- Scientific name
- Geastrum pouzarii
- V.J. Staněk
- Common names
- hvězdovka Pouzarova
- IUCN Specialist Group
- Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
- Assessment status
- Assessment date
- IUCN Red List Category
- Ainsworth, A.M., Jeppson, M., Knutsson, T. & Rebriev, Y.
- Mešić, A. & Perini, C.
is a small saprotrophic fungus mainly occurring in dry, steep grassland slope habitats. Although it was not described until 1954, it is a well-known species. For several years it was considered to be endemic to central Europe, where it seems to have its main occurrences. However it is now known to occur in Russia, Spain, and Mexico. In spite of the fact that it might have a world-wide distribution, the species is still extremely rare.
In central European it occurs on dry slopes with thermophilous vegetation. It seems to prefer open to semi-open patches in the mosaic landscape characterizing these slopes. A potential decline in population can be expected in Europe due to habitat changes (overgrowth) caused by a decrease in grazing management and/or exploitation of habitats (limestone quarries, roads, buildings etc), clear-cutting etc. The status of the population in North America and eastwards on the Eurasian continent is unknown; more information is required from these areas. Also, the conspecificity of the Mexican records with the European G. pouzarii
needs to be confirmed.
The global Red List status of this species is currently Data Deficient (DD) because molecular data to confirm conspecificity for American records are missing and the status of the population in North America and eastwards on the Eurasian continent is unknown.
Molecular data has confirmed the status of this species within Geastrum
. (Zamora et al
For several years this species was considered to be endemic to central Europe, where it seems to have its main occurrences: <15 localities in Czechia, and one locality in Switzerland. It is further known from three localities in south Russia (Rostov region). More recently, a few records have been added from Spain (one locality), Russia (Altai), and Mexico (Baja California: four localities), indicating that the species might have a world-wide distribution, although it is extremely rare.
More information is needed for this species in North America as well as eastwards on the Eurasian continent. The conspecificity of Mexican records with the European G. pouzarii
needs to be confirmed with molecular methods.
Population and Trends
Although it was not described until 1954, this is a well-known species. It is easily recognizable but is also extremely rare. Although it may have a world-wide distribution, only a small population is known. It has been well searched for by central European mycologists.
It is difficult to estimate the current status of the population. It is expected to be declining in Europe because of a decrease in grazing and exploitation of habitats in central Europe. More information is needed on the status of populations in North America and eastwards on the Eurasian continent.
Population Trend: unknown
Habitat and Ecology
is a saprotrophic fungus adapted to dry and warm conditions. In central Europe it occurs in open patches in mosaic habitats in deciduous woodlands on steep steppic grassland slopes (southern exposure) on mostly basic soil. The surrounding vegetation is distinctly thermophilic. It seems to prefer open to semi-open patches in the mosaic landscape characterizing these slopes.
The Spanish record is from beneath an old Juniperus thurifera
in a dry steppe habitat. The locations in both central Europe and in Spain are very “old habitats” with a long continuity of the current land management (grazing). The Russian records are from grazed sandy grassland. Although one of the Russian localities was close to a farm, there are no records of G. pouzarii
from anthropogenic habitats in central Europe (e.g., parks and gardens, road verges, farm yards), as is the case for a number of other earthstar species.
In Sonora (Baja California, Mexico) it was recorded under arid to semi-arid conditions in microphyllous desert scrub, tropical thorn forest and tropical deciduous woodland. Unlike most other earthstars, G. pouzarii
is reported to form fruiting bodies in early spring (Europe).
The apparently small population of Geastrum pouzarii
makes it vulnerable to random extinction of individual occurrences which can dramatically decrease its chances of survival and reproduction. Some of the Czech occurrences are protected as nature reserves, but the species is nevertheless considered threatened in Czechia (EN).
The main threat to its habitat seems to be overgrowth due to a decline in grazing management. The species prefers open to semi-open habitats in exposed and sloping patches in a mosaic landscape, maintaining its open/semi-open character chiefly by grazing animals. A secondary threat to its habitats seems to be exploitation by road constructions, buildings, and limestone quarry activities. The latter seems to have destroyed several potential localities for G. pouzarii
in central Europe.
Several of the occurrences in Czechia are situated in nature reserves and the Mexican records have all been made in priority regions for conservation of biodiversity. All occurrences of G. pouzarii
should be under some kind of protection ensuring a traditional management. In known localities annual monitoring should be organized to get a clearer picture of the present population status and changes over time.
The conspecificity of the Mexican samples with the European G. pouzarii
should be investigated with molecular methods. The species should also be searched for in steppe slope habitats in Czechia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, the Balkan countries etc.
Use and Trade
This species is not utilized.
Source and Citation
Ainsworth, A.M., Jeppson, M., Knutsson, T. & Rebriev, Y. 2019. Geastrum pouzarii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T71568683A71569158. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T71568683A71569158.en
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