Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drought affects Mediterranean truffle harvest

Date:
November 27, 2012
Source:
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
Summary:
An international research team has for the first time linked a continuous decline of the Périgord truffle with long-term Mediterranean summer drying.

Mature fruit body of a Périgord truffle (Tuber melanosporum).
Credit: Ulrich Stobbe, Freiburg i.Br.

An international research team under the lead of Ulf Büntgen and Simon Egli from the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, has for the first time linked a continuous decline of the Périgord truffle (Tuber melanosporum) with long-term Mediterranean summer drying. Their ecological findings at the interface of climatology, dendrochronology and mycology were published online November 27th 2012 in "Nature Climate Change."

Related Articles


Comparison of annual truffle harvests from the most important production regions in northeastern Spain (Aragon), southern France (Périgord), and northern Italy (Piedmont and Umbria) with meteorological observations since the 1970s reveals a significant relationship between summer climate and the subsequent winter truffle yield. At the same time was the team able to detect a distinct association between the Périgord black truffle, clearly ranging among the world's most exclusive delicacies, and the annual tree rings of its symbiotic host vegetation. Above average rainfall together with lower temperatures between June and August not only enhance oak growth but also stimulate truffle fruiting from November-February. Warm and dry summers, however, negatively affect the productivity and functioning of Mediterranean forest ecosystems.

A Swiss future for Périgord truffles?

Considering a variety of climate models, the researches predict incessant Mediterranean summer drying until the end of the 21st century, associated with a continuation of fading Spanish, French and Italian truffle harvests. At the time, the team emphasizes that the observed impacts of global climate change are particularly severe across the Mediterranean Basin, whereas forest ecosystems north of the Alpine arc still benefit from slightly warmer but not drier conditions, and may even transform into more suitable habitats for both, natural and cultivated truffles.

This outlook coincides with recent evidence of a general fungi increase in Switzerland, together with the unexpectedly rich occurrence of Burgundy truffles (Tuber aestivum) in southern Germany. Hence, truffle cultivation in more temperate Central European environments north of the Alps will likely become more important under projected climate change -- economically and ecologically.

Causes for the continuous decline in truffle production during the past 40 years were so far not known. This knowledge gap not only resulted in local uncertainty within the traditional Spanish (Aragón and Catalonia), French (Périgord), and Italian (Piedmont and Umbria) production regions, but also triggered a global prize inflation of this exclusive delicacy. With a price of up to 2,000€/kg the Périgord truffle ranges among the world's most expensive gourmet foods. A better understanding of growth-climate interactions of truffles is of high scientific and direct economic interest. The course of future truffle harvests will likely affect the economy of rural Mediterranean areas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ulf Büntgen, Simon Egli, J. Julio Camarero, Erich M. Fischer, Ulrich Stobbe, Hĺvard Kauserud, Willy Tegel, Ludger Sproll, Nils C. Stenseth. Drought-induced decline in Mediterranean truffle harvest. Nature Climate Change, 2012; 2 (12): 827 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1733

Cite This Page:

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. "Drought affects Mediterranean truffle harvest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094107.htm>.
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. (2012, November 27). Drought affects Mediterranean truffle harvest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094107.htm
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. "Drought affects Mediterranean truffle harvest." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094107.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Japan's Mt. Aso Volcano Spews Rocks

Raw: Japan's Mt. Aso Volcano Spews Rocks

AP (Nov. 28, 2014) — A volcano in southern Japan is spewing volcanic magma rocks. A regional weather observatory says this could be Mt. Aso's first magma eruption in 22 years. (Nov. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins