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Xeromphalina junipericola G. Moreno & Heykoop

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Scientific name
Xeromphalina junipericola
G. Moreno & Heykoop
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
IUCN Red List Criteria
C2a(i); D1
Karadelev, M.
Mueller, G.M.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/147537682/148254022


Xeromphalina junipericola is a wood-inhabiting very rare fungus known only from three European countries; North Macedonia, Spain and Turkey. The species' sporocarps are only recorded from old trees. In North Macedonia it grows exclusively on stumps of Juniperus excelsa, in Spain on J. turifera and J. oxycedrus, while in Turkey it grows on J. foetidissima and J. excelsa. It is reported from a single tree at many of the known sites. 

The small population size make the species very susceptible to local extinction due to random events such as fires, tourism, destruction of habitats and other human activities.

Its population size is estimated as under 1000 mature individuals, separated into three subpopulations, the largest of which is estimated to consist of up to 700 mature individuals. There is continuing decline in population size inferred from survey data and from loss of host trees. It is therefore assessed as VU C2a(i); D1.

Taxonomic notes

Moreno and Heykoop (1996) described this species from Guadalajara province in Spain.

Geographic range

Xeromphalina junipericola is a rare fungus endemic to the Mediterranean belt of Europe, known only from a small number of localities in three countries: Spain (Guadalajara and Madrid provinces), North Macedonia and central and southern Turkey.

Population and Trends

Xeromphalina junipericola is a very rare species known only from North Macedonia, Spain and Turkey. The known population size is very small. A search of 50 sites in Turkey with apparently suitable trees only yielded 6 occupied trees (Dogan pers. obs.)  In Macedonia, 9 sites were searched with only one occupied tree recorded. In Spain, there are two known distantly located sites with in total 8 occupied trees. The number of known occupied trees in the Mediterranean region is under 50, and 500 are estimated.  Following the recommendation in Dahlberg and Mueller (2011) the estimated number of mature individuals is 1000.

Population Trend: decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Xeromphalina junipericola grows on trunks of old growth Juniperus spp.:  J. oxycedrus and J. thurifera in Spain (Heykoop and Moreno 2007,  Moreno et al. 2002), J. foetidissima and J. excelsa in Turkey, and J. excelsa in North Macedonia. It is likely that X. junipericola prefers J. foetidissima and J. excelsa as its main hosts in Eastern Mediterranean (North Macedonia and Turkey). These hosts are under pressure from wood harvesting, fire, and other disturbances. 


The species is associated with old growth juniper trees and reduced amount of habitat is the main cause of the inferred decline and threat. The small population size makes the species very susceptible to local extinction due to random events such as fires, tourism, destruction of habitats and other human activities. In North Macedonia there is mass exploitation of juniper trees by the local human population. Branches are used as a fuel source for the production of quick lime (for construction).

Conservation Actions

Protection of known localities together with appropriate management plans are the main actions needed. National Forest Services and other regional organisations should be informed about the need of conserving old juniper trees.

Further research is required, specifically mapping and monitoring of the species.

Use and Trade

The species is not known as edible and is not used as food or in any other way.

Source and Citation

Karadelev, M. 2019. Xeromphalina junipericola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T147537682A148254022. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T147537682A148254022.en .Accessed on 3 February 2024

Country occurrence