Morchella steppicola (Morchellaceae) in the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation

Abstract

Morchella steppicola (Morchellaceae) Zerova is included in the main list of the Red Book of the Belgorod Region of the Russian Federation. It has been assigned category and status 3 - a rare species. However, information about it is clearly incomplete, which is due to the peculiarities of its phenology and ecology, as well as the lack of systematic research aimed at finding its existing habitats. At the beginning of the 2020 season, reconnaissance surveys of characteristic ecotopes revealed 2 new localities of Morchella steppicola in unknown habitats (in the Belgorod and Shebekinsky administrative regions). The article describes these habitats in connection with the available data on the occurrence and distribution of this species, both within the region and beyond. The fact that new habitats have been identified should in no way call into question that Morchella steppicola is a species in relation to which the recommended measures should be followed: preserving existing habitats and searching for new ones, taking the identified populations under territorial protection, monitoring the abundance in known habitats.

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