Habitat and Ecology
Hygrophorus marzuolus mostly inhabits mountain forest regions of Abies spp. In addition to the mycorrhizal symbiosis with Abies borisi-regis and Pinus spp. recorded in North Macedonia, it is often found in symbiosis with Picea abies, whereas in the southern distribution range, it is also associated with Fagus sylvatica, Castanea sativa and Quercus spp. though less frequently (Horak 2005, Bresinsky 2008). The sporocarps appear in early spring (March-April) depending on the season weather, when the snow starts to melt. The species prefers cold and humid habitats, and it may be found at altitudes of up to 2,000 m, on both basic and neutral to acidic soil (Fraiture and Otto 2015). The sporocarps grow hidden under the leaf litter, usually in groups but also singly.
In North Macedonia, Hygrophorus marzuolus has been observed in Pelister Mt and Shar Planina. In Pelister NP, part of the population is in the zone of Strict Protection and part in the zone of Sustainable Use. Albeit it is an edible species, it has not been searched for extensively in the past, and it is inconspicuous; it should be looked for under the litter, thus an estimation of probable sites was made (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). Based on the distribution of the major mycorrhizal partner, probable sites might be the well-preserved forest stands of A. borisii-regis and mixed fir-spruce forests found on Karaorman, Bistra, Korab, Sar Mt, Jakupica, Kajmakcalan and Kozuf (Micevski 1985, UNEP 2020, Simovski 2014, personal data).