• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • DDPreliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Gastrosporium simplex Mattir.

Go to another Suggested Species...

Scientific name
Gastrosporium simplex
Common names
prašnačka kopienkatá
wnętrzniaczek podziemny
kulička kořínkatá
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
Proposed by
Yury Rebriev
Jean Berube, Mikael Jeppson, Tommy Knutsson
Anders Dahlberg
A. Martyn Ainsworth, Anders Dahlberg, Mikael Jeppson, Ivona Kautmanova, Yury Rebriev, Beatrice Senn-Irlet
Comments etc.
Daniel Dvořák, Izabela L. Kalucka, Irmgard Krisai-Greilhuber, Tatyana Svetasheva

Assessment Notes


Gastrosporium simplex is а rare hypogeous species growing in xerothermic grasslands, mainly associated with Stipa, Festuca, Bromus or other grass genera. The habitat and populations has strongly decreased world-wide due to negative factors affecting its habitat. These changes are mainly 1) abandoned grazing 2) hyperintensive grazing pressure and/or 3) ploughing of large areas of steppe ecosystems.

Preliminary assessment on a European scale:  NT (A2c+3c+4c) (Near Threatened). On global scale, insufficient distribution data and insufficient data on status of steppe habitat within all areas outside Europe and therefore DD for now.

The decline of this fungus largely due to intensified and expansion of agriculture. Its potential habitat, hence also its population, is estimated to have declined with about 30% during the last 20 years (more considering a longer evaluation period). It is evaluated on 30 years (= 3 generations according to the recommendations of Dahlberg & Mueller 2011 for soil and litter inhabiting non-mycorrhizal fungi).

Taxonomic notes

Leucorhizon nidificum Velen. (1925)
Calvatia defodiodis Lloyd (1913)
Disciseda defodiodis (Lloyd) Zeller (1947)

A closely related species, Gastrosporium asiaticum, has been reported from Mongolia. It differs from G. simplex in the structure of the peridium, but is so far only reported from its type locality (a steppe habitat). Its taxonomic status needs to be confirmed with molecular methods.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?


Geographic range

Eurasia and a few finds in North America (W. Canada and U.S.) and South America (Argentina). Recent findings in Yakutia (Russian Federation).

Population and Trends

The species has a wide distribution area but is nowhere common. The species distribution area and abundance is heavily influenced and decreasing because of change of land managment, such as ploughing, ceased grazing and micro disturbance but also caused by overgrazing followed by serious erosion. The tendancy is that the occurences also gets more and more fragmented, esp at the edges of its distribution due to population losses.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Saprotrophic/parasitic or mycorrhizal fungus, associated with Stipa spp. and other xerophytic Poaceae in arid and steppe-like environments. It mainly grows in dry sandy or sometimes rocky, xerophytic grasslands, in open exposed places on soil developed from gypsum and limestone as well as on sandy loam rich in calcium. In central Europe found in relic steppe and calcareous dry grassland habitats. Fruiting bodies are hypogeous, appearing at the soil surface at maturity and thus favoured by soil disturbance (wind erosion, trampling, animal digging (eg Citellus – ground squirrel) etc). Dispersal is by wind, both as spores but also of whole fruiting bodies being displaced by rough weather situations.

Temperate Grassland


Threats differs in different areas. In European and W. Asian part of distribution mainly because of large steppe areas have been transformed into agricultural areas and have been ploughed up. In other parts, mainly Asia the grazing preassure is sometimes too heavy causing changes and degradation of habitats. The decline is difficult to evaluate in different areas, in some countries probably exceeding 50%, in others maybe less. On the average we suspect at least 15-30% decrease of suitable steppe habitats on a global scale over 3 generation-times (at least 25y but generation time unknown and might be much longer).

Annual & perennial non-timber cropsLivestock farming & ranching

Conservation Actions

Conservation of known localities, monitoring of the habitat status and populations. Organization of Important Fungal Areas with a highly protected status or other legal protection of localities and suitable habitats.

Site/area protectionResource & habitat protectionHabitat & natural process restoration

Research needed

Search for new localities, clarifying of ecological preferences and threats; determination of the optimal way of the protection and managment of steppe ecosystems.

TaxonomyPopulation size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecologyConservation PlanningArea-based Management PlanHabitat trends

Use and Trade


Dörfeld H., Bumžaa D. 1986. Die Gasteromyceten (Bauchpilze) der Mongolischen Volksrepublik // Nova Hedwigia Vol. 43 N. 1-2. P. 87-111.
Domínguez de Toledo L.S. and Castellano M.A. 1997. First report of Gastrosporium simplex (Gasteromycetes) from South America // MYCOTAXON Vol. 64, 443-448.
Flora ČSR. B. 1. Gasteromycetes (Ed. A. Pilat). 1958. Praha, 836 p. (in Czech).
Kreisel H.L. 2001. Checklist of the gasteral and secotioid Basidiomycetes of Europe, Africa, and Middle East // Osterr. Z. Pilsk., Vol. 10. P. 213-311.
Orson K. Miller Jr., W. Blain Askew. 1982. The genus Gastrosporium in North America. Canadian Journal of Botany, 1982, 60(4): 364-368,
Rebriev Yu.A., Rusanov V.A., Bulgakov T.S., Svetasheva T.Yu., Zmitrovich I.V., Popov E.S. 2012. Mycobiota of the arid territories of the south-west of Russia. Rostov-on-Don, 84 p. (In Russian)
Red Data Book of Krasnoyarsky krai, 2012. Volume 2. Vascular Plants and Fungi. /Edited by Stepanov N.V. - Krasnoyarsk. 572 p. (in Russian).
Schwartzman S.R., Filimonova N.M. 1970. Flora of the spore plants of Kazakhstan. Vol. 6. Gasteromycetes. – 318 p. Alma Ata (In Russian)
Senn-Irlet, B., 2012: 
Fiches pratiques sur les champignons: Fausse truffe des steppes. Gastrosporium simplex Mattirolo
 [published online November 2012]. Available from Internet Birmensdorf, Institut fédéral de recherches WSL. 2 p. 
  PDF Download (456 KB) (German and French versions)
Stasinska M 2002. Gastrosporium simplex (Fungi, Hymenogastrales), new localities in Pomerania (NW Poland). Polish Botanical Journal 47(1): 71
Structure and threats to steppe biome in Russia /UNDP-GEF Project “Improving the Coverage and Management Efficiency of Protected Areas in the Steppe Biome of Russia”. http://savesteppe.org/en/threats-to-steppes (accessed 28th February 2015).

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted