• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • Preliminary Assessed
  • Assessed
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Cortinarius pavelekii (Trappe, Castellano & P. Rawl.) Peintner & M.M. Moser

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Scientific name
Cortinarius pavelekii
(Trappe, Castellano & P. Rawl.) Peintner & M.M. Moser
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
IUCN Red List Category
EN A2ce; B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i)
Proposed by
Michael Castellano
Michael Castellano
Michael Castellano
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

This mycorrhizal, hypogeous, sequestrate species was originally described as Thaxterogaster pavelekii by Trappe, Castellano and P. Rawlinson in Trappe and Castellano (2000).  It was recombined as Cortinarius pavelekii (Trappe, Castellano and P. Rawlinson) Peintner and Moser in Peintner, Moser and Vilgalys (2002)

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Easily recognized hypogeous, mycorrhizal, sequestrate species endemic to the Pacific Northwest of North America.  Particularly characterized by the sequestrate form, lack of violet or purple tints on the peridium and occurrence in coastal sitka spruce forests.  Known only from coastal Picea sitchensis forests in a narrow geographic band (3.3 km wide) along the central coast of Oregon.

Five of the 10 known sites are more than 30 years old and this species has not been recollected at these sites even though they have been surveyed numerous times in the last 15 years.

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, National, and State rankings by the Oregon Heritage Program.

Listed as critically imperiled (rank 1) by the Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center.

EN A2 A3 A4c - 50% reduction in number of sites in last 30 years

5 original sites have not produced sporocarps in the last 30 years, each of these original sites have been revisited dozens of times in search of this species

EN B1 B2 - range is restricted to within 3.3 km of the ocean along a 150 km strip of Oregon coast

3.3 km x 150 km = EOO 495 km2
10 known sites x 4km2 per site = AOO 40 km2

EN C2a (i) - 5 known recent sites, 5 historic known sites that have not produced sporocarps for at least 30 years. 

40 mature individuals or 400 potential mature individuals with <50 mature individuals in any one subpopulation

50% of the known sites not producing sporocarps even though extensive surveys over numerous years.  Severe (over 25%)urban encroachment of potential habitat within last 50 years

VU D - 10 total known sites although only 5 have produced sporocarps within last 30 years even though extensively surveyed for. 10 total sites x 4 mycelia per site = 40 mature individuals
x 10 = 400 potential mature individuals

5 extant sites x 5 mycelia = 20 mature individuals
x 10 = 200 potential mature individuals

Geographic range

Endemic to portion of the central coast of Oregon.

Population and Trends

Known from only 10 sites along the central coast region of Oregon. 

Five sites are more than 30 years old and this species has not been recollected at these sites even though they have been surveyed numerous times in the last 15 years. 

10 total sites x 4 mycelia per site = 40 mature individuals
x 10 = 400 potential mature individuals

5 extant sites x 5 mycelia = 20 mature individuals
x 10 = 200 potential mature individuals

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

This species is mycorrhizal with the roots of mature to old-growth Picea sitchensis and fruits February through July and in November.  Picea sitchensis is restricted to a narrow geographic band along the moist, fog-drip influenced forests of coastal Oregon.  The known collection sites are all within 3.3 km of the ocean.  Occurrences are restricted to elevations under 167 m and all soils are sand based, often old stabilized dunes. Dispersal is dependent on mycophagy (eaten by small mammals).


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 old-growth Picea sitchensis forests are significantly encroached by urban development and road construction along the Oregon coast line.  Particularly within the last 20-50 years.  Urban development in this narrow band of sitka spruce forests has led to significant forest fragmentation that may impede fungus dispersal and gene flow.  In addition, these low elevation forests are subject to logging, clearing of land for agricultural use, salt deposition from salt spray, intense flooding or damage from Tsumai, and disturbance from human activities, i.e., road building, home construction, and campground development.  Global climate change is potentially devastating to low elevation coastal forests in western North America.  Most of current known sites are at 50 ft elevation or less.

Conservation Actions

Protect known sites from management activities and encroachment of urban development.

Research needed

Use molecular tools to examine other potential hosts, i.e., Pinus contorta that occur in similar habitat.

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

Purposive surveys in similar habitat to discover additional occupied sites.

Use and Trade


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

Peintner, U., Moser, M., and Vilgalys, R. 2002. Thaxterogaster is a taxonomic synonym of Cortinarius: new combinations and new names.  Mycotaxon 81:177-184.

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 1. http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/sfpnw/issssp/planning-documents/assessments.shtml

Interagency Special Status / Sensitive Species Program (ISSSSP) Conservation Planning Documents - Fungal Species Fact Sheets- available at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/sfpnw/issssp/planning-documents/species-guides.shtml  accessed on April 23-2015

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted