• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Battarrea phalloides (Dicks.) Pers.

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Scientific name
Battarrea phalloides
Author
(Dicks.) Pers.
Common names
Sandy Stiltball
batarea (Serbian: батареа)
szczudłówka piaskowa (batarówka słupiakowata)
battarrovka Stevenova
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Agaricales
Family
Agaricaceae
Assessment status
Under Assessment
Proposed by
Boris Ivančević
Assessors
Mikael Jeppson, Izabela L. Kalucka, Mitko Karadelev
Contributors
A. Martyn Ainsworth, Vera Hayova, Boris Ivančević, Ivona Kautmanova, Michael Krikorev, Kamil Kędra, Yury Rebriev, Beatrice Senn-Irlet
Comments etc.
Violeta Atienza, Anders Dahlberg, Daniel Dvořák, Irmgard Krisai-Greilhuber, Tom May, Armin Mešić, Claudia Perini

Assessment Notes

Need of more information: Current distribution and status as well as population trends should be investigated globally. Research into the ecological requirements of the species should be promoted.

Justification

Rare and distinctive saprotrophic fungus with a wide global distribution but with a small and scattered populatıon. Grows in dry habitats on sandy soils with little ground vegetation. Habitats could be under various threats: overgrowth, transformation of steppe habitats into farmland, afforestation of steppe habitats, exploitation (road constructions, buildings etc). It occurs in more or less xeric habitats in continental regions but also has scattered occurrences in dry woodlands and on sand dunes in W and SW Europe. When found in woodlands, often adjacent to or inside of old hollow tree trunks. in W. Europe found almost exclusively in relic habitats.  An estimated decline of the species is due to intensified and expanded agriculture combined with a decline in grazing. Exploitation by means of road constructions, buildings etc can in some areas threaten its habitats. There is a strong need for maintaining and protecting current populations.
Preliminary global red-list assessment: Probably LC due to its wide distribution, fairly frequent occurrence in a few regions, like Great Britain or Australia (albeit threatened in many other countries) and examples of appearance in anthropogenic sites.
Cause: Although widely distributed the species has a small population globally, with scattered occurrences.  A decline in population is due to the changing land-use.
Need for more information: Current distribution and status, as well as population trends, should be investigated globally. Research into the ecological requirements of the species should be promoted.


Taxonomic notes

Battarrea phalloides and B. stevenii are morphologically similar. Morphological comparisons have shown that the specimens examined formed a continuum and molecular data has recently suggested they should be considered as synonyms. Recent molecular studies have, however, grouped the species in three closely related clades correlated to minor differences in spore ornamentation as seen under SEM. This has been explained as a genetic drift phenomenon but should be investigated more closely, using a wide geographical sampling.


Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Rare and distinctive saprotrophic fungus with a wide global distribution but with a small and scattered populatıon. Grows in dry habitats on sandy soils with little ground vegetation. Habitats could be under various threats: overgrowth, transformation of steppe habitats into farmland, afforestation of steppe habitats, exploitation (road constructions, buildings etc). It occurs in more or less xeric habitats in continental regions but also has scattered occurrences in dry woodlands and on sand dunes in W and SW Europe. When found in woodlands, often adjacent to or inside of old hollow tree trunks. In W. Europe found almost exclusively in relic habitats.  An estimated decline of the species is due to intensified and expanded agriculture combined with a decline in grazing. Exploitation by means of road constructions, buildings etc can in some areas threaten its habitats. There is a strong need for maintaining and protecting current populations.
Preliminary global red list assessment: Probably LC due to its wide distribution (albeit nationally threatened).
Cause: Although widely distributed, the species has a small population globally, with scattered occurrences.  A decline in population is due to changing land use.
Need for more information: Current distribution and status, as well as population trends should be investigated globally. Research into the ecological requirements of the species should be promoted.


Geographic range

The species has globally wide although scattered distribution in the small number of localities. Battarrea phalloides is found in dry, sandy locations throughout the world, and has been collected from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America (primarily in western regions), Central America, South America and Oceania. In Europe, it is mainly restricted to the lowlands but it is also found in lower mountain regions in Macedonia, Russia and Spain. Most European records come from the western and southern part of the continent, the species is absent from arctic and boreal zones. It is indifferent as regards continentality (Fraiture and Otto 2015).


Population and Trends

Battarrea phalloides has a global distribution but a small population and a small number of localities. It has become extinct from some of the historical localities in Macedonia, Serbia and the UK. In Russia, not more than 20 records are known and the species is included in 8 regional Red Books. In Poland, it was known from 2 localities, both from before 1970, and not found again. In the past, 3 localities were known in Macedonia; extinct in two, now it appears only in one, the island Golem Grad on Prespa Lake. This small island (20 ha) has maybe the biggest population in Europe with more than 60 fruiting bodies. In Europe, the species occures probably in the highest number of contemporary localities in great Britain (Fungi and Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland). As other regions of the globe are concerned, the most frequent occurrance is reported from Australia (129 sites; Atlas of Living Australia).
On a global scale, the species has a small number of localities with a small number of individuals in subpopulations. Current population size is estimated to number fewer than 5000(?) individuals and no subpopulation is estimated to contain more than 250 individuals. An estimated decline of 15-30% over the last 30 years seems likely.

Population Trend: Decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Battarrea phalloides is a saprotrophic fungus growing on sandy or, more rarely, clayey or calcareous soils, neutral to basic, with little ground vegetation. Strongly thermophilous. Known from steppe and desert vegetation, light steppic woodlands and clearings (e.g., Robinia: Hungary, Austria, Ukraine; Quercus-Pinus: Austria; Populus, Salix: Bulgaria; Pinus, Robinia: Serbia; Cupressus: Greece, Ukraine), ancient Juniperus-steppe vegetation (Macedonia), , in dry habitats with little ground vegetation on slopes with overhanging cliffs adjacent to cave openings on sandstone (Germany), in or adjacent to old hollow tree-trunks (Hungary, UK), under shrubs in sand dune areas (Spain, France, Italy), on sandy river banks (S. Africa), in halophytic environments in dune areas and river estuaries etc. The species often appears in anthropogenic habitats (especially in temperate Europe) as in open sandy areas on military training fields (Hungary), along sandy roadsides with remaining old trees and hedges in agricultural areas (UK, Slovakia; relic habitats), gardens, parks and cemeteries (France, Poland), on “vegetable debris”, waste places, nitrophilous coppices or old dunghills (South Africa, Hungary, Germany, Russia).

Temperate ShrublandMediterranean-type Shrubby VegetationRural Gardens

Threats

Threats are associated with a change of land-use in non-agricultural areas. The sites of occurrence are extremely scatterred and they can easily be destroyed through agriculture or by afforestation of sands in the Pannonian plain in Europe. A decline in grazing is supposed to be detrimental as B. phalloides seems to be dependent on microhabitats with little or no ground vegetation, often combined with light to moderate soil disturbance. Sandy and warm wastelands, as well as other anthropogenic sites (old military grounds, roadsides), may be threatened with the development of housing and urban areas. However, on a global scale, most of the habitats, including anthropogenic ones, seem not threatened or declining.

Housing & urban areasShifting agricultureWood & pulp plantations

Conservation Actions

There is a strong need for protecting current populations and localities. The species is subject to a National Action Plan in the UK involving monitoring of known sites and search for new locations. Monitoring to establish current status should be initiated also in, e.g., Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Macedonia etc. In Central Europe, the importance of still used (or disused) military training fields for species diversity should be highlighted. Legal protection of the species is recommended in those countries where few localities are known.

Site/area protectionAwareness & communicationsNational level

Research needed

The research on the current distribution, population trends and ecological requirements of the species are needed, especially on a global scale. Taxonomic studies with a wide geographical sampling to investigate the taxonomic implications of the genetic/morphological differences within the species as shown by Martín & Johannesson 2000 and Martín et al. 2013 should be undertaken.

TaxonomyPopulation size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecologyThreatsPopulation trends

Use and Trade

The species is of no concern in terms of use and trade.


Bibliography

Fraiture A., Otto P. (Eds.) 2015. Distribution, ecology and status of 51 macromycetes in Europe. Results of the ECCF Mapping Programme. Botanic Garden Meise, Belgium.
Martin MP, Johannesson H. (2000). Battarrea phalloides and B. stevenii, insight into a long-standing taxonomic puzzle. Mycotaxon 75: 67–75.
Martín MP, Rusevska K, Dueñas M, Karadelev M 2013. Battarrea phalloides in Macedonia: genetic variability, distribution and ecology. Acta Mycologica 48(1): 113-122.
Watling R, Gucin F, Isiloglu M. (1995). Battarraea phalloides – its history, biology and extension to its distribution. Nova Hedwigia 60: 13–18.
Kathryn M, Jacobson K, Peter J, Orson M. Jr. (1999): The autecology of Battarrea stevenii in ephemeral rivers of southwestern Africa. Mycol. Res. 103(1): 9-17.
Sobestiansky G. (2005): Contribution to a macromycete survey of the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina in Brazil. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology 48(3): 437–57.
Muhammad Ismail Bhatti, Muhammad Mithal Jiskani, Kishwar Sultana, and Mohammad Yousif Channa (2013): Battarrea phalloides (Dicks.) Pers., the sandy stiltball mushroom – a new record from Pae forest Sakrand, Shaheed Benazir Abad Sindh, Pakistan. Fungal Jungal Newsletter at: http://www.fungaljungal.org/essays/newsletter-issues/fungal-jungal-newsletter-february-2013/research/
Fungi and Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland. Battarrea phalloides. At: http://www.fungi.myspecies.info/all-fungi/battarrea-phalloides
Atlas of Living Australia. Battarrea phalloides. At: http://www.biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?taxa=Battarrea+phalloides#tab_mapView


Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted