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Harvest Method and Effect

Monitoring matsutake sporocarp (mushroom) production began in 1994 West side Oregon Cascades. Original goals were to apply and monitor effects of a variety of harvest methods.

"Does the method of harvest effect long term fruit production?"

In 1994 shirro's (patches) were harvested using minimum disturbance method. In each shirro, individual mushroom maturity (grade), damage, weight, and commercial value were recorded. 18 shirro's, with similar production, were select for treatment in 1995. Methods of harvest were divided into 5 categories and no harvest. Each method was applied to 3 shirro, and 3 were not harvested.

CONTROL - Mushrooms were not harvested. Cap diameters were recorded. (Left)
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICE - Minimum disturbance, gently rocking as described in
Harvest method.
SHALLOW RAKE REPLACE Shirro raked to fruiting level, litter replaced. (Right)

SHALLOW RAKE NO REPLACE - Shirro raked to fruiting level, litter not replaced. (Below)

DEEP RAKE REPLACE - Shirro raked to below fruiting level, litter and soil replaced.
DEEP RAKE NO REPLACE - Shirro raked to below fruiting level, litter and soil not replaced. (Below)

Statistical evaluation and formal publication is pending. However observations strongly suggest substantial decreases in production as disturbance increases. No observable environmental changes were noted.

Monitoring continues to determine recovery time for fruit production and answers to other questions:

"Can sporocarp production be sustained, using only minimum disturbance harvest method?

"To what extent do animals depend on matsutake as a food source?"

Harvest Method Effect and Recovery
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