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

Gyromitra korfii (Raitv.) Harmaja

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Scientific name
Gyromitra korfii
(Raitv.) Harmaja
Common names
Korf’s False Morel
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
Proposed by
Andres Triana, Dani Zylstra
Comments etc.
Andres Triana, Dani Zylstra

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Pezizomycetes
Order: Pezizales
Family: Descinaceae
Genus: Gyromitra
Species: Korfii

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

The lack of data and information of these species, despite being in a changing environment due to climate change, make it imperative to be assessed to prevent the complete loss of a potential ecological asset.

Geographic range

The species are known to be found predominately in the American-Canadian border near the Northern Midwest and Northeast.  An occurrence has also been spotted on the Southeastern coast of British Columbia, Canada. Based on the regions represented by registered occurrences, the observed geographic range is comprised of approximately 1536590.4 sq km.

Population and Trends

In regards to population and current trends, it should be said that this species is data deficient. According to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, there have been a total of 183 registered occurrences. Because such minimal data around the population exists, it is difficult to assess current trends.

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

While this species is officially recognized as saprobic, there is a possibility that they are also mycorrhizal, serving different ecological functions throughout different phases in their life cycle. During their saprotrophic activity, Gyromitra korfii has been found on the sides of dead big-toothed aspens and under hardwoods on the floor. The species is mainly found in the northern deciduous forests of the United States. These experience short warm summers and cool winter. This species is often remarked as a vernal species that truly grows in the spring and thrives off of melting snowbank. These deciduous forests typically have alfisol soil, which is considered the most fertile type of forest soil. In terms of weather, these forests have cold and warm air masses that lead to a drastic four-season variation of spring, summer, fall, and winter. Collectively looking at the annual figures, the average temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit and experience 30-60 inches of rainfall.

Temperate Forest


The deciduous forest in the Northern United States which this species inhabits is increasingly experiencing changes in precipitation and rising temperatures, causing the species hosts to gradually move up north. The deforestation due to the lumber industry in this region of the country, complicated by cross-border politics, has exacerbated the impacts of this habitat displacement.

Unintentional effects: large scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]Habitat shifting & alteration

Conservation Actions

On a regional scale, more research and regulation on the local large-scale timber industry that is causing deforestation in these northern temperate deciduous forests. On a global scale, climate change research, action and policy should be design and executed to address the northward shift of the biome due to rising temperatures. Without more ecological and population studies on this species, it is difficult to recommend more specific conservation action for these species.

Resource & habitat protectionInternational levelPrivate sector standards & codes

Research needed

While the ecological shifts northward have impacted the species’ biome, little is actually know about the species, including population size and trends, their use, life history, and ecology. Prospective research questions include: What is the species’ role in the broader forest ecology? How is the shift in habitat, due to climate change, impacting the species’ fulfillment of its saprotrophic role? What are the potential uses of this species? What is the current population size, distribution and trend? Does this species fulfill a mycorrhizal role? Therefore, it is imperative to further research these dimensions of the species livelihood, in order to proactively and well-informingly design conservation strategies.

Population size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecologyHarvest, use & livelihoodsPopulation trends

Use and Trade

The saprotrophic nature of the species positions it “usefulness” to the role of organic decomposition in their biome. Aside for their ecological role, little to none is known about the use and trade of Gyromitra korfii, largely because it has not fulfilled a role in mainstream society.



Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted