Climate change effects fruiting of the prize matsutake mushroom in China

Research paper by Xuefei Yang, Eike Luedeling, Guangli Chen, Kevin D. Hyde, Youji Yang, Dequn Zhou, Jianchu Xu, Yongping Yang

Indexed on: 27 Apr '12Published on: 27 Apr '12Published in: Fungal Diversity


Climate change affects various facets of life but there is little data on its effects on wild mushroom fruiting. Yunnan Province in China is a rich source of wild mushrooms and has experienced a temperature rise over recent decades. This has resulted in warmer temperatures but the impacts of these changes on mushroom production lack documentation. We collected data on the fruiting of the highly prized matsutake mushroom (Tricholoma matsutake) in West Yunnan, China over an 11 year period from 2000 to 2010. Fruiting phenology and productivity were compared against the driving meteorological variables using Projection to Latent Structure regression. The mushrooms appeared later in the season during the observation period, which is most likely explained by rising temperatures and reduced rain during May and June. High temperature and abundant rain in August resulted in good productivity. The climate response of matsutake production results from a sequence of processes that are possibly linked with regulatory signals and resource availability. To advance the knowledge of this complex system, a holistic research approach integrating biology, ecology, genetics, physiology, and phytochemistry is needed. Our results contribute to a general model of fungal ecology, which can be used to predict the responses of fungi to global climate change.