• Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Bovista cretacea T.C.E. Fr.

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Scientific name
Bovista cretacea
T.C.E. Fr.
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Proposed by
Mikael Jeppson
Comments etc.
Mikael Jeppson

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Bovista cretacea was described from northernmost Sweden. Phylogenetic studies have indicated its relationship to Bovista paludosa (Larsson & Jeppson 2007), from which it can be readily distiguished on morphology already in the field.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Bovista cretacea is a species with an arctic distribution and a core area of occurrence in northern Scandinavia and Iceland. The number of records in GBIF is app 100. Being more or less confined to low- middle arctic grasslands and heathlands it is vulnerable to environmental changes caused by global warming and the cease of grazing by reindeers. These factors combined are likely to cause overgrowth by Salix bush and subalpine Betula stands. The small and geographically restricted population of B. cretacea is thus   likely to be subject of an ongoing decline, due to habitat loss. The number of mature individuals is likely to be less than 250 in each subpopulation. It is provisionally suggested as EN based on the C2 criterion; EOO: LC, AOO; EN

Geographic range

The main distribution is confined to arctic-alpine vegetation of Scandinavia and Iceland. An additional record extending its extent of occurrence is that from the taiga forest zone in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region reported by Rebriev et al (2020).

Population and Trends

The known population is small and currently represented by appr 100 records listed in GBIF, almost all from northerly areas of Scandinavia and Iceland. A single, additional finding in Russia, in the taiga zone east of the Ural mountains, extends its area of occurrence considerably. This may indicate that it has previously been overlooked in boreal and arctic areas of western Russia. The records from northenmost Urals reported by Lange (1998) however, haveproven to be erroneous (Rebriev et al. 2020).

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

Bovista cretacea is a saprotrophic puffball with a distribution restricted to somewhat humid open grasslands and heathlands in low- and middle arctic/alpine environments. It may be favoured by reindeer grazing and trampling, keeping the ground vegetation low and sparse. It has also occasionally been found in clearings and along paths and wheeltracks in subalpine Betula woodland. A deviating record is that from a taiga forest area in the Russian Federation. It appears to be strongly calciphilous.


In the light of global warming, particularly evident in arctic habitats, the small population of B. cretacea is likely subject of an ongoing decline, due to habitat loss. Also, the decrease in reindeer grazing in some areas may aggravate the situation, causing even more rapid overgrowth by Salix bush and Betula, detrimental to B. cretacea.

Conservation Actions

Bovista cretacea is currently not on the Redlists of the countries where it occurs. In the light of an estimated decline in habitat quality, dedicated monitoring of known and potentai localities should be imposed.

Research needed

Use and Trade



Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted