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  • Under Assessment
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Cystoderma carpaticum M.M. Moser

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Scientific name
Cystoderma carpaticum
M.M. Moser
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Category
Proposed by
Armin Mešić
Armin Mešić
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

R-L categories correct, but text here does not match final assessment. Updated version will be published in IUCN´s Red List June or Nov 2019.


Cystoderma carpaticum is a rare European species described 40 years ago (Moser 1979). It is known only from two countries (Croatia and Poland), in areas with continental climate. In southeastern Poland, the species is recorded on two nearby localities in the Carpathian Mountains range (Bieszczady National Park). In Croatia, it was recorded once in Žumberak - Samoborsko gorje Nature Park, and on two occasions on a single locality in Čorkova uvala virgin forest in Plitvice Lakes National Park. There is one unconfirmed record of this species in Slovakia, Prešov Self-Governing Region (Anonymous 2011). It is recorded exclusively in old-growth beech forests (pure or mixed with fir and spruce) and the substrate is very rotten beech wood (both dead standing trees and laying logs). It is suspected that C. carpaticum occurs in some additional localities covered with old growth beech forests (e.g. in the Balkans, Carpathians, Russia, etc.) since these areas are often poorly explored. Moreover, virgin forests are currently under a threat due to the illegal and commercial logging of large forest areas (EIA report 2015, Sabatini & al. 2018). It is estimated that C. carpaticum occurs on five localities in Poland, five localities in Croatia and on 10 undiscovered localities (at most) throughout continental parts of Eastern Europe (Balkans, Carpathians). It is estimated that populations consist of 10 mature individuals in each locality. Based on the projected number of localities (max. 20) and the number of mature individuals present on each locality, the inferred total population of C. carpaticum in Europe is less than 200 mature individuals. This meets the threshold for IUCN category Endangered (EN) D.

Taxonomic notes

Lepiota carpatica (M.M. Moser) M.M. Moser
Echinoderma carpaticum (M.M. Moser) E. Horak

Morphological and phylogenetic analyses (Saar & al. 2016) based on holotype material and additional collections confirmed that this taxon is a member of the genus Cystoderma.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Cystoderma carpaticum is a very rare species confined to old-growth beech forests (pure or mixed with fir and spruce). It is known with certainty from only four sites in two countries in Europe (Poland and Croatia). Old growth beech forests are very rare and are endangered habitats throughout most of Europe, even in National parks (e.g. Romania, EIA report 2015).

Geographic range

Cystoderma carpaticum is only known from Europe, two nearby sites in Poland and two sites in Croatia. Two collections from Austria and Czech Republic identified as C. carpaticum revealed to be C. subvinaceum A.H. Sm. (Saar & al. 2016). Potentially found in Slovakia in Prešov Self-Governing Region, but a voucher specimen could not be located to confirm this record .

Population and Trends

Cystoderma carpaticum was first described 40 years ago (Moser 1979) from the type locality in Bieszczady National Park (Poland). The second Polish site with this species was recently discovered near the type locality in the same national park (Kujawa & al. 2016). In Croatia, the species has been found three times in two different localities. It was found at one site in Žumberak - Samoborsko gorje Nature Park, and twice on a single site in Čorkova uvala virgin forest in Plitvice Lakes National Park. In Slovakia (Anonymous 2011) the species is reported in Prešov Self-Governing Region. The Slovakian record has not yet been confirmed because a voucher specimen could not be located (Saar & al. 2016). It is assumed that the known populations of C. carpaticum are currently stable because all sites are located in protected areas. It is possible that this species occurs in a few additional localities in nature reserves with old-growth beech forests, e.g. in the Balkans, Carpathians, etc.

Population Trend:

Habitat and Ecology

Cystoderma carpaticum is a wood-decaying fungus growing in autumn on very rotten wood (dead standing trees and fallen logs) of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). It has been found in a few European secondary virgin forests in areas with a continental climate. Three sites with C. carpaticum (one in Croatia and two in Poland) are covered with virgin forests of beech, while one site in Croatia is covered with a mixed virgin forest of beech, fir (Abies alba), and spruce (Picea abies). All sites are characterized by a high abundance of old trees, standing dead trees, and fallen logs.

Temperate Forest


In Europe, forests undisturbed by man account for only 4% of the total forest area (FOREST EUROPE 2015). As far as is known, Cystoderma carpaticum is an extremely rare species confined to beech forests with three known geographically disjunct populations. All sites are located in European continental virgin forests with beech. It is assumed that populations discovered up to now are more or less stable due to their occurrences within protected areas (national parks and nature reserves). Potential threats to known populations of this species (especially in Poland) are changes of forest management regimes in forest reserves, sanitary and illegal logging, and habitat fragmentation. It is very possible that there are some undiscovered populations of C. carpaticum in Europe, especially in the Carpathians and Balkans. Some Eastern European countries may still contain relatively large areas of primary forests, but these often remain unmapped and unprotected and are being lost at an alarming rate (Sabatini & al. 2018). In those regions, virgin forests are under a continuing threat due to the illegal and commercial logging of large forest areas (including virgin forests, e.g. Romania, EIA report 2015).

Unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]

Conservation Actions

The most important conservation measure is strict protection of all known localities with Cystoderma carpaticum in Croatia and Poland. In these areas, it is necessary to maintain current management regimes that support the survival of virgin beech forests (pure or mixed with fir and spruce). Sanitary or any other logging activity should be strictly forbidden in old growth forests. The establishment of forest buffer zones in areas adjacent to protected old growth forests should be encouraged. Management of buffer zones should promote natural ecosystem processes as much as possible. Furthermore, it is crucial to retain all areas currently covered with old growth beech forests in Europe (especially in the Carpathians and Balkans). The illegal and commercial logging of large forest areas, including virgin forests, was recently exercised in some countries of Eastern Europe (e. g. in Romania, EIA report 2015).

Site/area protectionResource & habitat protection

Research needed

It is necessary to conduct research in areas with old-growth beech forests (especially in the Balkans, Carpathians, Russia) to explore real limits of Cystoderma carpaticum distribution.

Population size, distribution & trends

Use and Trade

Not used.


Anonymous (2011) Beech primeval forests of the Carpathians, Nomination file. 953 pp. Available from: http://whc.unesco.org/uploads/nominations/1133bis.pdf (accessed 11 November 2015)

EIA (2015) Environmental Investigation Agency Report. Stealing the Last Forest: Austria’s Largest Timber Company, Land Rights, and Corruption in Romania. https://content.eia-global.org/posts/documents/000/000/319/original/Stealing_the_Last_Forest.pdf?1468592842

FOREST EUROPE (2015). State of Europe’s Forests 2015.

Kujawa A., Szczepkowski A., Gierczyk B., Ślusarczyk T., Chachuła P., Karasiński D. (2016) Grzyby wielkoowocnikowe w Bieszczadzkim Parku Narodowym [Macromycetes of Bieszczady National Park] In: Górecki, A. & Zemanek, B. (Eds.) Bieszczadzki Park Narodowy – 40 lat ochrony. Bieszczadzki Park Narodowy, Poland, pp. 199–210.

Moser, M.M. (1979) Über einige neue oder seltene Agaricales-Arten aus dem Pieniny und aus Biesczciade, Polen. Beihefte zur Sydowia 8: 268–275.

Saar, I., Mešić, A.,Tkalčec, Z., Peintner, U., Kušan, I. (2016) Cystoderma carpaticum (Basidiomycota, Agaricales), a rare fungus newly recorded from Croatia. Phytotaxa. 269: 21–32.

Sabatini F.M., Burrascano S., Keeton W.S., Levers C., Lindner M., Pötzschner F., Verkerk P.J., Bauhus J., Buchwald E., Chaskovsky O., Debaive N., Horváth F., Garbarino M., Grigoriadis N., Lombardi F., Marques Duarte I., Meyer P., Midteng R., Mikac S., Mikoláš M., Motta R., Mozgeris G., Nunes L., Panayotov M., Ódor P., Ruete A., Simovski B., Stillhard J., Svoboda M., Szwagrzyk J., Tikkanen O.-P., Volosyanchuk R., Vrska T., Zlatanov T., Kuemmerle T. (2018) Where are Europe’s last primary forests? Diversity and Distributions 24(10): 1426–1439.

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted