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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

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

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)