High-elevation gray morels and other Morchella species harvested as non-timber forest produts in Idaho and MontanaAuthor(s): Erika M. McFarlane; David Pilz; Nancy S. Weber
Source: Mycologist. 19(2): 62-68.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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We investigated post-fire morels (Morchella species), especially the "gray" morels of Idaho and Montana, by
collecting ecological and genetic data and by interviewing commercial mushroom harvesters and buyers. Gray
morels fruited exclusively in high-elevation Picea/ Abies forests that had burned the preceding summer,
predominantly in zones of moderate fire intensity as indicated by a layer of dead conifer needles on top of the fire
ash. Genetic analysis revealed five varieties of morels among our specimens. Mushroom harvesters confirmed that
gray morels are economically crucial to their business because they are typically large, heavy, and durable.
Harvesters and buyers described the varieties of morels they encountered differently than mycologists did, but
cooperative research could facilitate mutual understanding of morel diversity and benefit everyone involved.
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CitationMcFarlane, Erika M.; Pilz, David; Weber, Nancy S. 2005. High-elevation gray morels and other Morchella species harvested as non-timber forest produts in Idaho and Montana. Mycologist. 19(2): 62-68., Vol. 19(2): 62-68.
KeywordsMorels, non-timber forest products, wildfire, forest ecology, taxonomy, commercial harvesters, mushroom buyers
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