• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • NTPreliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
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Gelatinodiscus flavidus Kanouse & A.H. Sm.

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Scientific name
Gelatinodiscus flavidus
Kanouse & A.H. Sm.
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
NT A3c+4c
Proposed by
Noah Siegel
Noah Siegel
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

May be to common to be assessed as NT under C2ai.  Also - as it is a litter forming fungus - it is assessed with 20 year corresponding to three generations, e.g. the decline of habitat needs to be projected to exceed 20% during 20yrs. Is that feasible?


A rare saprobic fungus with small, brightly colored fruitbodies produced on Incense Cedar and Yellow Cedar needles near melting snowbanks in spring and early summer. Easily recognizable by the habitat, in combination with the gelatinous texture, and convex to round ‘heads’ and short to nearly indistinct stipe. Distributed in California, Oregon, Washington in USA and British Columbia in Canada. Decline in winter snow-pack has resulted in loss of habit for this species. Climate change is causing warmer and drier winters with elevated and lessened average snowfall and is projected to cause a gradual loss and deterioration of appropriate habitat for this species.

The habitat loss is estimated to exceed 20% in the coming 20 years check), corresponding to estimate for three generations for litter fungi It is listed as Near Threatened due to ongoing and projected reduction in population size due to habitat change caused by climate change.


The populations size is estimated not to exceed 15 000 mature individuals. It is listed as Near Threathened due its small population and ongoing reduction in population size caused by climate change.

Taxonomic notes

The current name is Chloroscypha flavida (Kanouse & A.H. Sm.) Baral.

Originally described as Gelatinodiscus flavidus by Kanouse & Smith in 1940; genetic research has shown close affiliation to Chloroscypha, and this species was transferred to that genus by Baral in 2013.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Gelatinodiscus flavidus is a rare species which only is known from Yellow Cedar and Incense Cedar needles in areas with ample snowpack.

The specialized habitat this species occurs in is declining.

Geographic range

Gelatinodiscus flavidus is only known from high elevations in Western North America; from California, Oregon Washington in USA and from British Columbia in Canada.

Population and Trends

Known from twenty-six locations (Mycoportal 2021) from the Mount Shasta area in California, continuing north in the Cascades and Olympic ranges into British Columbia, Canada (four locations in the southern Cascades in California, six in Oregon, seven in Washington, and nine sites in British Columbia, Canada).

It is confined to high elevation forests in areas with Yellow Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis) or Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), and an ample winter snowpack. These forests are affected by changing climate; with warmer and drier winters that have elevated and lessened the average snowfall. Stoelinga et al. (2010) state that Cascade Range spring snowpack declined 23% during 1930-2007, and models suggest that the rate of snowpack decline with increase substantially by the end of the century (Rhoades et al. 2018). Gelatinodiscus flavidus will experience a continued loss and decline of appropriate habitat. This snowbank fungus has only been recorded a few times and is considered as a rare fungus; albeit certainly over-looked within its habitat restricted geographic distribution. The total number of locations is conservatively not considered to exceed 500 corresponding to less than 15000 mature individuals.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

It is a saprotrophic fungus growing on Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) and Yellow Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis) needles near melting snowbanks in spring and early summer. Appears to need sufficient winter snowpack to fruit.

Temperate Forest


This species is dependent on thick winter snowpacks to fruit. Snowbank fungi, unique to the western North American mountains, occur/fruit in areas with ample snowpack. They fruit in the spring and summer, as the snow melts and recedes. As the climate changes, warmer and drier winters have elevated and lessened the average snowfall. Climate change, continued loss of habitat, decline in area of old growth forests, and hotter, stand replacing fires are likely detrimental to this species. 

Snowpack decline in the western North American mountains has been well documented (Mote et al. 2005, Mote et al 2018, Zeng et al. 2018, Stoelinga et al. 2010). Stoelinga et al. (2010) state that Cascade Range spring snowpack declined 23% during 1930-2007, and models suggest that the rate of snowpack decline with increase substantially by the end of the century (Rhoades et al. 2018).

Habitat shifting & alterationDroughtsOther impacts

Conservation Actions

Protect populations from logging, development and other disturbance.

Site/area protection

Research needed

Targeted surveys of suitable habitat to assess presences or absents of this species.

Population size, distribution & trends

Use and Trade

None known.


Kanouse, B.B. and Smith, A.H. 1940. Two new genera of Discomycetes from the Olympic National Forest. Mycologia 32: 756–759

Castellano, M.A., Smith, J.E., O’Dell, T., Cázares, E. and Nugent, S. 1999. Handbook to Strategy 1 Fungal Species in the Northwest Forest Plan. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: Portland, OR. 195 p.

Baral, H.O., Galán, R., Platas, G. and Tena, R. 2013. Phaeohelotium undulatum comb. nov. and P. succineoguttulatum sp. nov., two segregates of the Discinella terrestris aggregate found under Eucalyptus in Spain: taxonomy, molecular biology, ecology and distribution. Mycosystema 32(3): 386–428

Fyfe, J. C. et al. 2017. Large near-term projected snowpack loss over the western United States. Nat. Commun. 8, 14996 doi: 10.1038/ncomms14996.

Mote, P.W., Hamlet, A.F., Clark, M.P. and Lettenmaier, D.P. 2005: Declining mountain snowpack in western North America. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 86, 39–49.

Mote, P.W., Li, S., Lettenmaier, D.P. et al. 2018. Dramatic declines in snowpack in the western US. npj climate and atmospheric science 1, 2 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-018-0012-1

MyCoPortal. 2021. Mycology Collections Portal. Available at: http://mycoportal.org

Rhoades, A.M., Jones, A.D. and Ullrich, P.A. 2018. The Changing Character of the California Sierra Nevada as a Natural Reservoir. Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1029/2018GL080308

Siegel, N. 2017. United States Forest Service R5 rare species assessment. Draft internal document. 

Siegel, N., Vellinga, E.C., Schwarz, C., Castellano, M.A. and Ikeda, D. 2019. A Field Guide to the Rare Fungi of California’s National Forests. Bookmobile: Minneapolis, MN. 313 p.

Stoelinga, M.T., Albright, M.D. and Mass, C.F. 2010. A new look at snowpack trends in the Cascade Mountains. Journal of Climate 23: 10. 2473–2491. https://doi.org/10.1175/2009JCLI2911.1


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted