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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Global patterns in endemicity and vulnerability of soil fungi

Tedersoo, Leho; Mikryukov, Vladimir; Zizka, Alexander; Bahram, Mohammad; Hagh-Doust, Niloufar; Anslan, Sten; Prylutskyi, Oleh; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T.; Parn, Jaan; Opik, Maarja; Moora, Mari; Zobel, Martin; Espenberg, Mikk; Mander, Ulo; Khalid, Abdul Nasir; Corrales, Adriana; Agan, Ahto; Vasco-Palacios, Aida-M; Saitta, Alessandro;
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Fungi are highly diverse organisms, which provide multiple ecosystem services. However, compared with charismatic animals and plants, the distribution patterns and conservation needs of fungi have been little explored. Here, we examined endemicity patterns, global change vulnerability and conservation priority areas for functional groups of soil fungi based on six global surveys using a high-resolution, long-read metabarcoding approach. We found that the endemicity of all fungi and most functional groups peaks in tropical habitats, including Amazonia, Yucatan, West-Central Africa, Sri Lanka, and New Caledonia, with a negligible island effect compared with plants and animals. We also found that fungi are predominantly vulnerable to drought, heat and land-cover change, particularly in dry tropical regions with high human population density. Fungal conservation areas of highest priority include herbaceous wetlands, tropical forests, and woodlands. We stress that more attention should be focused on the conservation of fungi, especially root symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal fungi in tropical regions as well as unicellular early-diverging groups and macrofungi in general. Given the low overlap between the endemicity of fungi and macroorganisms, but high conservation needs in both groups, detailed analyses on distribution and conservation requirements are warranted for other microorganisms and soil organisms.


biodiversity; biogeography; climate change; conservation priorities; global change vulnerability; global maps; mycorrhizal fungi; pathogens; saprotrophs

Published in

Global Change Biology
2022, volume: 28, number: 22, pages: 6696-6710
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Tedersoo, Leho
University of Tartu
Mikryukov, Vladimir
University of Tartu
Zizka, Alexander
Philipps University Marburg
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Hagh-Doust, Niloufar
University of Tartu
Anslan, Sten
University of Tartu
Prylutskyi, Oleh
Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel
Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Maestre, Fernando T.
Universitat d'Alacant
Parn, Jaan
University of Tartu
Opik, Maarja
University of Tartu
Moora, Mari
University of Tartu
Zobel, Martin
University of Tartu
Espenberg, Mikk
University of Tartu
Mander, Ulo
University of Tartu
Khalid, Abdul Nasir
University of Punjab
Corrales, Adriana
Universidad del Rosario
Agan, Ahto
Estonian University of Life Sciences
Vasco-Palacios, Aida-M
Universidad de Antioquia
Saitta, Alessandro
University of Palermo
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UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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