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Cortinarius meinhardii Bon

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Scientific name
Cortinarius meinhardii
Common names
Dottergelber Klumpfuß
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Brandrud, T.-E.
Kałucka, I.L. & Iršėnaitė, R.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/147851191/147851218


Cortinarius meinhardii is a European species associated with Picea abies, Abies alba and Pinus sylvestris. Its major habitats are calcareous Picea-Pinus or Picea-Abies forests of N or C Europe, forest types with many habitat-specific taxa of Cortinarius, subgenus Phlegmacium.  

The Phlegmacium-rich, calcareous Picea, Pinus or Abies forests often occupy small and fragmented areas, and the habitats are vulnerable of habitat loss due to urbanization, lime quarries, etc, and to decreased ecological conditions due to modern forestry (with clear-cuts).  

The decline of the calcareous Picea-Pinus-Abies forests in a period of 50 years (three generations) is inferred to have magnitude of 15-20%, and it is suspected to continue in the future. Based on this, the species is assessed as NT according to the A-criterion (A2c+3c+4c) (species/habitat decline >15%).

Geographic range

As many other European calciphilous Phlegmacium Picea/conifer associates, Cortinarius meinhardii shows a more or less bicentric distribution, restricted mainly to Central Scandinavia-Estonia of N Europe and the Jura-Prealp-Carpathian region of C Europe. The species is also recorded in montane areas of S Europe (Pyrenees, Apennines), and also from montane Turkey. The species is recorded up to 1,600-1,700 m asl in the Pyrenees and the Alps. It is also possible that the species is present in Poland and Slovakia, although there are still no records there.

Population and Trends

Cortinarius meinhardii is known from approx. 100 sites/localities in Scandinavia, according to data from national Red Lists of Sweden and Norway, and from approx. 200 sites/localities of C-S Europe (60 sites in Germany; 80 sites from Austria), according to databases and several regional reports. The total population is estimated to approx. 3,000 localities, which is equivalent to approx. 60,000 mature individuals (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011).

The decline of the calcareous Picea-Pinus-Abies forests in a period of about 50 years (three generations) is estimated to be in the magnitude of 15-20%. Based on this, the population is suspected to have declined at a similar rate.

Population Trend: decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Cortinarius meinhardii is associated with Picea abies, Abies alba and more rarely Pinus sylvestris. Its major habitats are (strongly) calcareous, mossy, herb-rich Picea-Pinus or Picea-Abies forests of N or C Europe, forest types with many habitat-specific taxa of Cortinarius, subgenus Phlegmacium. The species occurs mainly in old-growth forests. 

In Scandinavia, the species occurs in calcareous spruce forests or semi-open calcareous pine forests, usually with scattered spruce. The species is found in boreonemoral-southern boreal-middle boreal regions up to 500 m asl. 

In C Europe, the species occurs in montane, calcareous spruce-fir forests as well as more subalpine, calcareous spruce forests, reported up to 1,600-1,700 m asl. In the Swiss Alps as well as in the Pyrenéenes. In the Pyrenées the species is recorded from Pinus sylvestris forests (without Picea or Abies). In Turkey the species is reported from montane Cedar forests.


Cortinarius meinhardii and its habitats (calcareous Picea-Abies-Pinus forests) have been declining e.g. due to area loss (urbanization, including tourist resorts, road constructions, expansion of limestone quarries) as well as decreased habitat quality/ecological conditions due to modern forestry with clear-cuttings. Forest statistics from Austria indicate that forestry activity has been doubled the last 40 years, and according to a Habitat Red List in Austria (Essl and Egger 2010), the Abies-Picea forests are endangered in many regions of Austria. The major habitat of C. meinhardii in Norway, the calcareous pine (spruce) forests of SE Telemark County has declined by >50% due to areal loss since 1970 (and the forest type is listed as VU in Norway) (Brandrud and Bendiksen 2018).

Conservation Actions

To prevent decline and further fragmentation of calcareous Picea-Abies-Pinus forests with good habitat quality, it is important to set aside reserves on calcareous hotspots, housing many rare/threatened, habitat-specific species such as C. cupreorufus, C. dalecarlicus and C. sulfurinus. It is furthermore important to establish also sites with a less strict conservation regime, such as woodland key biotopes, where some non-destructive human activities are accepted (such as non-intensive forestry, with closed cutting).

More mapping/surveying and monitoring of C. meinhardii is needed. The species is striking, and its occurrences are rather well documented in Scandinavia and the Prealp region. However, the species is little documented from e.g. the Carpathians, where it probably has a wider distribution, probably also in the Balkan region. Finally, more documentation on the degree of decline of the habitats themselves is needed.

Use and Trade

The species is not used.

Source and Citation

Brandrud, T.-E. 2019. Cortinarius meinhardii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T147851191A147851218. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-2.RLTS.T147851191A147851218.en .Accessed on 1 February 2024

Country occurrence