Lycoperdon sulcatostoma is a saprotrophic gasteroid species with a gregarious habit found on dead plant debris. It is known from Southern Brazil Atlantic Forest remnants, with only nine collections, of which six are distributed in Paraná State, and three in Santa Catarina State. Based on sampling efforts for gasteroid species throughout the Atlantic Forest distribution, the species is considered rare and likely restricted to the Southern part of the domain in Brazil, requiring well conserved areas. Lycoperdon sulcatostoma could also occur in adjacent areas in Argentina and Paraguay. The species is mainly threatened by the loss of its habitat area and quality, with the Atlantic Forest facing intense anthropogenic disturbances for decades. Based on the species rarity and sampling efforts within its habitat, it is inferred that it has no more than 10,000 mature individuals, all distributed in one subpopulation. Based on the severe habitat decline within the area, it is possible to infer a size population decline of at least 10% in the last three generations (20 years), that is expected to be still undergoing. It is, therefore, assessed as Vulnerable VU C2a(ii).
Lycoperdon sulcatostomum (C.R. Alves & Cortez) Baseia, Alfredo & M.P. Martín [as ‘sulcatostoma’], in Alfredo, Baseia, Accioly, Silva, Moura, Marinho & Martín, Mycol. Progr. 16(10): 980 (2017). Basyonym: Morganella sulcatostoma C.R. Alves & Cortez.
This species is known from remnants of the Atlantic Forest from Southern Brazil. There are records of Lycoperdon sulcatostomum from only three sites, despite intense sampling efforts by several specialists. The species is considered rare throughout its range area, with few mature individuals, and it has suffered a severe habitat decline, with a suspected population decline of at least 10% in the last three generations (20 years). Therefore, the assessment of L. sulcatostomum conservation status is needed.
Lycoperdon sulcatostomum is currently known from the Atlantic Forest of Southern Brazil. It is only known from three sites, in Seasonal Semideciduous Forest in Paraná (six collections) and Dense Ombrophilous Forest lowlands in Santa Catarina (three collections) (speciesLink 2021).
The diversity of gasteroid fungi is well investigated in Southern Brazil, São Paulo (Southeastern Brazil) and Northern Brazil, reinforcing that this species is rare (or restricted to some remnant fragments of Atlantic Forest). Since it was found in the National Park of Foz do Iguaçu, it is also likely to occur in Argentina (Misiones) and maybe Paraguay.
There are nine known collections of the species deposited in fungaria. This is a species with medium detectability since its basidiomes are light-colored (contrasting with rotten wood and forest litterfall), but small (around 1 cm). Basidiomes could be solitary (one collection) or gregarious, with most collections composed of three to five basidiomes, enhancing its detectability. The species is known from three sites and it is expected to occur in 500 additional well conserved potential sites within the Atlantic Forest from Southern Brazil and adjacent areas, such as Misiones in Argentina and Paraguay. It is expected that it has no more than 10,000 mature individuals, restricted to one subpopulation.
The Atlantic Forest has been deforested over decades, and the remaining fragments are suffering from biomass and biodiversity erosion. The Atlantic Forest is one of the most fragmented tropical/subtropical forests in the world, and only around 28% percent of the original forest in Brazil is left, much of it in small, unconnected fragments (Rezende et al. 2018). Population decline was estimated in light of the extensive loss of suitable habitat (Rezende et al. 2018) and the putative impact that habitat degradation has on species occupation in a given environment (Berglund and Jonsson 2003, Haddad et al. 2015). Based on this information, we conservatively inferred there has been a habitat loss of at least 10% within the past three generations (20 years) and that this also equates to a population decline of the fungus of at least 10% within this timeframe, that is currently in continuing.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Lycoperdon sulcatostomum is a saprotrophic species and grows, usually gregarious, on dead plant debris, requiring well conserved habitat conditions. The holotype was collected on debris of Syagrus romanzoffianum (palm tree) but the species is also found on rotten hardwood and fallen branches. Its distribution is restricted to the now fragmented and scattered Atlantic Forest in Southern Brazil.
The Atlantic Forest as a whole suffers from decades of deforestation due to intensive land use, deforestation, and urban expansion; as well as alien species, such as Eucalyptus and Pinus spp. Only 28% of its natural coverage remains, largely composed of small forest fragments and secondary forests (Tabarelli et al. 2010, Rezende et al. 2018). In the type locality (Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest), the main threats to the forest fragments are agricultural expansion and pasture areas.
The main action to preserve the species is the protection of its habitat and creation of new conservation areas to harbor the probable microhabitats to which the Atlantic Forest may be restricted in the future. Also, measures must be taken to assure that the protected Atlantic Forest areas reach a mature state. Ex-situ conservation is suggested if the species could be cultivated in-vitro.
It is interesting to investigate if the species also occurs in Argentina and Paraguay (adjacent countries from the type locality), as well as other Atlantic Forest fragments in Southern Brazil. Also, the in vitro cultivation is suggested for research in order to establish its conservation ex-situ.
There are no known uses for this species.
Alves CR, Cortez VG. 2013. Morganella sulcatostoma sp. nov. (Agaricales, Basidiomycota) from Paraná State, Brazil. Nova Hedwigia 96(3–4): 409–417.
Alfredo DS, Baseia IG, Accioly T, Silva BDB, Moura MP, Marinho P, Martín MP. 2017. Revision of species previously reported from Brazil under Morganella. Mycological Progress 16: 1–21.
Berglund H, Jonsson BG. 2003. Nested plant and fungal communities; the importance of area and habitat quality in maximizing species capture in boreal old-growth forests. Biological Conservation 112(3): 319–328.
Haddad NM, Brudvig LA, Clobert J et al. 2015. Habitat fragmentation and its lasting impact on Earth’s ecosystems. Science Advances 1: e1500052.
Rezende CL, Scarano FR, Assad ED, Joly CA, Metzger JP, Strassburg BBN, Tabarelli M, Fonesca GA, Mittermeier RA. 2018. From hotspot to hopespot: An opportunity for the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Perspectives in ecology and conservation 16: 208–214.
SpeciesLink. 2021. Available at: https://specieslink.net/. (Accessed: 29 September 2021).
Tabarelli M, Aguiar AV, Ribeiro MC, Metzger JP, Peres C.A. 2010. Prospects for biodiversity conservation in the Atlantic Forest: Lessons from aging human-modified landscapes. Biological Conservation 143(10): 2328–2340.