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  • Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
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Leucopholiota lignicola (P. Karst.) Harmaja

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Scientific name
Leucopholiota lignicola
(P. Karst.) Harmaja
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Under Assessment
Proposed by
Tatyana Svetasheva
Tatyana Svetasheva
Irina Gorbunova
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Index Fungorum - Leucopholiota lignicola (P. Karst.) Harmaja
It was described by Peter Karsten in1879 as Lepiota lignicola.  The related species L. decorosa, distributed mainly in America, is sometimes considered as a synonym, but detailed phylogenetic studies are needed.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Not a Mediterranean species but will be assessed during the Mediterranean Initiative. Leucopholiota lignicola is a very rare gill fungus having unusually beautiful and memorable fruit bodies that cannot be overlooked in the forest.  It is a saprotroph on large deadwood, mainly Betula, inhabits predominantly old/mature mixed forest in mointains and plains in the southern boreal areas of Europe (Finland, Karelia) as well as in the middle-south taiga of Siberia and Russian Far East. Sporocarps are easily recognizable and well visible due to their quite large size and their bright golden-orange or orange-brown color of the cap and stem, contrasting with the white lamellas. Despite their characteristic appearence no more than 50 finds are currently known throughout their areal.  The population can be considered to be declined by 20-25% for the last 20 years due to reduced area of natural mature taiga forests. In Finland this species is marked as an indicator of virgin forests and assessed as Critically Endangered, in Rissia it is included in the National Red Data Book as Rare/Vulnerable. Lepiota lignicola can be globally assessed as Vu based on criteria C2a(i).

Geographic range

Today it is reliably known in Finland and Russia (European part: Karelia republic, Arkhangelsk Oblast;  Caucausus: Adygea republic; Asian part: Kemerovo, Tomsk, Irkutsk, Amur Oblasts, Altay, Buryatia, Khakasia republics, Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk, Primorsky krais, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug)

Population and Trends

It is reported from approximately 10-15 localities in south Finland and 35-40 localities in Russia.  In total approximately 50 localities are known in Eurasia. Based on this, the number of sites is estimated to be approximately 500 localities, which corresponds with approximately less then10,000 mature individuals (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). The species usually is restricted to natural (sometimes virgin) forests which area is permanently reduced during the last several decads as well as the habitat quality is also declining (the number of big old alive trees and large-sized fallen trunks decreasing,  the species composition of plant communities changing to increasing of percentage of weedy and adventious species). Therefore the population can be considered to be declined by 15-20%  for the last 20 years (generation length for Betula wood-inhabiting species). The habitat decline is suspected to be ongoing. So the total population of L.lignicola (< 10,000) is considered is small and declining,  what leads to Vu, C2a(i)

Population Trend:

Habitat and Ecology

Leucopholiota lignicola is a xylosaprotroph on large fallen trunks of mainly Betula and sometimes other deciduous trees. It inhabits predominantly old-growth forests or at least mature taiga forest (including sporadic old trees and younger forests with decaying trees)  in mointains and plains in the southern boreal areas of Europe (Finland, Karelia) as well as in the middle-south taiga of Siberia and Russian Far East.


Tourism & recreation areasWood & pulp plantations

Conservation Actions

Site/area protection

Research needed

Population size, distribution & trendsMonitoring

Use and Trade


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted