Hygrocybe quieta mainly occurs in semi-natural grasslands (often calcareous ), and to a lesser degree (probably <20% of the population) in rich/calcareous forests (like rich broad-leaved forests and calcareous pine forests), up to subalpine areas. The habitats are declining due to changing agricultural practices, development projects, mining, forestry and pollution. In grassland habitats we assume a habitat loss and population decline of 30-50% over the past 50 years, probably near 50%. In forests the habitat loss and population decline could be estimated to be 15-20% over the same period. Over the distribution range we assume an average habitat loss and population decline of more than 30% over the last 50 years (approximately three generations: one generation is assumed to be about 17 years). Habitat quality of grasslands has also become impaired and the decline in population size over this time could be even higher because of this, strengthening the assumption of 30-50% population decline. This decline in habitat is ongoing and expected to continue over the next 50 years. GBIF lists more than 4600 occurrences from Europe (half of them from UK), including duplicates, but due to lacking data in GBIF there could be roughly 6000-7000 known localities. The species is assumed to have a population of more than 600,000 mature individuals. At a global scale (i.e. Europe) the population decline is assumed to be on average 30-50% in 50 years (past, present and future). The species meets the threshold for VU (A2c+3c+4c).
The name Hygrocybe obrussea has been used in some countries, but the description of this species is too ambiguous (Boertmann 2010). GBIF (2021) shows some occurrences from N America and Australia. Here these records are not included, as we suspect that they belong to other taxa.
A European species, mostly in semi-natural grasslands, which are strongly declining. Also occurring in rich forests.
Hygrocybe quieta occurs in most parts of Europe, from the lowlands up to subalpine areas (to 2190 m asl. in the Alps). Eastwards the distribution limit is uncertain because of lack of data; in Russia the species is reported from Khabarovsk Krai, Komi Republic, Lipetsk Oblast, Moscow, Novosibirsk Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Tomsk Oblast (Tatiana Svetasheva pers. comm.). Records from Far East could be the same as in N America (no data).
Hygrocybe quieta is on the Red Lists in at least 8 European countries. GBIF lists more than 4600 occurrences from Europe (half of them from UK), including duplicates, but due to lacking data in GBIF there could be roughly 6000-7000 known localities. The species is assumed to have a population of more than 600,000 mature individuals. Based on available information on trends in seminatural grasslands, Griffith et al. (2013) estimated a habitat loss of 90% over the last 75 years for the CHEG-fungi (grassland fungi of Clavariaceae, Hygrocybe s.l., Entoloma and Geoglossaceae) as a whole in Western Europe. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the area of grasslands in the EU declined by 12.8% over 13 years (1990-2003). Also other sources point to a habitat loss in seminatural grasslands of roughly 1% per year in Europe over a longer time, although the data quality is not always very good. The habitat quality of seminatural grasslands is also declining, strengthening the population decline. More than 75% of the grasslands habitats are in an unfavourable conservation status. In forests the habitat loss and population decline could be estimated to 15-20% over the same period. Over the whole distribution range we assume a total habitat loss and population decline of at least 30-50% over the last 50 years. As the habitat quality is also declining, population decline could be higher. Much of European grasslands have bad habitat quality. This trend is ongoing and expected to continue in the future (Janssen et al. 2016).
Population Trend: Decreasing
Hygrocybe quieta grows in calcareous, mycologically rich but nutrient-poor semi-natural grasslands and to a lesser degree (probably <20% of the population) in rich/calcareous forests (such as rich broad-leaved forests and calcareous pine forests). In Norway, the habitat selection has been quantified: N=289 localities; the majority in confirmed seminatural grasslands, with 69 (14,4%) in rich forests (Jordal et al. 2016). A similar pattern is found in other European countries. It is found from sea level up to subalpine areas in Scandinavia and in the Alps up to 2190 m asl.. The nutrient strategy is unknown, but all "CHEG-fungi" could have some kind of biotrophy or mycorrhiza (Halbwachs et al. 2018). The fruit bodies are short-lived (weeks), but the mycelium is suspected to be longlived; >
Habitat destruction and abandonment are the main threats to seminatural grasslands. The most important process is probably overgrowing due to ceased grazing/mowing of old seminatural grasslands as part of intensification of agriculture. Further modern cultivation methods use fertilizers, pesticides and ploughing. Also changed land use with the construction of roads, industrial areas, mining, settlements etc. is impacting forest and grassland sites. Modern forestry practices are also threatening mycologicaly rich forest. Decline is expected to continue, as at least the areas of seminatural grasslands are of little economic importance in modern agriculture. Most CHEG grasslands (see Population and trends) are among habitat types assessed as VU, EN or CR in the EU Red List of habitats (Janssen et al. 2016).
The habitats should be protected against destruction due to intensification of agriculture or development plans. The maintaining of seminatural grasslands demands yearly grazing or mowing. If grazing by heavy animals destroys part of the soil, light animals like sheep should be recommended. Habitat conservation by governmental support to traditional agricultural practices is most important, this exists in many countries to maintain extensive areas of agricultural areas, and should be extended to larger areas than today. Mining and development projects should be avoided. Further ecological research is needed to clarify the nutrient strategy of grassland species. Management plans are needed. Habitat trends should be monitored.
More detailed research on habitat requirements and habitat exploitation of H. quieta would be useful.
The species is not known to be used.
GBIF. 2021. Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) data portal. Collection of online herbarium specimens. Available at: http://data.gbif.org.
Grifﬁth, G.W., Gamarra, J.P., Holden, E.M., Mitchel, D., Graham, A., Evans, D.A. et al. 2013. The international conservation importance of welsh ‘waxcap’ grasslands. Mycosphere 4: 969–984.
Janssen, J.A.M., Rodwell, J.S., García Criado, M., Gubbay, S., Haynes, T., Nieto, A., Sanders, N., Landucci, F., Loidi, J., Ssymank, A., Tahvanainen, T., Valderrabano, M., Acosta, A., Aronsson, M., Arts, G., Attorre, F., Bergmeier, E., Bijlsma, R.-J., Bioret, F., Biţă-Nicolae, C., Biurrun, I., Calix, M., Capelo, J., Čarni, A. Poulos, P., Essl, F., Gardf, Chytrý, M., Dengler, J., Dimojell, H., Gigante, D., Giusso del Galdo, G., Hájek, M., Jansen, F., Jansen, J., Kapfer, J., Mickolajczak, A., Molina, J.A., Molnár, Z., Paternoster, D., Piernik, A., Poulin, B., Renaux, B., Schaminée, J.H.J., Šumberová, K., Toivonen, H., Tonteri, T., Tsiripidis, I., Tzonev, R. and Valachovič, M. 2016. European Red List of Habitats. Part 2. Terrestrial and freshwater habitats. European Union, Luxembourg.
Jordal, J.B., Evju, M., and Gaarder, G. 2016. Habitat specificity of selected grassland fungi in Norway. Agarica 37: 5-32.
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