Author
(Corner) Giachini
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Gomphales
Family
Gomphaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2023-05-16
IUCN Red List Category
VU
IUCN Red List Criteria
C2a(ii)
Assessors
Pelissero, D., Niveiro, N., Maubet, Y., Ranieri, C. & Torres, D.
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/238222045/245224693

Justification

Phaeoclavulina camellia is a leaf litter saprophyte, coralloid fungus that occurs in the montane forest in the Yungas phytogeographic region. It is found producing its basidiomes from February to March in humid sites associated with forests preserved in the Yungas, with five records in Argentina and one in Bolivia. The species is found in the middle stratum of the Selva Montana in the Yungas, ranging from 700-1,500 m asl. This species is characterised by having a distinctive pink coloration at its tip. Despite the fact that diversity studies in these forests have not been very numerous, in recent years, only two collections have been found in the same site during 2019-2020. Previously in the 20th century, four sites had been found with one collection each where the species occurs. Given that the ecosystem where the species lives is strongly influenced by anthropic effects (e.g. deforestation, agriculture and livestock) and climate change (Grau and Brown 2000, Brown et al. 2002, Pacheco et al. 2010), it is inferred that the population of 2,000-10,000 mature individuals is in continuing decline. Tentatively assuming that the population size is towards the higher end of this estimate the species is assessed as Vulnerable under criterion C2a(ii). However, it could be that the population size is even lower and so further research is required, and with further information a higher threat category may be appropriate.

Geographic range

Currently, there are only six known occurrences of Phaeoclavulina camellia in the Yungas region, with five in Argentina and one in Bolivia. The species is found in the middle stratum of the Selva Montana in the Yungas, ranging from 700-1,500 m asl. Therefore, it is believed to be an endemic species to the montane forests of the Argentine and Bolivian Yungas. A metabarcoding study of soil samples taken from throughout the Argentine Yungas found the species at only one of those 24 sampled sites, which was also limited to the 700-1,500 m asl range (Geml et al. 2014). Based on this information, it is likely that the species is rare throughout its entire range.

Population and Trends

Phaeoclavulina camellia occurs in the Selva Montana middle stratum of the Yungas ranging from 700–1,500 m asl. For this reason, it is estimated that the species is distributed in the montane forest along the Argentinean and Bolivian Yungas, being an endemic and likely rare species. Based on known sites, and potential additional ones too (see Dahlberg and Mueller 2011), the population of the species is estimated to be between 2,000 and 10,000 mature individuals, with three generations of the fungus being equivalent to 20 years (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). The Yungas forest had already lost more than 31% of its original extent as of 2010 as a consequence of intense anthropogenic disturbance associated with extensive ranching, agricultural and urban expansion (Malizia et al. 2012). The strong anthropogenic impact added to the effects of climate change play an important role in the reduction of the area in mountain ecosystems (Grau and Brown 2000, Brown et al. 2002, Pacheco et al. 2010). Rising temperatures may be altering the climate of tropical mountains, resulting in a shifting cloud base that threatens the long-term survival of cloud forests (Still et al. 1999). It is important to note that these values are based on data from 2010, and the actual extent of loss may be even higher at present. It is expected that the suitable areas for species to occur will decrease at the rate at which forest loss is occurring, as well as due to changes in the use of unprotected areas, which represent 45% of the total surface area of the Yungas. It is noteworthy that only 24% of the Yungas is currently protected in some form or another (Malizia et al. 2012).

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Phaeoclavulina camellia produces basidiomes from February to March and is a leaf litter saprophyte. It is found in humid sites associated with forests preserved in the Yungas.

Threats

Cloud forests (Yungas) are severely threatened by anthropogenic and climatic disturbances, e.g. deforestation, fires, urban expansion, and climate change (Grau and Brown 2000, Brown et al. 2002, Pacheco et al. 2010). Rising temperatures may be altering the climate of tropical mountains, resulting in a shifting cloud base that threatens the long-term survival of cloud forests (Still et al. 1999). As of 2010, the Yungas forest had already lost more than 31% of its original extent as a consequence of intense anthropogenic disturbance (Malizia et al. 2012). In this way, the decrease in the fungus' habitat would be negatively affecting its abundance.

Conservation Actions

The habitat of this species is in some conservation sites such as: The Yungas Biosphere Reserve, Calilegua National Park, Baritu National Park, among others. These represent 13% of the surface of the Yungas. On the other hand, anthropic and livestock activities still persist in this territory, which causes a decrease in favourable sites for the development of the species. Promoting policies that restrict uses in conservation areas and creating new conservation areas would help to maintain areas conducive to fungal development.

It is important to accurately determine the true abundance of Phaeoclavulina camellia since it has the potential to be a flagship species in the Yungas ecosystem due to its striking beauty. Understanding the species' range of distribution and ecological niche is necessary to confirm its occurrence only in the middle stratum due to specific niche requirements or if this stratum is the most conserved within the ecosystem.

Use and Trade

No use/trade is known.

Source and Citation

Pelissero, D., Niveiro, N., Maubet, Y., Ranieri, C. & Torres, D. 2023. Phaeoclavulina camellia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2023: e.T238222045A245224693. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2023-1.RLTS.T238222045A245224693.en .Accessed on 7 January 2024

Country occurrence