Effect of climatic and soil moisture conditions on mushroom productivity

Effect of climatic and soil moisture conditions on mushroom productivity

Abstract

Wild mushrooms contribute to a variety of ecosystem services. The expected warmer and drier conditions for the Mediterranean region as a consequence of climate change, are raising concerns about future mushroom pro- ductivity due to potential reduction of soil water availability for fungi. The aim of this study was to increase our understanding of the interaction between climate and soil moisture in relation to their impact on mushroom productivity in Mediterranean forests. A process-based soil water balance model was used to predict soil moisture under two climate change scenarios, using the predictions of two different regional climate models. Mixed-effects models using either precipitation or soil moisture as predictors, in combination with other weather variables, were fitted to annual mushroom occurrence and yield data. Mushroom yield was primarily dependent on weather and soil moisture conditions during the same month, with the exception of precipitation, whose effects exhibited a one-month delay. Results indicate no apparent negative effect of climate change on long-term mushroom productivity, but rather the opposite, mainly due to an elongation of the fruiting season arising from the combined effect of increased precipitation at the beginning of the season and warmer temperatures at the end.

Publication
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology