Ganoderma pfeifferi is a rare European wood-inhabiting species mostly on Quercus and Fagus confined to thermophilous broadleaved forests. At present it is known from approx. 500 localities in Europe (including European Russia) confined to the more and more endangered forest types of thermopilous Quercus and Fagus. The species is mainly threatened by logging, removal of coarse woody debris and deforestation and other changes of habitats and traditional landuse,i.e. clear-cutting, replacement of mosaic forests into monoculture of similar-aged stands, The scale of this habitat loss in area and quality is suspected to be 15-30% in a 50 year time span including past, present and future.
The species is known from 500 localities in Europe, from this the total population is estimated to comprise 1000 localities which correlate to ~2,000 mature individuals (population size definitely <10,000 individuals), distributed in small subpopulations. There is an estimated continuing decline in the population size inferred from the habitat decline, and the subpopulations are assumed to have less than 250 mature individuals. The species is therefore assessed as EN under criterion C2a(i).
Ganoderma pfeifferi is shown to be strictly European species by Fryssouly et al. (2020). Thus, we only consider the European records of Ganoderma pfeifferi and exclude records from Australia, Indonesia and rare ones from America, because they may indeed belong to different taxa.
This strictly European species is distributed submeridional to temperate in sub-oceanic to continental climate. In southern, western and central Europe, northwards to Denmark and southern Sweden, it is absent north of 60° latitude and east of 25° longitude. Older records from Trascaucasia are considered to be erronous following Fryssouli et al. (2020). No records could be foundAlbania and for the countries of former Yugoslavia except Slovenia and Croatia, however it is for sure present there also.
In total about 500 localities are known according to GBIF, but many of these could be mis-records. Since Ganoderma pfeifferi associates with mostly Quercus, and Fagus, and more rarely with other trees and these types of communities are constantly and evidently decreasing because of natural and anthropogenic reasons (i.e. area of oak forests - about 20% since 1966 (Grigorjev et al. 2000)), we can suppose past and future declining of species.
It can be estimated that in Europe and globally there are about 1000 localities including those currently unknown. Based on Dahlberg and Mueller (2011) an additional scaling factor of 2 is used for this lignicolous species, and so the number of mature individuals is approx. 2,000 and definitely less than 10,000. The habitat loss (past and ongoing) exceeds 15% for three generations (70 years for lignicolous fungi). The number of mature individuals in each subpopulation is below 250.
Population Trend: Decreasing
The species prefers warm-summer forests within the Fagus and Quercus range. It is lignicolous and grows preferentially on old still standing Fagus and Quercus trees, as well as on lying trunks and stumps. It is also found on Acer, Aesculus, Prunus, Pyrus, Salix and Ulmus. Besides its occurrence in beech and oak forests, it also likes to appear on old trees in parks.
These natural broad-leaved habitats have been going through dramatic changes in the last 100 years through either 1) Clear-cutting, replacement of mosaic forest types into monoculture of similar-aged stands (i.e. more productive forests of single tree species and/or to more uniform forest structures with less variation) or 2) removal of coarse woody debris and thus of the host substrate resulting in a change in forest structure detrimental to the species. The fruiting bodies are further readily found on planted trees, where the species can often not persist for long due to “population protection” safety measures such as tree felling. Harvesting of the fruiting bodies for ‘tea’ could impact this species, such that it may have reduced spore dispersal potential.
The actions suggested to conserve the species are mainly focused on area/site protection from logging and restoration of habitats incl. leaving in situ of old trees and logs.
Phylogenetic studies dealing with the Extra-Europoean material are needed to assess the actual species boundaries.
The species is used in the traditional Chinese medicine, with any polypore collected together to be used in ‘tea’ and exported.