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Gloiocephala cerkezii Tkalčec & Mešić

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Scientific name
Gloiocephala cerkezii
Tkalčec & Mešić
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
IUCN Red List Criteria
Tkalcec, Z., Mešić, A., Ainsworth, A.M. & Jordal, J.
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/147908875/147908893


Gloiocephala cerkezii is a distinctive saprotrophic fungus growing on plant remains known only from two small localities in Croatia; a small grassland and a disused orchard, the latter of which is now destroyed. It was described in 2008 (Tkalčec and Mešić 2008). Its agaricoid sporocarps are rather small (5–20 mm broad and 10–25 mm high), but macroscopically very distinctive (dark, slender, central stipe and very reduced, vein-like lamellae), so it is obviously an exceptionally rare species. The real number of localities is estimated as fifteen since this fungus is so distinctive and the chance of overlooking is low. The population size is estimated as 225-250 mature individuals. It is therefore assessed as Endangered using criterion D.

Geographic range

This species is only known from two small localities (sites) in northwest Croatia, 40 km apart. Adequate habitat on one of these two localities is now devastated and lost.

Population and Trends

Gloiocephala cerkezii is known only from two small localities in Croatia, at one of which its habitat has already been destroyed. It was found for the first time in 2002, published as new in 2008, and has never been reported from anywhere else despite the fact that it is highly distinctive and has been the subject of deliberate search effort. Today, the habitat on the northern locality (neglected orchard with Prunus domestica as substrate of G. cerkezii) is completely devastated and changed. The habitat on the southern locality (small grassland with Carex hirta sedge as substrate of G. cerkezii, ca 20 x 10 m) is still there, but abundance of Carex hirta is lower than 15 years ago. Therefore, the known population of the species is declining. However, since G. cerkezii can live on two different plant substrates which are not rare, it can be assumed that other localities exist, at least in Croatia. In the currently known extant locality the fungus seems to be restricted to discrete patches on individual Carex plants. It is estimated that there are four discrete patches at this locality. Four genets are expected to comprise the site, with four ramets per genet, i.e. about fifteen mature individuals at the only known extant site. The real number of localities is estimated as fifteen since this fungus is so distinctive and the chance of overlooking is low. This gives an estimate of 225-250 mature individuals in total (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011).

Population Trend: decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Gloiocephala cerkezii lives as a saprotroph on plant remnants. It was found in two different habitats: (1) in a small grassland with a few Alnus glutinosa trees, on dead parts of Carex hirta sedge, and (2) in a neglected orchard with Prunus domestica trees, on dead plum twigs on the ground. Sporocarps found between July and October.


Considering that only one known locality with adequate habitat remains (in a very small area, near the forest road and hunting lodge), and that the number of assumed localities is rather small, the species is under threat from stochastic events which can lead to habitat degradation and loss. The known extant site is very near the road, such that damage by vehicles is a  real threat.

Conservation Actions

To prevent a degradation or loss of habitat on the single known site with adequate habitat remaining (near the forest road and hunting lodge), it is important to enclose a small grassland to prevent access for vehicles and disposal of material. This small area should get some sort of formal protection status.

Further field research on adequate habitats (grasslands with Carex hirta and extensive or neglected plum orchards) is needed, in order to get a more accurate knowledge of its population size and distribution.

It is possible that further research will indicate that it can also occur on other substrates, since the two substrates on which it has been found to date are very different. DNA studies are also required.

Use and Trade

This species is not utilized.

Source and Citation

Tkalcec, Z., Mešić, A., Ainsworth, A.M. & Jordal, J. 2019. Gloiocephala cerkezii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T147908875A147908893. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T147908875A147908893.en .Accessed on 31 January 2022

Country occurrence