Agrocybe elatella is saprotrophic fungus with its main distribution in Europe prefering moderately nutrient-rich wetlands and marsh meadows, flat bogs and bog edges, spring slopes, sedge meadows, reed beds, marshes and fens, wet spots in extensively used lawns and other green areas (parks, cemeteries, gardens). It also grows in wet alder forest, less often in raised bogs and in pine forests. The species has been declining during the last decades years in central Europe due to habitat losses and changes, e.g. in Germany (Krieglsteiner 2003) and in Austria (Dämon & Krisai-Greilhuber 2017). It is severely threathened outside nature reserves due to the drainage of bogs, removal of reed belts and various other management changes.The habitat decline is ongoing and estimated to continue to decline in the future, so will the population size of the species.
Considering the population size (720 records in GBIF) is small and the number of loalities estimated does not to exceed 5000, and the habitat decline is estimated to be in the range of 20-30%, it is assessed as NT A2c+A3c+A4c.
Better known as the synonym, Agrocybe paludosa.
Agrocybe elatella is distributed in northern Asia (Caucasus, Siberia, Japan), and Europe (GBIF); in Europe it is exceptionally distributed in southern (Spain, Italy), southeast (Romania), rare in western (Netherlands), central (Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and more widely in northern Europe (Hebrides, Shetland, Faroe Islands). Due to its special habitat requirements, it occurs everywhere only sparsely. The few records from Canada, the US and one from Taipei need to be confirmed and are not considered here.
Because mires, bogs and fens are wetland habitats with a high water content governing many ecological processes that structure their characteristic communities, their hydrological balance is easily disturbed by increased drainage caused by human activities. Furthermore, mire habitats have been widely destroyed or greatly altered in many areas by the extraction of peat. Extraction of peat and conversion of natural mire habitats to productive agricultural and forestry land have been the main reasons for the decline of mire habitats during recent and more long-term historic times and this decline is still continuing. In the EU countries, all but two of the 13 mire habitat types (85%) are threatened and this is the highest percentage of threatened habitats in all terrestrial and freshwater groups (European Red List of Habitats 2016, Essl & Egger 2010). These types of habitats are most vulnerable to hydrological system modifications, surface water and air pollution (eutrophication), natural succession and erosion, agriculture intensification, silviculture and forest management, mining (peat extraction) and urbanization. They are also very sensitive to climate change, especially to increasing droughts. According to the recent report by Barthelmes et al. (2015), in the Nordic-Baltic countries, the percentage of drained peatlands amounts to 44%, which is a rather low value compared to the total of Europe (almost 60%, Joosten 2009). Moreover, the rather positive picture compared to Europe is, however, attributable to only two countries, Norway and Sweden, in which less than 20% of the peatlands have been drained. Thus, the conservative estimate of the habitat loss for Agrocybe elatella approach 30%; the rareness of this species and its dependence on the continuously declining habitat (both in the area and in quality) imply that A. elatella subpopulations have decreased in a similar range.
The habitat decline is estimated to continue in the future, so will the population size of the species. The population size (720 records in GBIF) is small and the number of loalities estimated does not to exceed 5000, and the habitat decline is estimated to be in the range of 20-30%, it is assessed as NT A2+A3(c).
Population Trend: Decreasing
The saprotrophic species prefers moderately calcium-rich wetlands and marsh meadows, fens, flat bogs and bog edges, spring slopes, sedge meadows, reed beds, marshes and fens, wet spots in extensively used lawns and other green areas (parks, cemeteries, gardens). It also grows in wet alder forest and in pine forests. It is moderately nitrogen-tolerant, but mostly occurs on nutrient-poor soils. It produces basidiomata early in the year, in early summer, rarely in autumn.
Wetland sites are threatened by all actions leading to changes of hydrological regime in and around mires such as peat and moss extraction, drainage ditch digging, forestry plantations, eutrophication of groundwater, agricultural toxic discharges and the intensive cattle grazing nearby the habitats. The habitat of A.elatella is declining and is directly threatened by the above mentioned loss of bogs and wetlands, drainage, lowering of the water table, which is still is ongoing and pronounced in Central Europe but also ongoing in northern Europe.
The species can be protected through habitat conservation and preventing the degradation of sites of actual and potential occurrence. This includes, e.g., preventing changes in water regime, avoiding intensification of agriculture and silviculture practices in the neighbouring areas, control over peat extraction, active prevention of the forest succession and erosion, control over the practices leading to eutrophication, etc, and designating key sites for protection.
Inventories and monitoring of known sites and molecular taxonomic analysis to reveal the actual species distribution.
The species should be edible, however, due to ist rarity, there is no use and trade known.