Fairy Rings and Harvesting of Mushrooms

Dr. Thomas E. O'Dell odellt at fsl.orst.edu
Mon Dec 30 14:07:33 EST 1996

It is far from clear what the relative contributions of spores and
existing vegetative mycelium are in sustaining populations (or
individulas) of fungi. It _is_ clear that some (mostly mycorrhizal)
species of fungi have endured centuries of fruitbody harvest and
continued to produce mushrooms. The decline of mushroom fruiting in some
European countries can be explained in large part by pollution,
particularly acid rain and N deposition (Goulden et al., 1992). In
general, long-lived organisms do not need to reproduce as often as
short-lived ones. The question of how important spores are to the
continuity of long-lived perrenial fungi as not ammenable to
experimentation, but cries out for field-based population studies.

If you want to make an argument against picking sporocarps (as opposed
to cutting them) you will have to collect some convincing data. This
would be far more productivve than calling opposing arguments "inept". I
am not aware of any research to test this. 
Dr. Thom O'Dell
Regional Mycologist
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
Assistant Professor (Courtesy)
Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University
Forestry Sciences Laboratory
3200 Jefferson Way
Corvallis, Oregon 97331    U.S.A.
phone: (541) 750-7404      fax: (541) 750-7329
Email:  odellt at fsl.orst.edu     http://www.orst.edu/~odellt

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