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Matsutake Effects of Moisture West Side 

Late summer and fall rains are considered to be a primary influence in mushroom production. Rainfall means more mushrooms. Yet observations indicated rainfall, moisture, didn't assure fruitbodys would be produced.

"Can moisture, or the lack of, effect matsutake mushroom fruiting?"

Goals of the study were to artificially add moisture to one treatment group, while leaving the other to natural moisture.
In 1995 4 shirro with production records, and 2 areas with allotrope were selected for treatment application.

A portable water tank was placed in an area higher than areas to be treated, gravity flow the intent.

Hoses were routed to 3 sprinklers placed in the areas to be treated with moisture.

Rain gauges were placed in watered area to measure amount actually applied. Soil moisture was checked weekly in all treatments, again 12 to 24 hours after treatments in watered areas. 1 inch per square foot was applied to treated area weekly. No rainfall was recorded during monitoring period.

Moisture in untreated areas began at an average of 10% as did treated areas. Unwatered areas declined to 8% while watered areas maintained 25%, with a maximum of 35% 12 to 24 hours after treatment. Five of the six produced fruit. One watered shirro did not. Fruiting in each treatment group occurred at essentially the same time  
Twice as many mushrooms were recorded in unwatered shirros as watered. However mushrooms in water treatments weighted twice as much as natural moisture.

Results indicate moisture can significantly influence fruit body size, but likely has little influence in number produced or time of fruiting.

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