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Seasonality and abundance of truffles from oak woodlands to red fir forestsAuthor(s): Malcolm P. North
Source: In: Verner, Jared, tech. editor. Proceedings of a Symposium on the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Project: Progress and Current Status. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-183, Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 91-98
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (410 KB)
DescriptionTruffles are an important food source for many small mammals in forest ecosystems; however, we know little about the seasonality, abundance, or diversity of the truffle community in the Sierra Nevada. This study examined how truffle abundance and diversity varied between oak woodland, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), mixed-conifer, and red fir (Abies magnifica) forests. Species richness (number of species) and abundance of truffles were highest in ponderosa pine stands, but species evenness was greatest in mixed-conifer stands. Truffle biomass peaked in late spring and fall, tracking precipitation patterns with a 1-2 month lag. At least 65 species of truffles were identified in a 1-ha sample of the forest. This number is still only a fraction of the fungal species present, as many mycorrhizae rarely produce fruiting bodies. Truffle production depends on the condition of the truffle’s mycorrhizal host trees. Natural or human disturbances, which affect the age and composition of the forest, will affect truffle abundance and the animals that depend on them for a substantial portion of their diet.
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CitationNorth, Malcolm P. 2002. Seasonality and abundance of truffles from oak woodlands to red fir forests. In: Verner, Jared, tech. editor. Proceedings of a Symposium on the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Project: Progress and Current Status. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-183, Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 91-98
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