Forest mycology

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Sat Nov 22 13:22:00 EST 1997

In article <Pine.WNT.3.96.971119182319.-107389F-100000 at>,
  "M.A.H.Askey" <afu104 at> wrote:
> Presently preparing a dissertation on the `Viability of edible mushroom
> cultivation in British forests`and would like to hear the views of the
> readers.

I have no expertise with British forests, so to present data would be
extremely premature. However, there are several edible fungi which can be
successfully cultured in North American temperate conifer forests which
appears to be more valuable than the trees' value as lumber. Many of
these support rapid growth (mycorrhizae), and potentially allow for the
creation of old-growth type trees in relatively short time frames.

Some of these fungi include: Tuber gibbosum, T. rufum, T. shearii, T.
giganteum, T. murinum, T. sphaerosporum, T. californicum, T.
spinoreticulatum, T. sp. nov.; Martellia gilkeyae, M. brunncescens, M.
vesiculosa, M. ochracea; Melanogaster tuberiformis, M. natsii, M.
euryspermus; Leucangium carthusiana; Boletus chrysenteron, B. zelleri, B.
edulis; Rhizopogon parksii, R. villosulus, R. villescens, R. vinicolor,
R. zelleri, R. occidentalis, R. rubescens, R. sps; Endogone lactiflua, E.
flammicorona; Glomus sps; Hymenogaster parksii, H. sps; Cantharellus
formosus, C. subalbidus, C. sps; Lentinula edodes; Coprinus comatus;
Laccaria sps; Russula brevipes, R. sps; Pleurotus ostreatus, P.
columbianum; P. sps; Lepista nuda; Hericium erinaceus, H. corraloides, H.
abietis; Alpova diplophloeus; Scleroderma hypogaeum, S. laeve, S. cepa,
S. areolatum; Tricholoma magnivelare; and of course, a host of others.
The key seems to be adapting species to the given area involved. To
accomplish this, detailed information about host specificity, mycorrhizal
association, soil suitability, slope, elevation, soil pH, etc. need to be

Another key is the local acceptance of edibility of species, which
includes staying away from poisonous species. For example, while
Sclerodermas have been used as truffle substitutes in England, they are
known to cause illness in the U.S. I believe it was 1995 when a 110-pound
pot-bellied pig died after eating Sclerodermas in a Vancouver, WA
backyard. A 110-pound child might have similar consequences.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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