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Boswell Matsutake Solar Studies Southwest Oregon

Observations, statistics, and publications strongly indicated the quantity of sunlight, (canopy closure)  reaching the forest floor influences fruiting. 70% closure considered to be ideal. Further observation indicated a shirro receiving more direct sun, during formation period, fruited more often.
"Can direct sun, during formation, influence fruiting reliability?"

Traditional method to measure canopy closure has been a densiometer. (Left) Canopy reflects on concave, polished metal surface. However, for the purposes of this study, an instrument with the ability to measure hours of direct sun, for any day, in a specific shirro,  was needed.

A solar pathfinder was chosen as the instrument to quantify direct sun for each hour of each day, Oct. 1 - Nov. 15. Horizontal arced grid indicates month, vertical, hour. Built in compass and level are used to orient.
Goals of the study were to collect solar exposure data for individual shirro and compare with fruit reliability, not number produced, but how often.

In 1997 13 reliable shirro were chosen to examine for solar exposure. Aspect, elevation number produced were also noted.

Resulting evaluation found no correlation between direct sun and reliability, or number produced. Statistics did indicate sunnier aspects slightly more reliable. South aspect producing 91.62% of 3 years and East 83.25%, 1995 -1997. Reliability 5 years, 1994 -1998, much lower. South aspects 58% and east 50%.

15 additional shirro, east aspect, were examined (left), and treated by removing small portions of canopy for a "window of sun" during formation, (right).

Five years of monitoring have indicated no significant increase in reliability or number produced. Monitoring continues.

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