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Value of truffle-inoculated trees

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Mon Aug 17 11:02:22 EST 1998

The article below is posted as a courtesy, and was a letter to the editor
submitted to The Oregonian regarding the value of mycorrhizal fungi, which
include truffles, boletes, chanterelles, matsutake, and others.


To the Editor:

	The Oregon State Board of Forestry claims to be managing for water,
timber, and wildlife (Oregonian, 11/18/97, E5). Yet it, like most other
states, continues to ignore fungi. Some estimates place fungi as comprising
52-55% of forest biomass.	Fifteen years ago, commercial harvests of
wild fungi were unheard of. Yet Jerry Smith now estimates 1.2 million pounds
of matsutake were harvested this year in the Chemult Ranger District alone,
with prices ranging from $6 to $10 or more a pound (Oregonian, 11/18/97,
E10). Matsutake have already sold for hundreds of dollars per pound
(Oregonian, 9/10/93), but still have no voice in Board of Forestry actions.  
  Mycorrhizal fungi are essential to forestry. Matsutake, truffles, boletes,
chanterelles, and a host of other fungi are mycorrhizal. Mycorrhizal fungi
require live hosts, not stumps.   Wholesale clearcutting of these fungal host
trees is management of a sort: mismanagement.

								Daniel B. Wheeler

The above article was posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler

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