The habitat has become very rare due to timber logging, the number of sites where mature individuals occur is considerably less than 250, and though the present sites are protected, the future of the habitat is insecure.
Preliminary assessed as Endangered under A2, C2a(i) and D criteria.
An ectomycorrhizal species characteristic for old-growth mature forests in the Pacific Northwest of North America, known only from 12 sites. Exemplary for the Phaeocollybia diversity that exists in western North America.
Known from 12 sites total, 2 in western British Columbia, Canada (Vancouver Island and near Vancouver), 1 in Washington (USA) and 9 in Oregon (USA).
Only known from 12 sites (Norvell & Exeter 2008). Fruiting irregularly.
The species was re-discovered at the type locality more than 40 years after the first find. There are collections from only 3 sites as recorded in the herbarium data base mycoportal (mycoportal.org), but no recent observations by amateur mycologists of this species are known (mushroomobserver.org).
This species has been surveyed for under the Northwest Forest Plan (Castellano et al. 1999), since 1998; despite these intensive survey efforts, the number of known sites has not increased.
The extent of old growth forest has declined 90% in the last century (@@).
Mycorrhizal and terrestrial in old-growth forests with a high amount of coarse woody debris, dominated by Abies, Tsuga heterophylla, and Pseudotsuga menziesii (Norvell & Exeter 2008).
Often fruiting together with other Phaeocollybia species.
The major threat to this species and its co-occurring co-generic brethren is habitat destruction, viz. the logging of old-growth forests.
Habitat protection: the known sites, especially the Mount Hood and the Larch Mountain sites in Oregon, have to be protected from logging and other disturbances.
This species is a so-called Strategy 1 species under the Northwest Forest Plan (Castellano et al. 1999), and has been surveyed and managed within the range of the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina).
Castellano, M.A., Smith, J.E., O’Dell, T., Cazáres, E., and Nugent, S.. 1999. Handbook to strategy 1 fungal species in the Northwest Forest Plan. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-476. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 204 p.
Norvell LL, Exeter RL. 2008. Phaeocollybia of Pacific Northwest North America. USDI BLM/OR/WA/GI-08/100-1792. 228 p.
Smith AH, Trappe JM. 1972. The higher fungi of Oregon’s Cascade Head Experimental Forest and vicinity: I. The Genus Phaeocollybia (Agaricales) and notes and descriptions of other species in the Agaricales. Mycologia 64: 1138-1153.