Red List of Fungi for Great Britain: Boletaceae. A pilot conservation assessment based on national database records, fruit body morphology and DNA barcoding.
(2013)
Species Status No.14
A.M. Ainsworth, J.H. Smith, L. Boddy, B.T.M. Dentinger, M. Jordan, D. Parfiitt, H.J. Rogers & S.J. Skeates
This publication is one of a series produced under the auspices of the Species Status Assessment project initiated by JNCC in 1999.

Introduction

 

There have been two fungal red-listing exercises in Great Britain (GB). The first of these historic Red Data Lists (RDLs) was “A Provisional Red Data List of British Fungi” (Ing 1992) which expressed levels of risk using the IUCN categories available at the time and was based on data from “foray lists, herbarium and literature sources and by discussion with experienced field mycologists”. This was superseded by an online list, the current RDL, entitled “Preliminary Assessment: The Red Data List of Threatened British Fungi” (Evans et al. 2006). This covers GB and the Isle of Man, again using IUCN categories, and was compiled on behalf of the British Mycological Society (BMS). The lists were not published by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), a body approved by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for quality assuring regional RDLs, and so they did not achieve official status. The assessments are now in need of revision and, unfortunately, the unofficial status of the current RDL has limited its role in fungal conservation. For example, JNCC stipulated that only official RDLs could be taken into account when the European conservation status of fungi was assessed during the 2005/7 UK Biodiversity Action Plan review. As a result of this constraint, the conservation assessments of Evans et al. (2006) could not be used in this task. Closer to home, the publication of an official fungal RDL is an essential prerequisite for the production of two long-awaited conservation tools. It would enable the “Guidelines for Fungi”, a compilation of the criteria upon which selection of the UK’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest for their fungal interest depend, to be significantly expanded. This would bring a wider variety of important fungal sites into consideration for designation and protection. Similarly, an official RDL is an essential tool for revising the UK’s Important Fungus Areas, a list which was drawn up over a decade ago (Evans et al. 2001).

 

The bolete family (Boletaceae) was selected for a Natural England-funded pilot RDL assessment because its members form large, often colourful, and sometimes commercially important edible fruit bodies (ceps, porcini) and so they are relatively well-known to naturalists and the general public alike. Identification guides to British boletes are very popular with field mycologists and are frequently updated (e.g. Watling 1970, Kibby 2000, Taylor et al. 2002, Watling & Hills 2005, Kibby 2006, Hills 2008, Kibby 2011). Several British field mycologists have taken a special interest in the group in recent years, in particular A.E. Hills, whose extensive collections and fruit body abundance data gathered over the last two decades are now deposited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBGK). Boletes are therefore associated with an extensive recording dataset and ample reference material is available for combined molecular and morphological studies.

 

Analysis and interpretation of recording data and the conservation assessments were carried out by one of us (JHS) with assistance from co-authors following IUCN guidelines, categories and criteria (IUCN 2012a, b, 2013). This publication is based on a project report submitted to Natural England in March 2013 and augmented by the results of DNA sequencing studies carried out at Cardiff University and RBGK during the period 2011–2013.

 

 

 
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A4, 37pp
ISSN 1473-0154
 
Please cite as: A.M. Ainsworth, J.H. Smith, L. Boddy, B.T.M. Dentinger, M. Jordan, D. Parfiitt, H.J. Rogers & S.J. Skeates, (2013), Red List of Fungi for Great Britain: Boletaceae. A pilot conservation assessment based on national database records, fruit body morphology and DNA barcoding., A4, 37pp, ISSN 1473-0154