Tulostoma simulans is a rare puffball species occurring on sandy dry habitats, in semi-natural grasslands. Known from only 25 localities in Europe, the total number of locations, including unknown, is estimated not to exceed 200. The on average number of mature individuals per location is estimated to be 10, hence the total population not to exceed 2,000, with no single subpopulation containing >250 mature individuals. The total population is estimated to slowly decline as a consequence of habitat loss, habitat management change and exploitation. Therefore, at the European-level, this species is assessed as Endangered C2a(i).
Current name: Tulostoma simulans Lloyd
Tulostoma moravecii is a younger synonym of Tulostoma simulans Lloyd (Jeppson et al. 2017)
Following Jeppson et al. (2017) genetically confirmed species occurrences are in North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Asia (Altay Republic, Kazachstan). In Europe it is present in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, (a record from the south of The Russian Federation might be erronous, Rebiev, pers. comm.). This assessment is at the European-level, and so has only looked at the species there.
The majority of the known world population is located in the US. The total number of known localities is only 25 in Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). It is assessed as Endangered in e.g. the Red List of Austria. The total number of localities is estimated to be <200 based on potential for additional sites at unsurveyed localities. Each discrete fruiting patch is interpreted as a mature individual. The on average number of mature individuals per location is estimated to be 10, hence the total population not to exceed 2,000, with no single subpopulation containing >
250 mature individuals. Inner continental sand dunes, steppe vegetation and semi-natural grasslands are in continuous decline, thus population size is decreasing due habitat loss and habitat alteration, a decline in grazing and exploitation.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Many Tulostoma spp., including T. simulans, depend on sandy dry habitats, in semi-natural grasslands. It has been found in a wide range of habitats (forest soil, among litter, sometimes dunicolous, tree nurseries according to Wright 1987). European occurrences are from sand steppe habitats, sand dunes, gypsum hills, rupicolous steppe meadows, and also urban plantations.
Inner continental sand dunes, steppe vegetation and semi-natural grasslands are in continuous decline, thus population size is decreasing due habitat loss and habitat alteration, a decline in grazing, and an increase in littering and nutrient deposition by man in some areas where walking tracks cross the grasslands. Most sandy grasslands are threatened and listed in the European Red list of Habitats (Janssen et al. 2016):
E1.1a Pannonian and Pontic sandy steppe is listed as Critically Endangered, E1.9b Inland sanddrift and dune with siliceous grassland as Endandered, E1.2a Semi-dry perennial calcareous grassland as Vulnerable.
Site protection and management of habitats are very important conservation actions for this species. Some grasslands with high species diversity and conservation value are situated within nature reserves. However, these grasslands need careful management plans, including grazing which is not always present even within strictly protected areas. This situation results in continual decrease of habitat quality even if sites are protected from exploitation.
Population genetical investigation of physical extent of genets (and how many ramets per genet) would improve estimates of “mature individuals”.
There is no use and trade known.