March mushroom

Hygrophorus marzuolus





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Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Hygrophorus marzuolus


(Fr.) Bres.


Agaricus marzuolus Fr.

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

VU – Vulnerable D1

Date assessed

November 2020


Tofilovska, S.


Kost, G.


Karadelev, M.

Rusevska, K.

Jovanovski, T.


Miskovic, M.


Hygrophorus marzuolus inhabits mountain forest regions and forms mycorrhiza with coniferous trees. The species is known to be present in NP Pelister where it is distributed at sites along the Abies borisii-regis range, in mixed forest with Pinus peuse, and in Shar Planina in mixed forest of Abies borisii-regis, Pinus nigra and Quercus spp.   An estimation of probable sites was made based on availability of appropriate habitat. In view of all sites (confirmed and predicted) the probable number of locations is between 10 and 20, and an estimation of ca. 300–600 mature individuals was made, while population trend is unknown. Thus the species is categorised as Vulnerable by the criteria D1.


Current population trend



The species is known to be present on multiple sites in Pelister NP and one site in Shar Planina. Besides the known sites, it is highly probable that the species occurs on other sites with an appropriate habitat; the probable total number of sites is estimated ca. 10–20.  According to the instructions for estimation of mature individuals provided by Dahlberg and Mueller (2011), an estimation of ca. 300–600 can be made based on the probable total number of sites in the country (ca. 10–20), the estimated number of functional individuals at each locality (estimated to be three), and based on the template of how many mature individuals each reproducing genotype may give rise to (template used 10).

Habitat and Ecology



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).

Use and trade

Use and trade

Hygrophorus marzuolus is an edible mushroom, highly appreciated in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria (Nedelev 2019). In the past, it used to be sold on markets in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland; nowadays, this is prohibited.



Hygrophorus marzuolus as an ectomycorrhizal species is dependent on the availability of a suitable partner and habitat with convenient conditions. The confirmed sites located in Pelister NP in the third level of protection zone, as well as the site on Shar Planina, should be protected against logging and any potential loss of habitats (constructions of sky-runs and other infrastructure for winter sports or other activities).

Diseases on the mycorrhizal partners have been reported (DPRS 2019).

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

Conservation needed: Prohibition of logging and activities that may destroy its habitat at confirmed sites.

Research needed: Regular monitoring on an annual basis at the established site, coupled with field research at the noted potential sites in order to explore the distribution and dynamic of occurrence of Hygrophorus marzuolus. If the species is recorded at potential sites, conservation measures should be determined, which means prohibition of deforestation. Assessment of forest health and, if required, undertaking essential measures to preserve the health of the forest stands. It is advisable to digitize and regularly update forest inventories and forestry plans. There is a necessity of elaboration of a habitat map.



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Micevski, K. 1985. The flora of the Republic of Macedonia I (1). Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje.

Nedelev, P. 2019. Hygrophorus marzuolus (Fr.) Bres. family Hygrophoraceae. Available at: assessed 05.05.2020.

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