• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • Preliminary Assessed
  • Assessed
  • NTPublished

Sarcosoma globosum (Schmidel) Casp.

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Scientific name
Sarcosoma globosum
(Schmidel) Casp.
Common names
witches cauldron
саркосома шаровидная
mäsovec guľatý
Toverīšu sarkosoma
Paprastasis taukius
masečník kulovitý
Gallertkugel, Kugeliger Gallertbecherling
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
IUCN Red List Category
Proposed by
Anders Dahlberg
Tommy Knutsson
Anders Dahlberg, Inita Daniele, Irina Gorbunova, Tommy Knutsson, Vladimír Kunca, Thomas Læssøe, Olga Nadyeina, Eugene Popov, Tea von Bonsdorff
Comments etc.
A. Martyn Ainsworth, Daniel Dvořák, Vera Hayova, Marija Katarzyte, Kamil Kędra, David Minter, Ellen Riggins, Irja Saar, Beatrice Senn-Irlet, Toby Spribille

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

A well known, conspicous and much looked after species that has disappeared and/or decreased dramatically from many parts of Europe. The prime cause for its decline is conventional compartment cutting of continuity forests – the species disappears after clear-cut felling and is possibly also negatively affected by tjhe ceasing of cattle grazing in forests. Red-listed in 10 European countries, extinct in several central European countries and . The status of the species in Russia a little bit unclear.

Preliminary globally red list assessment: NT A2c+3c+4c (Near Threatened). 

Length of evaluation period: 50 years (3 generations) according to recommendations of Dahlberg & Mueller (2011). Only A criterion applies as the species is widely distributed and the relatively large total population disqualifies the use of criteria B-D. Past, ongoing and future habitat decline is estimated to negatively affect the habitat of S. globosum and hence also the total population. The population decline is possible to infer from the decline of the habitat. Possibly is the future more bleak.

Assessment motivation need to be finalized and supporting information/data developed..

Geographic range

The species is mainly known from the boreal zone of Euroasia with main population from Sweden to Russia W. of the Ural Mountains reaching its distribution limit in Asian parts of Russia. Most of the Central European and small and fragmented populations close to the edges of the distribution area seem today extinct. Also occurring rarely in N. America, but frequency unknown and also include similar but different species. Do not occur in Western North America.

Population and Trends

Has a wide distribution area but the main known occurrences situated in Sweden. A Species Action Program for Sarcosoma globosum 2010-2014 in Sweden provides a compilation of the species biology, status in Sweden and Europe as well suggestions of needed actions for conservation. The program can be downloaded, see below. Summary is available in English.

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology

Unknown terrestrial life form in spruce forests. Has often been referred to as saprotrophic, but has also been suggested as a mycorrhizal fungus. Mainly occuring in older forest, often that has been grazed by cattle for centauries, and most often in spruce dominated stands (Picea). Also in pristine forests. Carpophores produced shortly after snow melting in early spring.

Boreal Forest


Main threat is logging destroy the fungus habitat. The species seems to be favored by long forest continuity and there are no records from plantations or younger forest stands. The area of forest that have not been subjected to forestry is rapidly decreasing and the rate are expected to be at least 30% in 50 years (3 generations) in Sweden.

Logging & wood harvesting

Conservation Actions

Protection of pristine boreal forests; Key habitats; Sustainable forestry without clear-cutting.
Action plan for the species is undertaken in Sweden.

Site/area protectionResource & habitat protectionLaw & policyNational level

Research needed

Research and monitoring is needed to conclude how to develop sustainable forestry without current methods of clear-cutting and plantations.
The life strategy of the species is unknown and the suspicion that the species is saprotrophic is only tentative. It more behaves like a mycorrhizal/parasitic species or something inbetween.

Population size, distribution & trendsHarvest, use & livelihoodsThreatsMonitoring

Use and Trade


Dahlberg A & Croneborg H. 2003. 33 threatened fungi in Europe. Complementary and revised information on candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Bern Convention T-PVS (2001) 34 rev 2.
Dahlberg A & Mueller G. 2011. Applying IUCN red-listing criteria for assessing and reporting on the conservation status of fungal species. Fungal Ecology 4: 1-16
Didukh Y.P. (ed). Red Data Book of Ukraine. Plants. Kyiv, 2009. 900 p.
Nanagyulan S.G., Taslakhchyan M.G. Macromycetes of Dilizhansky and Khostrovsky zapovedniks in Armenia. Yerevan, 1991, 200 p.
Nitare, J.  2009.  Åtgärdsprogram för bombmurkla (Sarcosoma globosum) 2010-2014. (Species Action Plan for Sarcosoma globosum 2010-2014, In Swedish with English summary)  http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Documents/publikationer/978-91-620-6333-7.pdf
Ohenoja, E. et al. 2013. Sarcosoma globosum – an indicator of climate change? Acta Mycologia 48(1): 81-88
Otto P, 2011. Ecology and chorology of 51 selected fungal species. Draft, Leipzig (unpublished)
Wojewoda W., Ławrynowicz M. 2006. Red list of the macrofungi in Poland. (In:) Z. Mirek, K. Zarzycki, W. Wojewoda, Z. Szeląg (Eds). Red list of plants and fungi in Poland. W. Szafer Inst. Bot. Polish Acad. Sci., Krakow.
Trutnev Yu. P. (ed.). Red Data Book of Russian Federation (Plants and Fungi). Moscow, 2008. 855 p.

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted