|DAVID HOSFORD is a professor, Department of Biological Science,
Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA 98926; and DAVID PILZ is a botanist,
RANDY MOLINA is a research botanist, and MICHAEL AMARANTHUS is a research ecologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific
Northwest Research Station, 3200 Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331.
Cover—En route to retail markets, young mushrooms retain their freshness better
than older ones. Before the veil between the cap and the stem breaks, they are
considered "buttons," and if there is no other physical or insect damage, they are
graded as "number 1's," and command the highest price at buying stations. The
large, young American matsutake shown in the photograph are just beginning to lose
value. The veils on these specimens are starting to separate from the cap and they
might be demoted to grade 2, depending on market conditions and the discretion
of the buyer. In areas that experience intensive harvesting, the financial incentive to
collect immature mushrooms is the basis for concern about diminished reproductive
success due to decreased spore dispersal. To address this concern, mushroom
harvesters often intentionally disperse the spores of commercially defective
mushrooms, land managers limit collection to certain times or areas, and scientists are
studying the reproductive biology of the Tricholoma magnivelare. The inset drawing
shows mushroom development and relative position to mycorrhizae in a soil profile
(Hosford and Ohara 1990).
|Hosford, David; Pilz, David; Molina, Randy;
Ecology and management of the commercially harvested American matsutake.
Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-412. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 68 p.
The commercial harvest of American matsutake (Tricholoma magnivelare) from
forests in the Pacific Northwest has increased dramatically in the last decade. The
similarity of this mushroom to the Japanese matsutake (T. matsutake) has prompted
its harvest to meet increasing demands for matsutake in Japan. The American
matsutake is likely to remain a sustainable forest product in North America if its
harvest and forest habitats are managed appropriately. This summary paper begins by reviewing the historical importance of the Japanese
matsutake, its declining production and harvest in Japan, the taxonomy of matsutake species worldwide, ecological research pioneered by the Japanese, and how
Japanese forests are managed for matsutake production. Our discussion of the
American matsutake begins with descriptions of its distribution, tree hosts, and
commercially important habitats, which is followed by a case study of its ecology in
central Washington. Next, we examine the social and economic context of its harvest
in North America, as well as the biological, ecological and forest management issues
that land managers must address to sustain its harvest. We conclude by discussing
current matsutake research and monitoring activities in the Pacific Northwest and
explaining the relevance of these activities for integrating the harvest of the American
matsutake into forest ecosystem management plans.
Keywords: Matsutake (American), mushroom, forest management, mycology, fungi,
mycorrhiza, special forest products, non wood forest products.