• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • Preliminary Assessed
  • Assessed
  • VUPublished

Hygrocybe ingrata J.P. Jensen & F.H. Møller

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Scientific name
Hygrocybe ingrata
J.P. Jensen & F.H. Møller
Common names
Dingy Waxcap
Jensens vokshat
rødnende lutvokssopp
rodnande lutvaxskivling
Rötender Nitratsaftling
voskovka červenajíci
Hygrophore à odeur désagréable
Rötender Nitrat-Saftling
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
IUCN Red List Category
VU A2c+3c+4c
Proposed by
Thomas Læssøe
Ivona Kautmanova
Ivona Kautmanova, Tommy Knutsson, Michael Krikorev, Thomas Læssøe
Comments etc.
Beatrice Senn-Irlet

Assessment Status Notes

Taxonomic notes

The taxon name should be Neohygrocybe ingrata (J.L. Jensen & F.H. Møller) Herink with Hygrocybe ingrata as a synonym.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

The European expert, David Boertmann, consider Hygrocybe ingrata the top candidate for a globally threatened Neohygrocybe species. It is possibly restricted to Europe and has shown a considerable decline in many countries. Hygrocybe (Neohygrocybe) ingrata is one of the best indicator species of species-rich seminatural grasslands which were for a long time managed in a traditional way, so called waxcap grasslands (Jordal 1997, Boertman 2010).  These habitats dependent on moderate grazing and/or hand mowing without using artificial fertilizers and pesticides are rapidly disappearing worldwide and so do fungal species bound to them. The species has a peak occurrence in “hot spots” (species-rich sites) .
Redlisted in 6 European countries.

Preliminary global red-list assessment; NT close to VU (A2c+3c+4c), habitat decline approaching 30 % during the last 30 years and estimated species decline is probably higher. Decline of the habitat is expected to continue even more rapidly in the next 50 years, followed by the decline of the species. The past, ongoing and expected decline may exceed 30%, if so VU. Evaluation period (= 3 generations) is considered to be 50 years for H. ingrata as recommended for ectomycorrthizal and soil inhabiting species by Dahlberg & Mueller (2011). It has a world population that probably exceeds 20 000 mature individuals. 

Cause of decline: Loss of suitable habitat, caused by agricultural intensification and decline of traditional farming (mowing and grazing) as well as application of lawn fertilizers and pesticides.

Geographic range

Mainly confined to temperate Europe. The eastern boundary of distribution is less clear because of lack of data.

Population and Trends

Population probably exceeding 20 000 mature individuals but is decreasing in all known countries of occurence, caused by lack of small scale farming and traditional ways of grassland management. the decrease is casually estimated to 30% (past, future and ongoing) but might actually be as high as 50% considering a 50y period (e.g. 1975-2025) and even higher considering other time-scales and periods.

More than 75% of the grasslands habitats in EU are in an unfavourable conservation status, according to draft data provided by Member States under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive. Over the past decade, grassland butterflies have suffered large declines in Europe, with a reduction of abundance by almost 50%, with little sign of improvement (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/comm2006/pdf/sebi_full.pdf).

Population Trend: Deteriorating

Habitat and Ecology

Hygrocybe ingrata is confined to seminatural, herb-rich grasslands, mostly on calcareous or baserich soils, Earlier considered to be saprotrophic but recent research have shown that some (and probably all) Hygrocybe species have arbuscular mycorrhiza connected to vascular plants. The species is a representative of a fungal community with a large diversity other fungal species (Hygrocybe spp., Entoloma spp,, Clavaroid fungi, Geoglossaceae and many other fungi strictly dependent on habitats with low vegetation and limited availability of phosphorus and other nutrients due to long continuity of grazing and/or mowing. Added fertilizers or abandonment immediately changes vegetation cover in a way that is detrimental for the fungus community.

Temperate Grassland


Like other species dependent on semi-natural grasslands Hygrocybe ingrata it is threatened by the loss of habitat due to decreasing small scale farming. The main reasons for decline are agricultural intensification (primarily the application of phosphorus) and the reduction of habitat areas and quality. Grassland neglect where the sward becomes rank and overgrown also restricts carpophore production, although it is not clear if this affects the mycelium under the ground. In urban/suburban environment, the application of lawn fertilizers, fungicides and moss killers can also affect the species (Mitchel 2000).

According to NATURA 2000 reports (Calaciura & Spinelli) grassland habitats is steadily decreasing, mainly due to abandonment or change in landuse. The total area of grassland in the EU fell by an average of 12% between 1975 and 1998, with increases in only very few areas. In the areas where the habitat is still present, the lack of management results in a continuing decrease in range of many species due to decrease in habitat quality.
According to FAO the area of grasslands in the EU declined by 12.8% from 1990 to 2003; only a few Member States managed to buck this trend. (Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations 2006: FAO Statistical Yearbook. – FAOSTAT). Pressure caused by landuse changes on grassland habitats is steadily increasing. Some 60% of newly afforested areas in the EU was formerly used as permanent/seasonal grazing land or hay-production in natural meadows.

More than 75% of the grasslands habitats in EU are in an unfavourable conservation status, according to draft data provided by Member States under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive. Over the past decade, grassland butterflies have suffered large declines in Europe, with a reduction of abundance by almost 50%, with little sign of improvement (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/comm2006/pdf/sebi_full.pdf).

Housing & urban areasAgricultural & forestry effluents

Conservation Actions

Site protection and management of habitats is very important conservation actions. Some grasslands with high species diversity and conservation values including grassland fungi such as Hygrocybe ingrata communities are situated within national parks, nature monuments or nature reserves. However, these grasslands needs careful management plans including grazing which is not allways present even within strictly protected areas. This situation results in continual decrease of habitat quality even if sites protected from exploitation.

Site/area protectionSite/area managementHabitat & natural process restorationConservation payments

Research needed


Boertmann, D. 2010. Fungi of Northern Europe 1. The genus Hygrocybe. 2nd edition.
Candusso, M. 1997. Hygrophorus s.l. Fungi Europaei 6. Libreria Basso, Alassio, 784 pp.
Gumicska, B. 1997. Flora of Poland. Fungi XXVI. Hygrophoraceae. Krakow, 202 pp
Holec, J., Beran, M. 2006. Redlist of fungi (macromycetes) of the Czech Republic. Příroda, Praha, 280 pp.
Wojewoda, W., Lawrynowycz, M. 2006. Red list of the macrofungi in Poland. In: Mirek.Z., Zarzycki, K., Wojewoda, W., Szelag, Z. 2006: Redlist of plants and fungi in Poland. W.Szaffers Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, 53-70.

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted