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  • Under Assessment
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Bulbilla applanata Diederich, Flakus & Etayo

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Scientific name
Bulbilla applanata
Diederich, Flakus & Etayo
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Incertae sedis
Assessment status
Under Assessment
Proposed by
Catia Canteiro
Susana P. Cunha, Susana C. Gonçalves
Comments etc.
Catia Canteiro

Assessment Notes

I have used a x1000 multiplier for the population, mostly because of recent description and small size. Even so, I have estimated a population size of around 18000 - it could apply for Near Threatened if we consider population decline, but that may be more difficult to establish with various lichen hosts. Moreover, type of habitat also doesn’t seem to be the same in northern and southern limits of the distribution - Nothofagus dombeyi (Least Concern) forests in Chile grow in temperate regions, not tropical.


Bulbilla applanata is a lichenicolous fungi known from South America. It was described based on the formation of bulbils (sclerotia-like sterile structures) and neither basidiomata or conidiomata were observed. There are very few records available for this species, but its population size is projected to be above 18000 individuals and a significant population decline is not expected. Therefore, it is assessed as Least Concern (LC).

Taxonomic notes

B. applanata is the only species in the Bulbilla genus, described in 2014 based on molecular data (Diederich et al., 2014). It is synonymous with Adamflakia applanata, a name introduced subsequently to account for nomenclature rules but that has since been considered illegitimate (He et al. 2019).

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Geographic range

So far known from South America, in Ecuador (Provinces of Loja, Tungurahua and Zamora-Chinchipe), Bolivia (Yungas montane forest) and Chile (Los Lagos, Valdivia) (Diederich et al., 2014).

Population and Trends

B. applanata has only been documented for 6 sites (Bolivia: 1, Chile: 1, Ecuador: 4). However, given its recent description, distribution, large number of hosts and minute and inconspicuous structures (only up to 400µm in diameter), the total number of sites is expected to be much larger. Therefore, following guidelines by Dahlberg and Mueller (2011), total population size is expected to be around 18000 individuals, applying a large multiplier for unknown sites (x1000) and assuming 1 mature individual exists per patch (individual lichens), and at least 3 patches per site.

A significant total population decline is also not expected, given the wide host breadth and relatively large distribution.

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

B. applanata is a lichenicolous species that parasitises thalli or apothecia of Peltigerales lichens (e.g. Lobariella crenulata, Peltigera sp., Pseudocyphellaria faveolata and Sticta sp.). It is known exclusively from bulbils and neither basidiomata or conidiomata were observed. Diederich et al. (2014) also hypothesise that this may be a strictly lichenicolous species, and possibly a virulent parasite for hosts.
Often found in montane forests, including the Yungas montane forest (alt. 1550 m) in Bolivia, a primary montane forest (alt.1945 m) and a cloud forest (alt. 2400–3800 m) in Ecuador, but also in a forest dominated by Nothofagus dombeyi (alt. 920–980 m) in Chile. In some cases, parasitised lichens were found growing on Nothofagus sp., Hieronyma asperifolia or were epiphytic. (Diederich et al. 2014)

Temperate ForestSubtropical/Tropical Moist Montane Forest


No threats have been identified for this species.

Conservation Actions

No specific conservation actions are needed for this species.

Research needed

Further records and research into the ecology of this species are needed to help establish distribution limits and determine population size.

Population size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecology

Use and Trade


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted