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Laccariopsis mediterranea (Pacioni & Lalli) Vizzini

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Scientific name
Laccariopsis mediterranea
(Pacioni & Lalli) Vizzini
Common names
Collybie méditerranéenne
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
IUCN Red List Criteria
Gisotti, D.
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/157150127/157150208


Laccariopsis mediterranea is a characteristic European saprotrophic rare fungus growing in coastal dune habitats in the western Mediterranean. These habitats are subject to severe threats from climate change, urbanization and other human activities. A recent study on the impacts of climate change on dune habitats in Italy (main country of occurrence of L. mediterranea) project a decline of more than 90% in the coming 40 years for the suitable habitats of the species, notably habitat "Shifting dunes along the shoreline with Ammophila arenaria" (Natura habitat 2120* ) and  "Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp." (Natura habitat 2250*; Prisco et al. 2013). Similar declines and deterioration of the habitat of L. mediterranea, inferred to result in a similar decline of L. mediterranea, is likely to occur in neighbouring countries. Coastal habitats all over Europe are severely disturbed by urbanization. Based on the 2006 European Commission data of 1990 - 2004, the loss of habitat to artificial surfaces is estimated to have exceeded 20% between 1990 - 2019. Coastal erosion may have devastating effects on dune habitats. The Mediterranean coast has the highest erosion rate in Europe, aggravated by urbanization, coast armouring and dams on rivers which lead to a sediment deficit (EEA 2006). On these premises, the projected habitat loss is thought to exceed 50% in the next c.20 years (3 generations, Dahlberg & Mueller, 2011). This meets the threshold for Endangered (EN) category under criterion A3c.

Taxonomic notes

This species was recently recombined in the new monotipic genus Laccariopsis Vizzini, on morphological and molecular bases. The species is also now referred to as Laccariopsis mediterranea (Pacioni & Lalli) Vizzini (2013). It belongs in family Physalacriaceae, close to genera Gloiocephala and Rhizomarasmius.

Geographic range

Laccariopsis mediterranea is reported from Portugal, from both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coast of France and Spain, including the Balearic Islands, all along the coast of Italy (where the species was described and most of the records are from), including Sicily and Sardinia. It is also reported from Greece, including Crete, and Tunisia (Vizzini et al. 2013).

Population and Trends

The number of reported and known sites with Laccariopsis mediterranea is low (15 - 20) but the species is probably often overlooked due to the growth in winter and the unusual habitat, possibly not so frequented by mycologists. The exclusive habitat of L. mediterranea is the shrub vegetation of coastal sand dunes, especially habitat 2250 (*Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp.), a biotope which is subject to strong pressures, with a severe past and ongoing decline in the Mediterranean region (Picchi 2008). Thus the population of this species is considered to have been declining and prone to further decline. A 2006 European Commission report on European coastal habitats estimates the expansion of artificial surfaces in European coastal areas around 12%, and states that the western Mediterranean is the most affected (e.g. Portugal: 34% increase, Spain 18% increase); more recent assessments are missing, but these trends are likely to continue. Moreover, coastal dune habitats are projected to be severely impacted by climate change, and among those are Natura habitat type 2250 (*Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp.) likely to be among the most sensitive to weather extremes (Prisco et al. 2013). On these bases, the population of L. mediterranea is inferred to have declined at least 30% in the last 30 years, and projected to decline 50% or more in the next c.20 years.

Population Trend: decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Laccariopsis mediterranea is a saprtrophic fungus growing on buried plant matter, and the fruit bodies develop a deeply buried rooting stem. The substrate is supposed to be dead roots of Juniperus spp. or Ammophila arenaria, always on sandy soils in coastal dune habitats (Vizzini et al. 2013). These habitats, Natura 2000 habitat "Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp." (2250) and "Shifting dunes along the shoreline with Ammophila arenaria" (2120) are highly fragmented and subject to strong anthropic pressures.


Changing climate is projected to increasingly negatively influence the costal sand dune habitat of Laccariopsis mediterranea: in particular Mediterranean dune habitats with Juniperus and Ammophila are likely to sharply decline. There are estimates of a loss exceeding 90% in the next 40 years (Prisco et al. 2013). Moreover, changes due to urbanization, touristic facilities, port infrastructures and coastal defences directly and indirectly threaten coastal sand dune habitats. Many European dune areas have been physically replaced by housing facilities, beach resorts and similar, and the alteration of the sedimentary balances deriving from these facilities coastal defence infrastructures and river dams cause erosion and eventually destruction of neighbouring areas of untouched dune habitats (Picchi 2008; Calvão et al. 2013).

The invasion of coastal sand dunes by alien plant species like Acacia saligna may change these habitats (Del Vecchio et al. 2013). So too does the practice of using tree plantations to stabilise the dunes, causing the regression of natural coastal shrubs to be replaced by Pinus spp. or Eucalyptus spp. (Picchi 2008). Additional threats to this habitats are also overgrazing, quarrying for sand, indiscriminate access by tourists (e.g. with motorised vehicles) and pollutants deposited by the seawater aerosol (Picchi 2008). Forest fires are another possible threat to these habitats, in particular habitats with Juniperus spp., due to the low fire resistance and slow regeneration rate of juniper shrubs.

Conservation Actions

The conservation of Laccariopsis mediterranea is directly linked to the conservation of its habitat, (Natura 2000 habitats "Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp.", 2250 and "Coastal dunes with Ammophila arenaria", 2120). Possible conservation actions includes the protection of known sites and in general the protection of the sites of these habitats, especially those few in which a good habitat continuity persists. Controlling grazing, fires and indiscriminate access by tourists is advisable, and in already disturbed dune habitats the planting of native shrub vegetation could help restore the stability and naturalness of the dunes, preventing further erosion. The removal of alien species is advisable when those are threatening the naturalness of the habitats. Initiatives are recommended to raise awareness of the fragility of these habitats. Attention may also be directed to raise awareness of impacts of constructions, harbours, coast protection facilities and fluvial dams, which may affect areas quite far.

Use and Trade

No use or trade of Laccariopsis mediterranea are reported.

Source and Citation

Gisotti, D. 2019. Laccariopsis mediterranea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T157150127A157150208. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T157150127A157150208.en .Accessed on 1 February 2022

Country occurrence