Mushroom forays (north/south?)

Steven Carpenter microbe at CSOS.ORST.EDU
Sun Aug 21 15:53:20 EST 1994

I might add, that much of the season information affects the mycorrhizal
vascular plant symbiont (in the case of some Cantharellus) which must
affect the fruiting of the fungus.  Raw weather and soil conditions 
ultimately have a lot to do with control of strictly saprophytic
fungi, but the mycorrhizal species undoubtedly are "monitoring" the
state of the symbiosis (and, therefore, indirectly the daylength and
carbohydrate conversions in their tree-hosts).  A number of mycorrhizal
mushrooms (including chantrelles) come up in the Pacific Northwest well
in advance of wet weather - where I live, for example, the summers are
characterized by seasonal drought (no rain for about 3 months), yet
we are now seeing chantrelles and other mycorrhizal edibles.  As the
rains progress in the coming months, there will be more mushrooms.  
This is quite normal.  I don't know of any decent research on the
subject, but as a professional, this is an observation I have made 
on the fruiting of boreal fungi for the last 30+ years.

-Steve Carpenter
 Abbey Lane Laboratory
 microbe at

grun (fgrun at wrote:
:       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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