Agaricus aurantiacus Bull., 1783 (synonym)
Agaricus aureus Batsch, 1783 (synonym)
Agaricus caesareus Schaeff., 1774 (ambiguous synonym)
Agaricus caesareus Scop., 1772 (ambiguous synonym)
Amanita aurantia Lam., 1783 (synonym)
Amanita aurantiaca Pers., 1801 (synonym)
Amanita caesarea var. alba Gillet, 1874 (synonym)
Amanita caesarea var. aurantia Gillet, 1874 (synonym)
Amanita caesarea f. caesarea (Scop.) Pers., 1801 (synonym)
Amanita caesarea var. caesarea (Scop.) Pers., 1801 (synonym)
Amanita caesarea f. lutea (Gillet) Neville & Poumarat, 2004 (synonym)
Amanita caesarea var. lutea Gillet, 1874 (synonym)
Amanita caesarea var. rubra Gillet, 1874 (synonym)
Fungus caesareus (Schaeff.) Kuntze, 1898 (synonym)
Venenarius caesareus (Scop.) Murrill, 1913 (synonym)
Volvoamanita caesarea (Scop.) E. Horak, 1968 (synonym)
With a bright orange cap and its yellow stem, provided with a ring and a volva, this amanita is a striking fungus. It is present in the southern half of Europe, principally in the Mediterranean region, where it lives in symbiosis, mostly with oak (Quercus) species. It is one of the most famous edible mushrooms in Europe and it can be threatened in some regions, a.o. by excessive picking.
Global distribution : Europe, Asia (Georgia, Turkey, Siberia, Nepal, North Korea, Japan), Africa (Algeria, Morroco, Tunisia).
After Bessette et al.(1997), Guzman & Ramirez-Guillen (2001) and Tulloss (2012), the species is probably absent from Canada and the USA (Also from Mexico and Guatemala), where confusions occured with A. basii and other related species. The species has been mentioned from China (see a.o. Teng 1996) but it is probablya confusion with A. hemibapha (Yang, 1997). The mentions from India are misidentifications as well (Bhatt et al. 2003).
Number of currently known sites : More than 500.
Changes if frequency : In Austria, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia, a moderate to strong decrease has been noticed for the last decades. In other countries (e.g. France and Greece), no change of frequency is mentionned. In Romania an increase of sites is reported. In Belguim, the species remains very rare but seems to be slowly increasing too (Fraiture & Walleyn 2005)
The glogal trend of A. caesarea is for the moment unknown.
The species : Amanita caesarea, Boletus dupainii and Cortinarius ionochlorus are mostly connected with oak species (Quercus spp.). Their distributions fits well with the distribution of Quercus pubescens. The trend and geographic range of Q.pubescens will well reflects the Amanita caesarea´s distribution and evolution. Several species of Oomycetes are responsible for the so-called ‘oak decline’ which affects downy oak forests more and more frequently, especially those of the Mediterranean countries which are subject to more severe climatic stress and increasing frequency of climatic anomalies such as extreme drought events or strong shifts in seasonal rainfall distribution (S. Pasta et al. 2016).
Considering the decline of the oak population in Europe, because A. caesarea most often grows in symbiosis with Quercus spiecies, we can consider that there is a decreasing population of A. caesarea. Taking account of the UICN red list criteria, maybe the best criteria is the A2. The population reduction mesured would be less than 15%, so the appropriate criteria should be A3 : Least concerned (LC)
Trophism, hosts and substrates : This ectomycorrhizal species most often grows in symbiosis with Quercus spiecies (Q. cerris, frainetto, gussonei, ilex, petraea, pubescens, robur, suber). It can also form ectomycorrhizae with Castanea sativa (Austria, Portugal, Spain) and Fagus sylvatica (Germany, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia). Outside the Fagacea family, it isreported to be also a symbiont of Corylus sp. (Spain), Tylia spp. (Serbia), Abies borisii-regis (Greece), A.cephalonica (Greece, Pantidou 1980) and Pinus sylvestris (Germany).
Vegetation : The fungus mainly occurs in deciduous to sclerophyllous forests with Quercus spp. (associated trees belong e.g. to Carpinus, Fraxinus, Ostrya), less often in forests with Fagus and Catanea and in forests where Quercus is mixed with conifers (Picea in Romania, Pinus e.g in Italy, Slovania and Ukraine). Also wood pastures with oaks in Portugal (montado) and Spain (dehesa), macchia (with Arbutus, Cistus and Erica) and heaths (with Calluna), both in Italy, as well as extensivly managed grasslands with solitary trees (Slovenia) are suitable habitats. Outside the Mediterranean region the species is largely limited to thermophilous vegetation (mostly forests with Quercus, in Poland steppe-like vegetation with Stipa)
Soil-requirements : In the Mediterranean region the species prefers dry to moderately damp soil (only in Spain also on wet soils) with a low pH-value (less often basic soils); soil types : e.g. sands of the Miocene, red-greyish soils of non-calcareous materials,sandstone, phyllite, sandy brown soil, ranker.
In the northern Sub-mediterranean and the southern temperate region (northern part of its area) the fungus is limited to warm and comparatively dry places with basic and often skeletal soils (e.g. limestone, rendzina, calcareous clay, e.g. Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia, Russia) or acids soils (e.g. diorite, brown soil, podzol, e.g. Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania) In general the nitrogen content must be low to öoderate and the fructification does not occur at places where the litter layer is thick. Lange (1974) concludes that, “if the soil conditions play an important role for the distribution, it is not the soil reaction but rather the temperature qualities and the content of accessible water”
Synanthropy : The species occurs in natural and near-natural forests as well as in plantations strongly influenced by man (Spain)
Indicator value : Generally, the species seems to be a good indicator from nitrogen-poor soils and, especially in temperate regions, for warm habitats.
Occurence of fruitbodies (Phenology) : Basidiocarps are mainly produced from early summer till autumn (July-October); in the mediterranean region (e.g. Spain) fruitbodies can appear from May already till October.
Sites are mainly threatened by sylvicultural intensification (e.g. fertilization, clear felling, pesticides), irresponsible picking and nitrogen deposition due to air pollution.
The species is red listed in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France(regional redlist), Germany, Hungary, Montenegro, Poland, Russia(regional red list), serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland and Ukraine. It is protected by law in Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
General actions needed : conservation of the habitats; regular monitoring; introduction of permitted amounts for gathering but only in definite territories and in a definite time periods, Develop harvest guidelines to protect macrofungi and associated organisms (Protecting fungi from over-exploitation).
Study of the population numbers and range; better understanding of the species biology and ecology.
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