cortinarius and amanitas from Spain

Cathouse at Cathouse at
Sat Dec 21 08:11:50 EST 1996

John (Jack) Murphy wrote:
> 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
> collecting?
> sincerely,
> 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.

I have no information on studies concerning the effect of collecting
fungi but my family has been collecting Chanterelles  and Gomphus
clavatus in the same small areas for over 20 years.  We are a greedy lot
and quite thorough.  Nevertheless a definite pattern has emerged; the
only times the harvests have decreased is when property owners have
engaged in logging, otherwise there has been a steady increase in the
size of our harvests.  Certainly part of this is due to our greater
familiarity with the areas but we have discussed it over the years and
agree that not only have specific patches become larger but also that
forests through which we pass with our baskets now have patches that
definitely were not in evidence in the first 10 years we were collecting
in the area.            Judith.

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