Several species of fungi face extinction

fungi red list mushroomThe Splendid Waxcap Mushroom (Hygrocybe splendissima) photograped in Waun Las National Nature Reserve. Photo:

Several species of fungi face extinction in Norway

79 species of fungi are threatened with extinction in Europe, according to the global red list for fungi 2019. Several of these are found in Norway.

The International Nature Conservation Union (IUCN) issues a revised edition of the global red list for fungi.

The report states that 79 fungal species in Europe are threatened with extinction. Several of these grow in old, unfertilized meadows and pastures.

One of the fungi is Splendid Waxcap Mushroom (hygrocybe splendidissima). In Norway, this species is found especially in outlying grazing in the coastal and fjord areas of Western Norway. This fungus exists only in Europe, especially in Scandinavia, Germany and the UK. Splendid Waxcap Mushroom, as well as several other fungi species that thrive in outlying pastures, have declined sharply over the past 50 years.



Intensified agriculture

The decline is, according to the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), due partly to intensified agriculture with cultivation and fertilization, and partly because the operation of marginal agricultural areas has either ceased or grown over.

“The fungi seem to have an exchange of nutrients with the plants. They are thus an important part of nutrient turnover in these grasslands,” Researchers John Bjarne Jordal and Tor Erik Brandrud. Jordal and Branderud work for Norwegian Environmental Studies and NINA, respectively.

Many forest mushrooms, so-called veil mushrooms, are also vulnerable.

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