• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • Preliminary Assessed
  • Assessed
  • ENPublished

Fevansia aurantiaca Trappe & Castellano

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Scientific name
Fevansia aurantiaca
Trappe & Castellano
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
IUCN Red List Category
EN B2ab(ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i)
Proposed by
Michael Castellano
Michael Castellano
Comments etc.
Jean Berube

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Proposed by Trappe and Castellano (2000).  Recently discovered to be related to Albatrellaceae, Russulales (Smith et al. 2013).

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Easily recognized by its sequestrate habit, pale brown to pale orange-brown peridium, a pink-orange to orange-brown gleba, and rounded small locules.

12 known collections, 8 from Cascade Mountains of Oregon, 3 from Rocky Mountains of Colorado and 1 from Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho.

Associated with subalpine to alpine habitat containing Abies amabilis, A. lasiocarpa, A. magnifica var. shastensis, and Tsuga mertensiana.

Random Grid survey of 750 plots for two years across this region, including plots in this habitat type, did not reveal any new collections or sites for this species.

Listed as a sensitive species by the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon.  Ranked as imperiled on the Global and National rankings by the Oregon Heritage Program.

Listed as rare (rank 3) by the Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center

AOO <500 km2 due to occurrence at high elevation montane forests in subalpine to alpine Abies habitat.  These forest forests are highly fragmented in the Cascade Mountains, Rocky Mountains, and Bitterroot Mountains.  These high elevation forests are also subject to periodic forest fires.

12 extant sites x 4 km2 = 48 km2 x 10 = potential AOO 480 km2

12 total known sites, 2 are historic and not redocumented for over 30 years.  1 recent known site has been destroyed by forest fire. 

12 known extant sites x 5 mycelia = 60 potential mature individuals

Geographic range

Disjunct populations in Oregon, California, Colorado, and Idaho.

Population and Trends

Restricted to USA in California, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Hypogeous, mycorrhizal, sequestrate (truffle-like) species in subalpine to alpine habitat associated with Abies amabilis, A. lasiocarpa, A. magnifica var. shastensis, and Tsuga mertensiana at 1,700-2,700 m elevation.  Dependent on mycophagy (primarily eaten by small mammals) for spore dispersal.  Fruiting August through October.


This is a mycorrhizal fungus species so it is dependent on living host trees for population viability.  This mutually beneficial symbiotic association between fungus and plant host roots conveys numerous critical advantages for plant host survival.  Mycorrhizal fungi are essentially the uptake organs for many nutrients i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, numerous micronutrients, i.e., boron, selenium, copper, and plays a major role in uptake of water.  Both the fungus and the plant host does not exist in nature without each other.

Mature and old-growth Abies forests are routinely harvested for wood products that has led to some forest fragmentation that impedes fungus dispersal and gene flow.  In addition, these montane forests are subject to intense forest fires (from dry lightening storms in dry summer months), and disturbance from human activities, i.e., trail head development and trial construction, road building, home construction, and campground development. 

Global climate change is potentially devastating to high elevation mountain forests in western North America which are characterized by heavy snow pack in winter and cool summers.

Conservation Actions

Protect known sites. 

Buffer known sites from ground and host disturbances.

Mitigate impacts during vegetation management in or near known sites.

Research needed

Revisit known sites to confirm persistence and determine extent of populations, particularly for known sites more than 30 years old. 

Use molecular tools to examine other potential hosts, i.e., Tsuga mertensiana and Pseudotsuga menziesii that often occur in similar habitat.

Purposive surveys in potential habitat to discover additional occupied sites. 

Use molecular tools to visit known sites to evaluate population size and structure.

Use and Trade


Trappe, J., and Castellano, M. 2000. New sequestrate ascomycota and basidiomycota covered by the Northwest Forest Plan.  Mycotaxon 75:153-179.

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.

Trappe, M., Evans, F., and Trappe, J. 2007. Field guide to North American truffles: Hunting, identifying and enjoying the world’s most prized fungi. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. 136 p.

Cushman, K., and Huff, R. 2007. Conservation assessment for fungi included in Forest Service Regions 5 and 6 Sensitive and BLM California, Oregon and Washington special status species programs. R6 USFS and OR/WA BLM Interagency Special Status/Sensitive Species Program (ISSSSP). Appendix 2. http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/sfpnw/issssp/planning-documents/assessments.shtml

Smith, M.E., Schell, K.J., Castellano, M.A., Trappe, M.J., and Trappe, J.M. 2013. The enigmatic truffle Fevansia aurantiaca is an ectomycorrhizal member of the Albatrellus lineage.  Mycorrhiza 23:663-668.


Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted