Mushroom forays (north/south?)

fgrun fgrun at med.cornell.edu
Fri Aug 19 20:21:57 EST 1994


      We've noticed in past years when Black Trumpets have been
plentiful in the NY/CT region, that the major first flush of mushrooms
occurs in late July/early August. This is right during the hottest
period of the year. Thereafter, we only see sporadic specimens. In
Vermont, I've still found 
significant numbers until mid-Sept. We've also noticed this
south-to-north trend with spring mushrooms like the Winecap Stropharia
and autumn species like the Hen-of-the-Woods. All of these appear about
1-2 weeks earlier in northern NJ than they do in Westchester
County,NY/Fairfield County, CT and New Paltz, NY (mid-Hudson Valley).
      From my understanding, many fungi are primed to produce mushrooms
as a direct result of less than perfect growing conditions. These would
include a) physical damage to the mycelium, b) depleted food sources,
c) moisture stress and d) unfavorable temperatures for growth amonsgt
others.
      Once a minimum threshold temperature is reached during spring,
sustained mycelial growth can proceed. This would be expected to occur
earlier and proceed faster in more southern lattitudes. An early start
and faster growth rate imply that a crictical mass of mycelium is
reached sooner in these areas, but also that the mycelium depletes it's
local environment for nutrients at a faster rate. In cooler northern
lattitudes, growth proceeds at a slower rate and may be limited by
nutritional factors only late during the season; infact I would imagine
that the decline in temperatures during the autumn probably sends a
more powerful and direct signal for mushroom formation. Hence, the
observation that mushroom seasons are shorter in the north but more
intense (better synchronised). (cf Pacific Northwest - I've heard that
Black Trumpet season is in Jan/Feb (??) on the Olympic Peninsula;
climate is mild maritime. Any comments from someone out there ?)
     Ofcourse, life isn't quite as simple as this scenario ! For one
thing, moisture conditions during the summer are probably more
favorable in the Adirondacks/Vermont than they are in the lower Hudson
Valley and CT. And then there are micro-climates to consider aswell !
Afterall, if I could accurately predict where they'll pop up every week
I'd be doing this full time !! :)
      Does anyone out there have any good information as to what
actually triggers Chanterelle species mushroom formation ?

Felix    



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