Predicting edible mushroom productivity using forest carbon allocation modeling and immunoassays of ectomycorrhizae

The Cryptic Realm

Of the NPP allocated belowground, the proportion allocated to large structural roots is about 25% of the NPP allocated to stem wood. The remainder is available for fine roots and mycorrhizae. Although carbon allocation patterns are relatively well known for most structural and functional components of tree growth and metabolism, the allocation and use of NPP among fine roots and mycorrhizae is not yet well quantified. Likewise we have little information about how EM fungi compete for arboreal carbohydrates or how various species of EM fungi allocate acquired carbon to growth, metabolism, function, or the production of sporocarps. Because so little quantitative information exists about carbon allocation in this realm, we start with two simplifying assumptions:

  1. The amount of carbon each EM species obtains from trees in the stand will be correlated with site occupancy of that EM species
  2. Site occupancy will be correlated with average site productivity for each EM species.

    Although we expect these correlations to be robust, we also expect parameter values for the correlations to vary between fungus species.             



 Cantharellus cibarius/Pinus sylvestris ectomycorrhizae
(Photograph by Eric Danell)

 Tricholoma magnivelare/Pinus contorta ectomycorrhizae
(Photograph by Charles Lefevre)


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