This species is uncommon to rare through much of its range, being seen sporadically. In various national red lists in Europe, it is listed as rare to critically endangered.
EUROPE: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Russia (Moscow oblast), Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ukraine. Probably more widespread in Europe and possibly also occurring in Asia. A record of Choiromyces, exists from Antarctica. The fungus was isolated from a cryoconite hole in the Canada Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valley region, and was identified using small subunit (16S/18S) rDNA amplification, cloning and sequencing (the sequence was closest to another sequence, in a gene library, already identified as C. meandriformis). The authors speculated that the cryoconite hole was colonized from adjacent lake ice and microbial mat environments (CHRISTNER, KVITKO & REEVES, 2003). This record has not been included in the geographical distribution above.
Because trained dogs can find hypogeous fungi more easily than humans, estimates of abundance of all hypogeous species in Europe tend to be higher in Mediterranean countries where there is a tradition of using such animals. PEGLER, SPOONER & YOUNG (1993) described C. meandriformis as a “relatively common species which is widespread in England”, while MONTECCHI & SARASINI (2000) regarded the species as “almost widespread” throughout Europe. The species is red-listed as endangered in Denmark and Lithuania, rare in Bulgaria and Poland and as critically endangered for Germany in general and Nordrhein-Westfalen in particular. It was, however, removed from the Swedish red list. Using IUCN Categories and criteria, MINTER (2007) evaluated the conservation status of this species as Near Threatened (Data Deficient).
Hypogeous fungi make an important contribution to the dynamics of woodland and forest soils, through their mutualism with mammals resulting in digging and aeration. Choiromyces meandriformis is usually associated with deciduous trees and, at least sometimes, with slightly acid soil. It is often found just at ground level or half-buried or unearthed by heavy rainfall. The species has been observed in June, July, August, September, October and November. Associated plants: Acer pseudoplatanus; Aesculus sp.; Betula sp.; Cedrus atlantica var. glauca; Cistus ladanifer; Coniferae indet.; Fagus sylvatica; Fagus sp.; Fraxinus excelsior; Ilex aquifolium; Picea abies; Pinus sp.; Poaceae gen.indet.; Populus sp.; Quercus robur; Quercus sp.; Salix sp.; Sequoia sp.; Tilia cordata; Tilia sp. Other substrata: soil.
Choiromyces meandriformis, considered by some to be edible, is itself of little or no value as human food, and there are some suggestions from Italy and Spain that it may cause stomach upsets or even be toxic (MONTECCHI & SARASINI, 2000). It is, however, sometimes marketed fraudulently as Tuber magnatum Pico. GREGORI (2003) reported that, in northern Italy, this species among others was readily detected in several locations by trained sniffer dogs, and its presence was regarded as indicative of an area suitable for development in commercial truffle production.
AMICUCCI, A., ZAMBONELLI, A., GIOMARO, G., POTENZA, L. & STOCCHI, V. Identification of ectomycorrhizal fungi of the genus Tuber by species-specific ITS primers. Molecular Ecology 7: 273-277 (1998). BONTEA, V. Ciuperci Parazite şi Saprofite din România 2: 471 pp. (1986). BUCHOLTZ, F. Zur Entwicklung der Choiromyces-Fruchtkörper. Annales Mycologici 6: 539-550 (1908). CHRISTNER, B.C., KVITKO, B.H. & REEVE, J.N. Molecular identification of Bacteria and Eukarya inhabiting an Antarctic cryoconite hole. Extremophiles 7 (3): 177-183 (2003) [available on-line at: http://www.brent.xner.net/pdf files/Christner_etal.2003_EXTREMEOPHILES.pdf]. CLARK, M.C. A Fungus Flora of Warwickshire (UK, Kew; British Mycological Society): 272 pp. (1980). COMMANDINI, O., CONTU, M. & RINALDI, A.C. An overview of Cistus ectomycorrhizal fungi. Mycorrhiza 16: 381-395 (2006). GREGORI, G. Individuazione di aree tartuficole nel friuli Venezia Giulia terza parte [Location of truffle producing areas in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Part three]. Notiziario ERSA 16 (6): 30-36 (2003). HAWKER, L.E. British hypogeous fungi. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B 237: 429-546, 29 figs (1954). HAWKER, L.E. Revised annotated list of British hypogeous fungi. Transactions of the British Mycological Society 63: 67-76 (1974). JURC, D., PILTAVER, A. & OGRIS, N. Glive Slovenije / Fungi of Slovenia. Studia Forestalia Slovenica 124: i-vi, 1-497 (2005). LANGER, C. A year with truffles. Svampe 29: 1-5 (1993). ŁAWRYNOWICZ, M. Chorology of the European hypogeous ascomycetes. II. Tuberales. Acta Mycologica Warszawa 26 (1): 7-75 (1990, publ. 1991). MABRU, D., DOUET, J.P., MOUTON, A., DUPRÉ, C., RICARD, J.M., MÉDINA, B., CASTROVIEJO, M. & CHEVALIER, G. PCR-RFLP using a SNP on the mitochondrial Lsu-rDNA as an easy method to differentiate Tuber melanosporum (Perigord truffle) and other truffles species in cans. International Journal of Food Microbiology 94 (1): 33-42 (2004). MINTER, D.W. Choiromyces meandriformis. IMI Descriptions of Fungi and Bacteria No. 1713 (2007). MONTECCHI, A. & SARASINI, M. Funghi Ipogei d’Europa (Trento, Italy: Associazione Micologica Bresadola): [i-vi] 714 pp. (2000). PEGLER, D.N., SPOONER, B.M. & YOUNG, T.W.K. British Truffles a Revision of British Hypogeous Fungi (Kew, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens): [i-viii], 216 pp., 26 plates (1993). RIMOCZI, I., CSILLAG, A., ALBERT, L. & BRATEK, Z. Sporen-Charakterisierung von Arten aus den Familien Tuberaceae, Hydnotriaceae, Terfeziaceae und Elaphomycetaceae mit Hilfe von SEM-Daten [Characterization of spores of species in the families Tuberaceae, Hydnotriaceae, Terfeziaceae and Elaphomycetaceae by means of SEM data]. Zeitschrift für Mykologie 58 (2): 121-127 (1992). THOEN, D. & SCHULTHEIS, B. Checklist provisoire des champignons hypogés du Luxembourg. Bulletin de la Société des Naturalistes Luxembourgeois 103: 31-44 (2003).
See also the following internet pages:
http://aropath.lanl.gov/Organisms/Acronyms_sorted_by_species.html (aromatic metabolic pathways);
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_and_endangered_animals_of_Lithuania#Fungus (red listing for Lithuania);
http://mycoweb.narod.ru/fungi/News/News_archive_200505.html (occurrence in Moscow oblast, Russia);
http://perso.orange.fr/champignons.fc/odeurs/cleascos.htm (identification key based on scents);
http://www.artdata.slu.se/Bern_Fungi/Swedish fungal Red List 2005.pdf (status in Sweden);
http://www.asturnatura.com/articulos/revista/catalogohongosast.pdf (occurrence in Spain);
http://www.bfn.de/fileadmin/MDB/documents/RoteListePflanzen.pdf (red listing for Germany);
http://www.dgfm-ev.de/www/de/projekte/pdj2001.php3 (use in Germany as flagship species);
http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5489e/y5489e14.htm (listing as edible by FAO);
http://www.grzyby.pl/czerwona-lista-skorowidz-lat.htm (red listing for Poland);
http://www.manitari.gr/karpofories/06/augustos.htm (occurrence in Greece);
www-mykopat.slu.se/Newwebsite/mycorrhiza/edible/abstracts/zaklina3.html (ccurrence in Serbia);
http://www.netbiologen.dk/rodliste/rodsvampe.htm (red listing in Denmark);
www3.lanuv.nrw.de/static/infosysteme/roteliste/pdfs/s259.pdf (red listing for Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany);
http://www.truffle.org/tuberkey/natlang-english/nat018.htm (information about DNA polymorphism);
http://www.varganj.hr/gljiva1192.htm (occurrence in Croatia);
http://www.wsl.ch/eccf/Bulgaria.pdf (red listing in Bulgaria).