Global patterns in endemicity and vulnerability of soil fungi

Leho Tedersoo*, Vladimir Mikryukov, Alexander Zizka, Mohammad Bahram, Niloufar Hagh-Doust, Sten Anslan, Oleh Prylutskyi, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Fernando T. Maestre, Jaan Pärn, Maarja Öpik, Mari Moora, Martin Zobel, Mikk Espenberg, Ülo Mander, Abdul Nasir Khalid, Adriana Corrales, Ahto Agan, Aída M. Vasco-Palacios, Alessandro SaittaAndrea C. Rinaldi, Annemieke Verbeken, Bobby P. Sulistyo, Boris Tamgnoue, Brendan Furneaux, Camila Duarte Ritter, Casper Nyamukondiwa, Cathy Sharp, César Marín, Daniyal Gohar, Darta Klavina, Dipon Sharmah, Dong Qin Dai, Eduardo Nouhra, Elisabeth Machteld Biersma, Elisabeth Rähn, Erin K Cameron, Eske De Crop, Eveli Otsing, Evgeny A. Davydov, Felipe E Albornoz, Francis Q. Brearley, Franz Buegger, Geoffrey Zahn, Gregory Bonito, Inga Hiiesalu, Isabel C. Barrio, Jacob Heilmann-Clausen, Jelena Ankuda, John Y. Kupagme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Fungi are highly diverse organisms, which provide multiple ecosystem services. However, compared with charismatic animals and plants, the distribution patterns and conservation needs of fungi have been little explored. Here, we examined endemicity patterns, global change vulnerability and conservation priority areas for functional groups of soil fungi based on six global surveys using a high-resolution, long-read metabarcoding approach. We found that the endemicity of all fungi and most functional groups peaks in tropical habitats, including Amazonia, Yucatan, West-Central Africa, Sri Lanka, and New Caledonia, with a negligible island effect compared with plants and animals. We also found that fungi are predominantly vulnerable to drought, heat and land-cover change, particularly in dry tropical regions with high human population density. Fungal conservation areas of highest priority include herbaceous wetlands, tropical forests, and woodlands. We stress that more attention should be focused on the conservation of fungi, especially root symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal fungi in tropical regions as well as unicellular early-diverging groups and macrofungi in general. Given the low overlap between the endemicity of fungi and macroorganisms, but high conservation needs in both groups, detailed analyses on distribution and conservation requirements are warranted for other microorganisms and soil organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6696-6710
Number of pages15
JournalGlobal change biology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • biodiversity
  • biogeography
  • climate change
  • conservation priorities
  • global change vulnerability
  • global maps
  • mycorrhizal fungi
  • pathogens
  • saprotrophs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • General Environmental Science


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