Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (1): 99-106.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019158

• Editorial • Previous Articles    

Incorporating species distribution model into the red list assessment and conservation of macrofungi: A case study with Ophiocordyceps sinensis

Yi Li1,2,Zhiyao Tang3,Yujing Yan3,4,Ke Wang2,5,Lei Cai2,Jinsheng He3,Song Gu6,Yijian Yao2,*()   

  1. 1. College of Food Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225127
    2. State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    3. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    4. Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
    5. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2019-05-08 Accepted:2019-08-01 Online:2020-01-20 Published:2019-12-24
  • Contact: Yijian Yao


China is rich in macrofungal biodiversity. However, many species have been threatened in recent years by human activity and climate change. Red list assessment is the first step towards species conservation. To protect this group of fungi, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched the Red List Assessment of Macrofungi in China in 2016. A reasonable assessment largely relies on the sufficient information of species’ geographic information, population numbers and sizes and population dynamics, which is lacked in most of macrofungal species. It is therefore necessary to employ new approaches to find and utilize more information for the assessment. Among the assessed species, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, which is an edible and medicinal fungus endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding regions, has relatively abundant information. This species gained attention worldwide due to its obvious economic value and its importance to local societies. A species distribution modeling has also been an important component of its red list assessment. Here, we call on a previous study that aimed to predict the current potential distribution and to project the future distribution of Ophiocordyceps sinensis, and then we discuss how this modeling method can be employed in red list assessments to predict the current potential distribution and the range shifts of other macrofungal species in response to climate change. Challenges of using the model and possible solutions are also discussed. The species distribution modeling method is considered to have great potential for red list assessments and the subsequent conservation of macrofungi.

Key words: species distribution models, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, fungal conservation, biodiversity