Dupain’s bolete

Rubroboletus dupainii


Сјајно-црвен вргањ



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Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Rubroboletus dupainii


(Boudier) Kuan Zhao & Zhu L. Yang


Boletus dupainii Boud.

Suillellus dupainii (Boud.) Blanco-Dios

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

VU – Vulnerable D1

Date assessed

November 2020


Tofilovska, S.


Kost, G.

Mešić, A.


Karadelev, M.

Rusevska, K.


Miskovic, M.


Rubroboletus dupainii is a mycorrhizal species primarily with Quercus, and rarely with Fagus and Castanea. It inhabits old-growth thermophilous forests, on calcareous shallow soils. It has been sighted at only a single location, in Jablanica Mountain, at an elevation varying between 700 and 850 m. A population size between 200 and 400 mature individuals is estimated. Due to anthropogenic pressure, the favourable habitat type is heavily degraded. Besides forest exploitation, the habitat is affected by excavation of raw minerals. However, additional data is needed in order to estimate precisely the population trend of the fungus. Therefore, the species is categorized as vulnerable under criteria D1.


Current population trend



At the sole observed site, only one mature individual has been ascertained. Since natural, old-growth oak forests providing favourable conditions for R. dupainnii are scarce, a population size between 200 and 400 mature individuals is estimated. The estimation is based on: the probable total number of sites in the country (ca. 10, up to 20), the estimated number of functional individuals at each site (estimated to be two) and the template of how many mature individuals each reproducing genotype may give rise to (the template used ten) according to the instructions provided by Dahlberg and Mueller (2011). Exploitation of forests, forming of bare land, and diminished habitat quality is observed, however additional data is needed in order to estimate precisely the population trend of the fungus.

Habitat and Ecology



Habitat and Ecology

It is a mycorrhizal species mainly with Quercus, and rarely with Fagus and Castanea. It inhabits old-growth thermophilous forests, on calcareous shallow soils, sometimes preferring more open areas (Fraiture and Otto 2015). The species produces sporocarps in summer and autumn. According to Perini & Gonçalves (2019), at a global level the habitats where this species thrives are favorable in range and area but unfavorable in both structure & function. The expectations are that the species will move northwards in Europe, occupying potentially suitable habitats as a result of climate change effects.

In North Macedonia it has been documented at only a single site in the country, in Jablanica Mt, growing in oak forest on calcareous soil, at an elevation ranging between 700 and 850 m. Despite the fact that it is a conspicuous fungus and easy to be identified, it has not been recorded often, since a well-preserved, fitting thermophilous oak forests is scarcely found in the country. Therefore, the probable total number of sites is ca. 10, up to 20. The unremitting, strong anthropogenic influence upon the appropriate habitat is the reason for being so rare given that the species is regarded as sensitive to degradation of natural forests (Fraiture and Otto 2015).

Use and trade

Use and trade

It is not edible. It is suspected to be slightly poisonous. It is not subject of trade.



Oaks are the dominant forest in the country, occupying 29.3% of the total area but they also comprise the most degraded stands, especially the distinctly thermophilous forests (Kolevska et al. 2017). The species is generally threatened by continuous loss and fragmentation of oak forests due to logging activities. Forest exploitation has been practised for centuries, and at the moment 91% of the total area under forest in North Macedonia is managed whereas the largest part (93%) is treated as productive forest. In practice, the silvicultural system applies clear-cutting in oak forest, and, as a result, bare lands and even-aged forests are created while old-growth forests are reduced in size (Trajkov et al. 2016, Kolevska et al. 2017). In North Macedonia, ca. 1% of forests are logged annually by national forestry service (Kolevska et al. 2017, State Statistics Office 2018), while illegal logging is considerably high, with additional 30% to legal wood extraction. According to the National action plan for fight against desertification in the Republic of Macedonia (2017), in the 2000–2012 period, a decrease of 35,000 ha (4%) of forest area had occurred based on analysis of CORINE land cover. Therefore, the quality of the appropriate habitat is continuously reducing, posing a major threat to maintenance of a stable fungal population. Тhe thermophilous deciduous woodland (Annex I HD G1.7) in North Macedonia, according to the latest Biodiversity Strategy (2018), is categorised in the group of habitats having the highest intensity of threat, due to clearcutting and fires. Moreover, vast areas of the newly-formed bare lands in the lower oak belt have been planted with invasive alien species, such as Cupressus sempervirens, C. arizonica, Robinia pseudoacacia or Pinus nigra. An assessment should also be made of the impact that these activities have on fungal populations. Decline in health of forest stands, due to diseases on Quercus spp. with varying degrees of intensity, have been reported (DPRS 2019). Diseases of oak stands are primarily caused by Euproctis chrysorrhoe L., Lymantria dispar L. and species of the family Tortricidae.

Besides the exploitation of forest, the habitat is under pressure of excavation of raw minerals such as limestone, gypsum or marble. In the period 1999-2014 more than 140 permissions for exploitation of this type of materials have been issued and the number have considerably increased in the following years (Spatial planning agency Annual Report 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019), leading to additional deprivation of the possible sites for distribution of the species.

The loss and degradation of habitat triggered by clear-cutting, exploitation of minerals and by infrastructure development pose the highest threat. Forest fires are also common in thermophilous oak woodlands.

Thus, the suitable habitat for Rubroboletus dupainii has a very small distribution area.

At the only site, extensive use of the forest in the recent years has been noticed, and in some parts bare land is created due to clear-cuttings. Near the site a quarry for limestone has been built.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

Conservation needed: The already known location must be conserved and strictly protected against utilization of the ectomycorrhizal partner or land use. Revitalisation of the degraded area at the sole site must be performed with recruitment of native oak species. An action plan aiming to minimise the negative impact of the limestone quarry should be completed. Plan for long-term management is essential to maintain an appropriate habitat.

Due to the type of silvicultural management of oak forest (Trajkov et al. 2016), in order to maintain a good habitat quality in the country, it is vital to constitute forest reserves, to designate woodland key biotopes and practise oak recruitment. At places of logging activities, instead of clear-cutting, trees of various age should be left on site. Reforestation in the lower oak belt with alien tree species rather than oak should not be applied.

Research needed: Regular monitoring on an annual basis at the established site, coupled with field research at potential sites in order to explore the distribution and dynamics of occurrence of Rubroboletus dupainii. Precise assessment of the state of thermophilous oak forests in the country is necessary, and designing of an appropriate forest management policy for maintenance of a suitable habitat.

It is advisable to digitize and regularly update forest inventories and forestry plans. There is a necessity of habitat map elaboration.



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