Cystostereum murrayi is a wood-hinhabiting species associated with mature, natural forests dominated by Abies alba. It is one of the more characteristic and well-known species of the rich fungus
element of the (mixed) calcareous montane Abies alba forests of C and S Europe. These habitat specific species suffer from the fragmentation and decline of the remaining small calcareous fir forests of e.g. Black Forest, the Jura, Prealps and Carpathians due to area loss, decline in habitat quality, and influence from modern forestry, including introduction of Picea plantations. The rate of decline in Central-South European old-growth, calcareous Abies or mixed Abies-Picea-Fagus forests is estimated at (10-)15-20% over the past 50 years with the decline continuing at this rate. It is inferred that the population of C. murrayi is declining at the same rate as the habitat. The total species population size is estimated at only 10,000 -12,000 mature individuals. Due to its small population size that has undergone and continues to undergo, significant decline the species is assessed as NT A2c+3c+4c; C1. B
There are at least two geographically separate taxa. Eriksson & Ryvarden (1975) discovered morphological differences between the American and the European material; moreover, in North America the fungus almost exclusively colonizes hardwoods. so we restrict ourselves here to European occurrences.
Cystostereum murrayi is a wood-hinhabiting species associated of Abies alba and rarely Picea abies. It is one of the more characteristic and well-known species of the rich fungus
element of the (mixed) calcareous montane Abies alba forests of C and S Europe. These habitat specific species suffer from the fragmentation and decline of the small calcareous fir forests of e.g. Black Forest, the Jura, Prealps and Carpathians due to area loss and influence from modern forestry, including introduction of Picea plantations.
The decline of the habitat-specific fungi of the calcareous Abies forest element is due to a long-term and persistent decline in mature/old silver fir forests, due to forestry. For instance the montane mixed Abies forests of the Prealps, where this species has a main area, has had increased forestry activity, with a doubling of annual felling in the last 40 years, according to forestry statistics (Austria), and these are now listed as endangered habitats in the habitat red list of Austria. Furthermore, a habitat-loss is probably seen in many silver fir regions due to settlement/tourist resort expansion, road construction, ski tracks, etc. The narrow bands of Abies forests in the Alp valleys may also be vulnerable to climate change, including pathogen outbreaks.
The species is widespread in Europe and in Northen Asia, with its main area of occurrences in Fennoscandia, but according to GFIB ,outside of Sweden and Norway it is represented with only a few localities within the rest of its range. Reports of this species from other parts of the world represent separate taxa.
There are approximately 250 documented localities listed included in national databases and GBIF. The species is relatively common in rich, calcareous Abies forests of Fennoscandia but uncommon in other parts of its range. The total number of sites is estimated at approx 1000, with a population size of approx 10,000 -12,000 mature individuals. The species is mainly associated with older Abies or Abies-Picea stands that have not been influenced by intensive management. These forest types are now declining. The old Abies forests are being replaced by Picea plantations or lost due to expansion of settlements/tourist resorts, etc. The habitat is listed as a vulnerable forest type in the Prealpine region with an estimated reduction of (10-)15-20% over the past 50 years with the decline continuing at this rate. It is inferred that the population of C. murrayi is declining at the same rate as the habitat. The species is assessed as NT A2c+3c+4c; C1.
Population Trend: Decreasing
The species is relatively widespread in Fennoscandia in mature, natural montane to subalpine spruce dominated forest rich in deadwood. It is infrequent elsewhere across its range. The conspicuous, intensely coconut-scented sporocarps grow on old, thick, humid fallen logs, primarily of Abies alba, but also Picea abies, in spruce-fir forests, beech-fir forests and beech-spruce-fir forests on slightly alkaline to clearly alkaline, fresh soils. It requires very old, thick, fallen trees logs or thick branches that must first lie in humid locations for years before forming sporocarps, and thus . cannot reproduce in highly managed forests.
Cystostereum murrayi is threatened by habitat-loss and declining habitat quality. Its major habitats, older calcareous Abies alba forests or calcareous mixed Abies-Picea abies and Fagus-Abies-Picea forests, are declining across central Europe. For example, montane basiphilous Abies-Picea forests are regarded as endangered habitats in Austria, vulnerable to changing forestry practices with continued removal of large downed logs and a doubling of annual felling in the last 40 years, according to forestry statistics (Austria). In some areas, intensive deer browsing is preventing regeneration of Aibes alba. Replacement of natural mature Abies stands with Picea abies after clear-cutting continues and habitat-loss due to road construction, settlements including tourist resort expansion are seen in many areas. The narrow bands of Abies forests in the Alp valleys may also be vulnerable to climate change and pest outbreaks.
Appropriate forest management practices and habitat preservation are necessary to prevent further decline and fragmentation of calcareous Abies-Picea-Pinus forests with good habitat quality. Establishing reserves on calcareous hotspots, i.e. in sites housing many rare/redlisted species such as Cystostereum murrayi is needed. These preserves should be managed to ensure that only non-intensive, closed cutting is allowed, and with leaving much of the coarse woody debris left in the stand. Control or exclusion of excess deer populations in areas where they are preventing Abies forest would also be beneficial.
More mapping is needed, especially in eastern-southeastern parts of the distributional range of Abies alba (the eastern Carphathians and the montane Balkans). Genetic studies with more molecular markers are needed to resolve phylogenetic relationships among European, North American. Australasian, Indian and Korean taxa in this complex.
The species is not in use.