• Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Morchella anatolica Işıloğlu, Spooner, Allı & Solak

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Scientific name
Morchella anatolica
Author
Işıloğlu, Spooner, Allı & Solak
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Ascomycota
Class
Pezizomycetes
Order
Pezizales
Family
Morchellaceae
Assessment status
Proposed
Proposed by
Michael Loizides
Comments etc.
Michael Loizides

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Morchella anatolica is an ultra-rare species described in 2010 from Turkey. It’s an ancient climatic relict from the last ice age and, together with its sister-species M. rufobrunnea, occupies a basal position in global morel phylogenies which means it’s ancestral to all other species of Morchella.


Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Ultra rare climatic relict from the Pleistocene, ancestral in genus Morchella. Narrowly endemic in the Mediterranean basin.


Geographic range

Cyprus, Turkey, Spain, Kefalonia isl. (Greece), Lesvos isl. (Greece), Zakynthos isl. (Greece).


Population and Trends

Morchella anatolica is narrowly endemic to the Mediterranean basin and so far known from less than a dozen localities in four countries (Turkey, Spain, the island of Cyprus and insular Greece, see also Geographic range). The species is critically endangered because: (1) its extremely restricted distribution range; (2) its notable rarity in all the localities it has been documented so far; (3) its commercial value as an edible species belonging to a genus of highly sought after fungi commanding high prizes in international markets; and (4) accelerated climate changes and habitat loss particularly in the eastern Mediterranean basin, where most known collections of M. anatolica originate from. From genetic polymorphisms of its populations and comparison with the distribution of its sister-species M. rufobrunnea, it appears that M. anatolica had once a wider population became probably fragmented during the Pleistocene glaciations. Its current population range is therefore best understood as climatic refugia (see Loizides et al. 2021).

Population Trend: Decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

Saptrotrophic, possibly also facultatively biotrophic, occasionally found in the vicinity of Olea europaea.

Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation

Threats

As described in “Population and current Trends”: The species should be regarded as critically endangered because: (1) its extremely restricted distribution range; (2) its notable rarity in all the localities it has been documented so far; (3) its commercial value as an edible species belonging to a genus of highly sought after fungi commanding high prizes in international markets; (4) accelerated climate changes and habitat loss particularly in the eastern Mediterranean basin, where most known collections of M. anatolica originate from; and (5) A putative reduction of its distribution range since the Pleistocene, with its current distribution area likely representing a refugium.


Conservation Actions

To the best of the author’s knowledge, this ultra-rare and critically endangered species is so far under no protective legislation or protected by any conservation measures in any of the countries documented.

Site/area protectionHarvest managementTrade managementInternational levelNational levelPolicies and regulations

Research needed


Use and Trade


Bibliography

Loizides M, Gonou Z, Fransuas G, Drakopoulos P, Sammut C, Martinis A, Bellanger J-M (2021) Extended phylogeography of the ancestral Morchella anatolica supports preglacial presence in Europe and Mediterranean origin of morels. Mycologia 113(3):559–573. https://doi.org/10.1080/00275514.2020.1869489


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted