Distribution changes of the toxic mushroom Amanita phalloides under climate change scenarios and its potential risk over indigenous communities in Mexico

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Abril Villagrán-Vázquez
Roberto Garibay-Orijel
Carolina Ureta


Amanita phalloides is a native European deathly ectomycorrhizal mushroom that was introduced to North America and has been expanding its distribution during the last decades. This species is morphologically similar to wild edible mushrooms and if its distribution expands to Mexico, it could represent a risk in terms of food security for local communities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential climatic suitability that exists for A. phalloides in North America and overlay it with the distribution of mycophilic communities in Mexico under a baseline climatic scenario and climate change scenarios. To find climatic suitability we modeled its potential distribution with the algorithm that had the best predictive power after pilot test (MaxEnt) using species presences and eight climatic variables chosen with biological and statistical criteria. We worked with CanESM5 because it is one of the best models to simulate climate in North America and SSP5-8.5 scenario in order to be consistent with the precautionary principle. Our results suggest that even when the species has not yet been registered in Mexico, when using European records to model, this country presents 33.61% of climatic suitability for this species under the baseline scenario, potentially affecting about 70% of indigenous communities which are the main consumers of edible mushrooms. Under climate change scenarios, an increase in climatic suitability is expected in Mexico, while decreases are expected in United States and Canada. When using North American records to model, almost no climatic suitability is found in Mexico; however, the implementation of warning campaigns in Mexico is still needed.


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