Mycological conservation has finally come of age. The increasingly recognized crucial role played by fungi in ecosystem functioning has spurred a wave of attention toward the status of fungal populations across the world. Milkcaps (Lactarius and Lactifluus) are a large and widespread group of ectomycorrhizal basidiomycetes; besides their ecological relevance, many species of milkcaps are of socio-economic significance because of their edibility. We analysed the presence of milkcaps in fungal Red Lists worldwide, ending up with an impressive list of 265 species assessed in various threat categories. Lactarius species are disproportionally red-listed with respect to Lactifluus (241 versus 24 species). Two species of Lactarius (L. maruiaensis and L. ogasawarashimensis) are currently considered extinct, and four more are regionally extinct; furthermore, 37 species are critically endangered at least in part of their distribution range. Several problems with the red-listing of milkcaps have been identified in this study, which overall originate from a poor understanding of the assessed species. Wrong or outdated nomenclature has been applied in many instances, and European names have been largely used to indicate taxa occurring in North America and Asia, sometimes without any supporting evidence. Moreover, several rarely recorded and poorly known species, for which virtually no data exist, have been included in Red Lists in some instances. We stress the importance of a detailed study of the species of milkcaps earmarked for insertion in Red Lists, either at national or international level, in order to avoid diminishing the value of this important conservation tool.
|Titolo:||Conservation status of milkcaps (Basidiomycota, russulales, russulaceae), with notes on poorly known species|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|