Pycnoporellus spp. (Pycnoporellus alboluteus)

KingdomFungi
PhylumBasidiomycota
ClassHymenomycetes
OrderPolyporales
FamilyPhaeolaceae
GenusPycnoporellus (1)
SizeBracket length: 10 – 30 cm (2)

Short-listed for inclusion in the Bern Convention by the European Council for Conservation of Fungi (ECCF), and included on the Red Lists of 5 European countries (3).

Pycnoporellus alboluteus is a bright, bracket-fungus found growing along old logs and decaying trunks (2). The crust-like fungus grows downwards and contains long, orange pores through which the spores are released (2); the pores become tooth-like with age (4). The upper surface is a pale buff to apricot colour and is covered with flat-lying hairs (4).

WARNING: many species of fungus are poisonous or contain chemicals that can cause sickness. Never pick and eat any species of fungus that you cannot positively recognise or are unsure about. Some species are deadly poisonous and can cause death within a few hours if swallowed.

This fungus is extremely rare in Europe and Asia, although the distribution is more common in North America (2).

Pycnoporellus alboluteus is found growing on old logs and tree trunks that have been decayed by the fungus Fomitopsis pinicola. It is associated with virgin coniferous forests, in particular with spruce trees (Picea spp.) (2).

The brackets of this fungus are produced annually and the fruiting period occurs in the autumn (2).

Fungi are an enormous group of organisms that are so distinctive from both plants and animals that they are placed in their own kingdom. The main body of the fungus is composed of a multitude of microscopic threads (known as ‘hyphae’) which are located within the substrate (5). The fruiting body (such as the more familiar mushroom or toadstool) is produced to release spores and thus allows reproduction to occur. Fungi feed by absorbing nutrients from their surroundings.

Much of the virgin coniferous forests that previously covered vast areas of Europe have been lost. This deforestation poses a direct threat to the survival of Pycnoporellus alboluteus, which is restricted to untouched forests (2).

The protection of remaining old-growth forests will help to secure the future of this rare fungus (2). Pycnoporellus alboluteus is a candidate species for listing in Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, otherwise known as the Bern Convention (3) (6).

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

  1. Fungal Web (July, 2003) http://www.fungalweb.com
  2. European Council for Conservation of Fungi (ECCF) (2001) Datasheets of threatened mushrooms of Europe, candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Convention. Bern Convention Standing Committee. http://www.nature.coe.int/CP21/tpvs34e.htm
  3. The distribution, status and habitat requirement of the 33 fungal candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Bern Convention. (June 2003) http://www.artdata.slu.se/Bern_Fungi/Bern_Fungi.htm
  4. Mykoweb (July, 2003) http://www.mykoweb.com/
  5. Pegler, D. & Spooner, B. (1992) The Mushroom Identifier. Apple Press, London.
  6. Bern Convention (June, 2003) http://www.nature.coe.int/english/cadres/bern.htm