The death cap is native to Europe, where it is widespread (Lange 1974). It is found from the southern coastal regions of Scandinavia in the north, to Ireland in the west, east to Poland and western Russia (Neville & Poumarat 2004), and south throughout the Balkans, in Italy and Spain, and in Morocco and Algeria in north Africa (Malençon & Bertault 1973). There are records from further east into Asia but these have yet to be confirmed as A. phalloides (Pringle & Vellinga 2006).
It is ectomycorrhizally associated with a number of tree species. In Europe, these include a large number of hardwood and, less frequently, conifer species. It appears most commonly under oaks but also under beeches, chestnuts, horse-chestnuts, birches, filberts, hornbeams, pines, and spruces (Tullos 2007). In other areas, A. phalloides may also be associated with these trees or only with some species but not others. In coastal California, for example, A. phalloides is associated with coast live oak but not with the various coastal pine species, such as Monterey pine (Arora 1986). In countries where it has been introduced it has been restricted to those exotic trees it would associate with in its natural range. There is, however, evidence of A. phalloides associating with hemlock and with genera of the Myrtaceae: Eucalyptus in Tanzania (Pegler 1977) and Algeria (Malençon & Bertault 1973), and Leptospermum and Kunzea in New Zealand (Ridley 1991; Tullos 2007). This suggests the species may have invasive potential (Pringle & Vellinga 2006).
By the end of the 19th century, Charles Horton Peck had reported A. phalloides in North America (Peck 1897). However, in 1918, samples from the Eastern United States were identified as being a distinct though similar species, A. brunnescens, by G. F. Atkinson of Cornell University. By the 1970s it had become clear that A. phalloides actually does occur in the United States, apparently having been introduced from Europe alongside chestnuts, with populations on the West and East Coasts (Litten 1975; Benjamin 1995). A more recent historical review concluded that the East Coast populations were introduced but that the origins of the West Coast population remain unclear, due to the scantness of historical records (Pringle & Vellinga 2006).
Amanita phalloides has been conveyed to new countries across the southern hemisphere with the importation of hardwoods and conifers. Introduced oaks appear to have been the vector to Australia and South America; populations under oaks have been recorded from Melbourne and Canberra (Reid 1980; Cole 1993), as well as Uruguay (Herter 1934). It has been recorded under other introduced trees in Argentina (Hunzinker 1983) and Chile (Valenzuella et al. 1992). Pine plantations are associated with the fungus in Tanzania (Pegler 1977) and South Africa, where it is also found under oaks and poplars (Reid & Eicker 1991).References
- Arora, David (1986). Mushrooms demystified : a comprehensive guide to the fleshy fungi. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press.
- Benjamin, Denis R. (1995). Mushrooms: poisons and panaceas — a handbook for naturalists, mycologists and physicians. New York: WH Freeman and Company.
- Cole, F.M. (June 1993). "Amanita phalloides in Victoria". Medical Journal of Australia 158 (12): 849–850.
- Herter, W.G. (1934). "La aparición del hongo venenoso Amanita phalloides en Sudamérica.". Revista Sudamericana de Botánica 1: 111–119.
- Hunzinker, A.T. (1983). "Amanita phalloides en las Sierras de Córdoba". Kurtziana 16: 157–160.
- Lange, Lene (1974). "The distribution of macromycetes in Europe". Dansk Botanisk Arkiv 30: 5–105.
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- Malençon, Georges; R. Bertault (1970). Flore des Champignons Supérieurs du Maroc I, Travaux de l'Institut scientifique chérifien et de la Faculté des sciences. Série botanique et biologie végétale (32). Rabat: Faculté des Sciences.
- Neville, Pierre; Serge Poumarat (2004). Amaniteae: Amanita, Limacella and Torrendia, Fungi Europaei (9).
- Peck, Charles H. (1897). Annual report of the state botanist. Albany: University of the State of New York
- Pegler (1977). A preliminary agaric flora of East Africa, Kew Bulletin Additional Series (6). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
- Pringle, Anne; Else C. Vellinga (July 2006). "Last chance to know? Using literature to explore the biogeography of and invasion biology of the death cap mushroom Amanita phalloides. (Vaill. ex Fr. :Fr) Link". Biological Invasions 8 (5): 1131–1144.
- Reid, D.A. (1980). "A monograph of the Australian species of Amanita Pers. ex Hook (Fungi)". Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series 8: 1–96
- Reid, D.A.; A. Eicker (1991). "South African fungi: the genus Amanita". Mycological Research 95 (1): 80–95.
- Ridley, G.S. (1991). "The New Zealand Species of Amanita (Fungi: Agaricales)". Australian Systematic Botany 4 (2): 325–354.
- Tulloss, Rodham E.. (Fr.:Fr.) Link. Amanita Studies site. Retrieved on 2007-05-22.
- Valenzuella, E.; G. Moreno & M. Jeria (1992). "Amanita phalloides en bosques de Pinus radiata de la IX Region de Chile: taxonomia, toxinas, metodos de dedection, intoxicacion faloidiana". Boletín Micológico 7: 17–21.
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