Understanding diversity and distribution patterns of fungi, including yeasts, ultimately depends on accuracy of species recognition. However, different approaches to yeast species recognition often result in different entities or operational taxonomic units. We studied the effects of using different yeast species recognition approaches, namely morphological species recognition (MSR) and phylogenetic species recognition (PSR), on the distribution patterns of widespread basidiomycetous yeasts. Hence, we have revised a collection of yeast fungi isolated from spatially remote birch forests in the Moscow Region and Western Siberia with molecular typing and identification tools. PCR fingerprinting and rDNA sequencing analyses of strains of nine species previously identified on the basis of morphological and physiological tests (MSR) yielded 21 phylogenetic species (PSR), including three currently undescribed taxa. The number of distinct phylogenetic species comprised within a single morphospecies ranged from one to seven. A total of ten species were found in both regions, whereas the distribution of 11 yeasts was restricted to a single region only. Both geographical region and type of substrate (plant or soil) influence yeast distribution. Cryptococcus wieringae, C. victoriae, C. magnus, and Leucosporidium scottii were frequently found on plant substrates, whereas C. terricola and C. podzolicus were associated to soil substrates. Occurrence of C.magnus, C.albidus and Sporobolomycesroseus was found to depend on the geographical region. Microsatellite-PCR fingerprinting, MSP-PCR, applied to studying yeast intraspecific variability revealed three different types of distribution: (a) variability that depends on geographical factors (Curvibasidiumcygneicollum, C. podzolicus, C.victoriae), (b) genetic identity irrespectively of the region of isolation (Rhodotorulapinicola, C. terricola), and (c) high degree of genetic variability that did not correlate with region of sampling (C.albidus and C.magnus).