Hydnellum peckii is a species of mycorrhizal fungi dependent on coniferous trees. They are found primarily in North America and Europe, in areas where there are older forests of pines or other conifers with well developed canopies. Their populations are threatened in parts of Europe by pollution, which increases levels of nitrogen in the soil. They also may be threatened due to habitat loss, as in some areas pines are threatened by wildfires and deforestation.
Found in boreal forests dominated by jack pine (Visser, 1995). Preference for montane or subalpine ecosystems (Evenson, 1997). Based on GBIF, known distribution in North America, Europe, and recently Australia, Korea, and Iran; and no severe fragmentation. Approximate EOO and AOO in 2020 are , respectively.
Potential human mediated dispersal through the introduction of conifers. Pine seedlings inoculated with H. peckii were introduced to a native forest in Scotland which was previously an agricultural site (Linde et al. 2010). Based on GBIF, H. peckii was documented in southern Australia in March 2020, which may have been due to human introduction into the area where Southern Cypress Pine, Callitris gracilis, is native.
Approximate global population in 2020 is 35020. Based on GBIF and MycoPortal occurrences, overall improvement in population for three generation lengths, or 50 years (Dahlberg & Muller 2011).
Number of occurrences in 2020 from GBIF, MycoPortal, iNaturalist, and Mushroom Observer is 991, but this is a severe underestimate. Instead, approximate global population was calculated by multiplying global habitable surface area and 1.024E-8 mature individuals/m^2, based on 64 sporocarps observed in 625 km^2 of boreal forest in Northern Sweden (Eilertsen 2014). Based on GBIF, global surface area of taiga—1.7E13 m^2 (National Ecological Observatory Network, 2020)—was reduced to overlapping range of H. peckii and its hosts Pinus banksiana, Picea abies, Conium maculatum, and Pseudotsuga menziesii (Agerer 1993, Visser 1995): 1.026E13 m^2; this eliminated Sakhalin Island, Trans-Baikal Conifer Forest, Kamechatka-Kurile Taiga, Kamechatka-Kurile Meadows, Iceland, the Urals, and all of Siberia (Global Forest Atlas 2020). Finally, multiplier of 1/3 was applied to account for approximate fraction of taiga that is montane or subalpine (Evenson 1997).
Reported to be extinct in the Netherlands and appreciably decreased frequency in Germany in 1991 (Arnolds 1991); reported to be vulnerable in the United Kingdom in 2004 (Bridge & Panchal 2004) and endangered in Great Britain in 2006 (Evans et al. 2006); reported to be rare in Montenegro (Kasom & Miličković 2006); reported to be regionally extinct in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany (Arnolds 2010); yet downgraded from Swedish Red List (Eilertsen 2014); but these are regional and/or outdated. Instead, current trend was assessed relatively by graphing global occurrences from 1970 to 2020 on GBIF and MycoPortal, whose trends were similar.
Population Trend: Improving
Mutualistic, mycorrhizal on coniferous trees such as on Picea abies, Pinus banksiana, Conium maculatum and Pseudotsuga menziesii (Agerer 1993; Visser 1995). Found around conifers in forests with fully canopies, alone or in clusters on the ground. Documented on Pinus banksiana 65 and 122 years old which had died in a wildfire (Visser 1995).
Potential human mediated dispersal through the introduction of conifers. Pine seedlinigs inoculated with H. peckii were introduced to a native forest in Scotland which was previously an agricultural site (Linde, Alexander and Anderson 2010). H. peckii was documented in southern Australia in March 2020. This may have been due to a human introduction into the area where Callitris gracilis (Southern Cypress Pine) is native (GBIF 2020).
Increased pollution in Europe is associated with the decline of Hydnellum peckii (Newton et al. 2002). Also the decline of native pine forests, some of which are due to deforestation and others from wildfires, may also be contributing to the further decline of H. peckii (Calvao, Duarte and Pimentel 2018; Lucas-Bora et al. 2017).
Molecular ITS sequencing is being used to identify H. peckii in soil when fruiting bodies are not present, aiding in conservation efforts by further documenting their population sizes (Cairney 2005).
Further documentation of their geographic distribution is needed in Asia and Australia. More knowledge as to potential human mediated dispersal of H. peckii using inoculated conifer saplings is needed to determine potential avenues for conservation (Linde, Alexander and Anderson 2010).
Not edible. Used by mushroom dyers to create beige, blue or green colors.