Lyophyllum favrei is a conspicuously brightly-coloured and rare litter-inhabiting species characteristically found in beech (Fagus) woodland and old alluvial forest habitats in Europe. It is not recorded outside Europe. It has relatively few known European sites (ca. 50) with a stronghold of ca. 32 sites in Switzerland where it is considered to be moderately threatened and showing some decline due to river management. Elsewhere in Europe, there are very few (>5) sites per country where it is vulnerable to destruction by chance or accident (stochastic events).
Even when unknown sites are considered it is expected that Switzerland will remain the stronghold site (32 known fruiting patches =320 mature individuals). Switzerland has been well-surveyed and further discoveries of new sites are expected to be few in number. The Swiss sites are localised in a series of river catchments and it is nationally assessed as fragmented and declining. Applying Criterion C a with an estimated global total of number of mature individuals not to exceed 2500, (less than 125 locations) this species is assessed as EN C2a(i).
Based on molecular analysis (Hofstetter et al. 2002) and taking account of Redhead et al.‘s (2006) proposal to conserve the name Lyophyllum with a different type, Calocybe favrei should be adopted as the current name for this species. This has no bearing on the conservation assessment
Anders to Martyn and Beatrice (now answered below): It is assessed as VU in Swiss, How many unrecorded sites should we consider in Europe (which will affect the estimated total population size). If we tentatively assume 2 mycelial genotypes to occur at each location (assuming corresponding to 20 mat individuals) , with in total less than 125 locations, the no of mature ind would be less than 2500 - then EN. If more than 125 sites - rather VU.
In my opinion the assumption of 2 genotypes per site is already rather optimistic. There are not many stations known with 20 mature individuals. Therefore EN seems to be ok -it may remain VU in Switzerland. Beatrice
Martyn05Mar2019: Completely agree with Beatrice (who should be coauthor of this assessment). A highly conspicuous blue woodland mushroom with contrasting yellowish gills is relatively unlikely to have been overlooked. Furthermore it has been given publicity in “33 spp for Bern” report, Fraiture & Otto’s Euro mapping book, Kew’s Lost and Found Project (4yrs) and Beatrice’s Swiss publicity sheets on the species - but no great recent upsurge in records is apparent. Given the paucity of records in all countries other than Switzerland, I think the estimates of 125 sites, 250 genets, 2500 mat individuals are generous and so EN is more appropriate than VU.
Lyophyllum favrei is mainly found across central Europe from Spain to Russia. It has relatively few European sites (ca. 50) with a stronghold of ca. 32 sites in Switzerland.
France: 3 sites post-1980 with one in a protected area (P.-A. Moreau pers. comm.). Germany:1 Bavarian (Starnberg) site post-1980. Greece:1 site post-1980. Italy:2 sites post-1980. Ireland: one post-1980 record (voucher not traced) from Co. Limerick (H. Fox pers. comm.). Other Irish records/collections assigned to L. favrei f. ochracea are excluded from this assessment as this is now recognised as a species in its own right, L. ochraceum or, preferably, Calocybe ochracea. Russia: The following information was supplied by Alexander Kovalenko (AK) via Tatyana Svetasheva who obtained further details regarding the data AK submitted for the “33 threatened fungi in Europe” report. AK: “indeed we have an old record about the presence of Lyophyllum favrei in South-West of Russia (probably Adygea or Karachaevo-Cherkesia), but unfortunately it is very incomplete and doesn’t contain the exact data of locality”. One site known. Spain: I. Olariaga: “2 localities in the Iberian Peninsula (Catalonia, Basque area). The Basque vouchered record is recent in a calcareous Fagus forest. Apart from that, we have not come across this species in the past 20 years in the Basque area”. Switzerland: exclusively in the north of the country on the banks of alpine rivers (ca.32 sites) the European and world stronghold. Such a highly conspicuous mushroom (with a high public profile) is unlikely to have been overlooked in such a well-surveyed country and therefore it is thought that almost all extant fruiting sites will already be documented (B. Senn-Irlet). UK: One calcareous Fagus-dominated woodland with 2 potentially extant fruiting patches in different parts of the site recorded since 1960 but despite repeated surveys no sightings since 1987. One of these patches was used, one week after its discovery, as a site for a site-management bonfire and mycelium likely to have been destroyed. The other patch is likely to have been adversely affected by the great storm of 1987 which uprooted many beeches in this woodland. Currently unofficially (2006) assessed in GB as CR (it would qualify today as CRD based on an assumption of two existing genets each of 10 IUCN-compliant mature individuals giving a total of 20 mature individuals plus any estimated to exist elsewhere in the country but never recorded)Ukraine: 1 site recorded in Crimea in 1992 (Moser 1993) under Fagus sylvatica ssp. moesiaca in Alma valley (Yalta Mountain Forest Nature Reserve). No further localities known (V. Hayova pers.comm.) Assessed as Endangered in 2011.
In Switzerland, it is nationally red-listed as VU (Vulnerable, B1ab(iii)) based on limited extent of occurrence, severely fragmented and showing some decline due to river management. Elsewhere in Europe, there are very few (>5) sites per country where it is vulnerable to destruction by chance or accident (stochastic events). For example, one of 2 discrete post-1960 fruiting patches known in England was chosen as the site for a habitat-management bonfire and no further fruiting has been observed there. The other post-1960 fruiting patch (both were in the same woodland) has been similarly unproductive since the highly damaging “Great Storm” of 1987 which uprooted many beeches in the area.
A litter-inhabiting, saprotrophic species of broadleaved, mainly Fagus, woodland that may fruit, sometimes in abundance, over many years (decades) at the same spot. Especially in the Switzerland stronghold, it grows in old alluvial forest sites, often on calcareous soil.
Habitat destruction (man-made and storm/flood damage), unsympathetic river bank and forest management, tourism (too heavy trampling in these alluvial forests). The English site receives indirect protection as a statutory Site of Special Scientific Interest, but as L. favrei is not explicitly mentioned in the legal documentation (the citation) as an interest feature, technically its requirements do not have to be taken into account during site management planning. In the past, the fungus has been damaged or destroyed by inappropriate siting of a management bonfire. In view of increasing incidence of extreme weather events, there is also a potential threat from windthrow of Fagus trees causing mycelial damage and death.
Exact positions of fruiting patches to be plotted on site managers’ maps and referred to when forest or river management work is being planned to ensure that areas with fruiting populations of this fungus are taken into account and not damaged. Protection of all fruiting sites is required. Site information should be passed to local authorities.
Population structure should be investigated and environmental samples from areas formerly supporting fruiting should be probed for species-specific DNA markers to see if fungus is still present in those areas in a non-fruiting (mycelial) state.
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