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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

What Do the First 597 Global Fungal Red List Assessments Tell Us about the Threat Status of Fungi?

Mueller, Gregory M.; Cunha, Kelmer Martins; May, Tom W.; Allen, Jessica L.; Westrip, James R. S.; Canteiro, Catia; Costa-Rezende, Diogo Henrique; Drechsler-Santos, Elisandro Ricardo; Vasco-Palacios, Aida M.; Ainsworth, Antony Martyn; Alves-Silva, Genivaldo; Bungartz, Frank; Chandler, Amanda; Goncalves, Susana C.; Krisai-Greilhuber, Irmgard; Irsenaite, Reda; Jordal, John Bjarne; Kosmann, Thiago; Lendemer, James; McMullin, Richard Troy;
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Fungal species are not immune to the threats facing animals and plants and are thus also prone to extinction. Yet, until 2015, fungi were nearly absent on the IUCN Red List. Recent efforts to identify fungal species under threat have significantly increased the number of published fungal assessments. The 597 species of fungi published in the 2022-1 IUCN Red List update (21 July 2022) are the basis for the first global review of the extinction risk of fungi and the threats they face. Nearly 50% of the assessed species are threatened, with 10% NT and 9% DD. For regions with a larger number of assessments (i.e., Europe, North America, and South America), subanalyses are provided. Data for lichenized and nonlichenized fungi are also summarized separately. Habitat loss/degradation followed by climate change, invasive species, and pollution are the primary identified threats. Bias in the data is discussed along with knowledge gaps. Suggested actions to address these gaps are provided along with a discussion of the use of assessments to facilitate on-the-ground conservation efforts. A research agenda for conservation mycology to assist in the assessment process and implementation of effective species/habitat management is presented.


conservation; threats; Basidiomycota; Ascomycota; lichens; funga; IUCN; extinction risk

Published in


2022, volume: 14, number: 9, article number: 736
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Mueller, Gregory M.
Chicago Botanic Garden
Cunha, Kelmer Martins
Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC)
May, Tom W.
Royal Bot Gardens Victoria
Allen, Jessica L.
Eastern Washington University
Westrip, James R. S.
Canteiro, Catia
Indianapolis Zoo
Canteiro, Catia
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Costa-Rezende, Diogo Henrique
Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana
Drechsler-Santos, Elisandro Ricardo
Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC)
Vasco-Palacios, Aida M.
Universidad de Antioquia
Ainsworth, Antony Martyn
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Alves-Silva, Genivaldo
Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC)
Bungartz, Frank
IUCN Species Survival Commiss
Chandler, Amanda
New York Botanical Garden
Goncalves, Susana C.
Universidade de Coimbra
Krisai-Greilhuber, Irmgard
University of Vienna
Irsenaite, Reda
Nature Research Center - Lithuania
Jordal, John Bjarne
Miljofaglig Utredning
Kosmann, Thiago
University of Colorado Boulder
Lendemer, James
New York Botanical Garden
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Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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