cortinarius and amanitas from Spain

John JackMurphy jmurphy at TFM.FMNH.ORG
Fri Dec 13 10:49:06 EST 1996

Dear fellow mycologists;
        Regarding the recent discussion concerning use of fungi as a
resource, and concerns about the conservation of fungi...
        I admit to sometimes holding strong environmentalist tendencies,
and I certainly relate to R. Courtecuisse's  sentiments -
>Places where fungi are
>well-productive should be protected, not over-harvested. Let the fungi
>quietly play their ECOLOGICAL role. They are not made to be eaten -at
>least certainly not if treated as a commercial resource !

        But what concerns me is the scientific documentation for these
sentiments.  Eef Arnold's  states "There is no evidence that picking of
mushrooms is harmful for subsequent fruiting, except in some cases where
mycelia are destroyed."  (Arnolds, E.  1995.  Conservation and management
of natural populations of edible fungi.  Can. J. Bot. 73(Suppl. 1):
S987-S998)  Lorelei Norvell's preliminary data show no evidence that
harvesting chanterelles affects their productivity, though she stresses
that ultimate conclusions must await completion of the project (Norvell, L.
1995.  Loving the Chaterelle to death?  The ten-year Oregon chaterelle
project.  McIlvainea 12(1): 6-25).  I know of no other studies addressing
this issue.
        Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but in developing
informed management plans for fungi we really need more data.  Does anyone
know of studies which have concluded a detrimental effect on fungi by


Jack Murphy


John Murphy, Ph.D.
Dept. of Botany, The Field Museum
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL   60605-2496
(312) 241-6519
FAX:  (312) 427-2530

Please also crosspost email messages to  jfmurph1 at until
Dec. 20, 1996.

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