The hydnoid fungus Hydnellum mirabile is a rare, conspicous and much looked after species that has disappeard and/or decreased from many parts of Europe. It forms mycorrhiza with mainly spruce (Picea) but rarely perhaps also with pine (Pinus) in oldgrowth coniferous forests on herb-rich and/or calcareous soils. The species seems to have narrow ecological niche and special requirements for being present. The prime cause for its decline is modern forestry with clear-cutting techniques. The species disappears after clear-cut fellings and dont seem to be able to reappear in younger forest stands. Usually, the fungus acts as an indicator of remnants of old spruce forest ecosystem with long continuity on calcareous soils not affected by large-scale disturbances. The habitats for Hydnellum mirabile, being stands on productive soils and of high economic values is under heavy preassure from forest industry in all its distribution area.
A significant part of the World population is confined to Northern Europe (Fennoscandia) where the species is in steep decline and redlisted in all countries where it occurs (Finland VU, Norway VU, Sweden EN). (Johan Nitare)
In Europe bicentric distribution, with one main area of occupancy in Norway-Sweden-southern Finland-Russia (hemiboreal zon) and one in Central Europé (The Alps and Carpathy) within the natural range of Picea abies. The species is reported from several localities in the Nordic countries but only a few records from C. Europe (Austria, France, Slovakia and Italy). Also reported from Switzerland, Spain and North America but material in need of revision and might refer to H. compactum.
Known from approx. 200 localities in Fennoscandia and maybe 20-25 in C. Europe. The number of localities in Russia and N. America unknown. Nowhere a common species and allways confined to a habitat that have decreased and are continually decreasing rapidly. Redlisted in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Czech republic and Slovakia.
Population Trend: Deteriorating
Hydenllum mirabile forms ectomycorrhiza with mainly spruce (Picea) but rarely also with pine (Pinus) in oldgrowth coniferous forests on mossy herb-rich on base-rich (calcareous) soils. The species seems to have very special requirements and occurs in a narrow ecological niche in all its range. Localities are allways very rich in biodiversity, including rare and nationally redlisted species of fungi, and considered spots of high conservation values/interest.
Main threat is logging destroying the fungus habitat and Hydnellum mirabile seems to disappear after clear-cut fellings, not able to reappear in younger forest stands. . The species seems to be favoured by long continuity of spruce (ancient boreal spruce forests). There is currently a heavy preassure on remnants of old-growth spruce-dominated forests on productive soil. The habitat is rapidly decreasing, more than 30% in 50y and probably with more than 50% in a 100y perspective.
Sites for Hydnellum mirabile is very rarely protected in nature reserves and the habitat is in urgent need of protection all over its distribution range.
Gulden, G. & Hanssen, E.W. 1992a. Jordboende piggsopper i Norge. Del 5. Fire Hydnellum‒arter. Blekksoppen 20, nr 57: 16‒23.
Gulden, G. & Hanssen, E.W. 1992b. Distribution and ecology of stipitate hydnaceous fungi in Norway, with special reference to the question of decline. Sommerfeltia 13: 1‒58.
Maas Geesteranus, R.A. 1975. Die terrestrischen Stachelpilze Europas. Verh. Kon. Ned. Akad. Wetensch., Afd. Natuurk. Tweede Reeks, Deel 65. Amsterdam/London.