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Neophellinus uncisetus (Robledo, Urcelay & Rajchenb.) Y.C. Dai, F. Wu, L.W. Zhou, Vlasák & B.K. Cui

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Scientific name
Neophellinus uncisetus
Author
(Robledo, Urcelay & Rajchenb.) Y.C. Dai, F. Wu, L.W. Zhou, Vlasák & B.K. Cui
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Hymenochaetales
Family
Hymenochaetaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2023-05-31
IUCN Red List Category
EN
IUCN Red List Criteria
C2a(ii)
Assessors
Pelissero, D. & Urcelay, C.
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/238220276/245223660

Justification

Neophellinus uncisetus is a polyporoid fungal species considered rare, occurring exclusively in the mountainous regions of Cordoba, Argentina. It inhabits both living and dead trunks of the Tabaquillo tree (Polylepis australis), which grows at elevations of 1,500 metres or higher. This fungus is endemic to Argentina, known from 10 sites, being restricted to small and fragmented forests of P. australis in the Sierras de Cordoba, in the Chacoan subtropical region of South America, which currently covers only 11.9% of the area of the Sierras. Its potential range could extend to the entire distribution of P. australis, including the southern zone of the Yungas forest, but this has not yet been confirmed despite sampling efforts. The P. australis forests in the Sierra de Cordoba are facing serious threats including erosion and degradation caused by domestic grazing and anthropogenic fires for the past three centuries (Cabido and Acosta 1985; Renison et al. 2002, 2004; Cingolani et al. 2003, 2004). There are only 27 records of N. uncisetus in the monotypic forests of P. australis, and therefore it is considered a rare species due to intensive sampling efforts throughout many years and the lack of collections outside high altitude areas within the Argentinian Yungas. Considering the species conspicuousness and the assumption that there could be no more than 150 sites within its restricted habitat, the total population size is estimated as up to 2,500 mature individuals, but it could be even lower. The P. australis forests in the Sierra de Cordoba are facing serious threats including erosion and degradation caused by domestic grazing and anthropogenic fires for the past three centuries and the loss of required habitat is expected to be still undergoing, and it is inferred that the fungal species is also in decline. It is assessed as Endangered under criterion C2a(ii).

Geographic range

Neophellinus uncisetus is a species restricted to the small and fragmented forests of Polylepis australis in central Argentina, in the Sierras de Cordoba, in the Chacoan subtropical region of South America, which currently covers only 11.9% of the area of the Sierras. Of this total, 2.5% of the area is composed of closed-canopy forests, and the remaining 9.4% is composed of open forests mixed with meadows and exposed rocks. This percentage is only equivalent to 14,880 hectares. The known distribution of the species includes at least 10 sites. Although its host plant has a wider distribution, extending to the southern zone of the Yungas, the species N. uncisetus is restricted to the fragmented monospecific P. australis forests, in high-altitude areas (1,500 metres above sea level) within Cordoba. Its potential range could extend to the entire distribution of P. australis, including the southern zone of the Yungas forest, but this has not yet been confirmed despite sampling efforts.

Population and Trends

This parasitic polypore species is known only from at least 10 sites. Although its host plant has a wider distribution, extending to the southern zone of the Yungas, the species Neophellinus uncisetus is restricted to the fragmented monospecific Polylepis australis forests, in high-altitude areas (1,500 metres above sea level) within Cordoba. There are only twenty-seven records of N. uncisetus in the monotypic forests of P. australis, and therefore it is considered a rare species due to intensive sampling efforts throughout many years and the lack of collections outside high altitude areas within the Argentinian Yungas. Considering the species' conspicuousness and the assumption that there could be no more than 150 sites within its restricted habitat, the total population size is up to 2,500 mature individuals or it could be even lower. The P. australis forests in the Sierra de Cordoba are facing serious threats including erosion and degradation caused by domestic grazing and anthropogenic fires for the past three centuries and the loss of required habitat is expected to be still undergoing, and it is inferred that the fungal species is also in decline.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Neophellinus uncisetus is a rare fungus found exclusively only in the mountainous regions of Cordoba, Argentina. It inhabits both living and dead trunks of the Tabaquillo tree (Polylepis australis), which grows at elevations of 1,500 metres or higher. This fungus is endemic to the Cordoba mountains and its survival depends on the presence of its host.

Threats

The threats to Neophellinus uncisetus primarily affect its host plant, Polylepis australis. The P. australis forests in the Sierra de Cordoba are facing serious threats including erosion and degradation caused by domestic grazing and anthropogenic fires for the past three centuries (Cabido and Acosta 1985; Renison et al. 2002, 2004; Cingolani et al. 2003, 2004). Currently, the forests with a closed canopy cover only 2.5% of the area, with open forests mixed with grasslands and exposed rocks occupying the rest of the area (9.4%) (Cingolani et al. 2004).

Livestock grazing activity in the mountains where these forests are found, is a significant economic activity in the region (Zimmermann et al. 2009). Although it slightly stimulates early regeneration (Zimmermann et al. 2009), it also damages the young Polylepis trees that are 4-150 cm tall, causing them to lose up to 98% of their biomass annually (Giorgis et al. 2010). Livestock grazing and associated fires restrict P. australis to less flammable sites, such as low topographic positions and rocky sites (Renison et al. 2002, 2006). Over hundreds of years, domestic grazing and fires, along with logging, have resulted in a marked decrease in the distribution area of P. australis in the Sierra de Cordoba (Cingolani et al. 2008), as well as increased soil erosion, a simplification of the forest's vertical structure, and a decrease in biodiversity (Bellis et al. 2009; Renison et al. 2010, 2011; Robledo and Renison 2010).

Conservation Actions

Natural reserves are protected against logging and deforestation, however, stronger measures involving citizens are needed against invasive tree and shrub species. Since Polylepis australis is under threat, conservation measures to protect the host would be beneficial. Research is needed to better identify the substrate range for this species, as well as to investigate its presence along the entire distribution of the host plant P. australis (e.g. Yungas), and whether it is associated with other Polylepis species.

Use and Trade

It is not known if this species is used/traded.

Source and Citation

Pelissero, D. & Urcelay, C. 2023. Neophellinus uncisetus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2023: e.T238220276A245223660. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2023-1.RLTS.T238220276A245223660.en .Accessed on 16 January 2024

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