Thought has already been wide spread trough the net, the new evidence on climate change and truffle decline in south Europe is quite interesting.
In this study a significative correlation has been found between dry and hot summers and bad years of truffle harvests (until here nothing new!), with a notorious trend, that all of us that work with wild truffles see every season. In fact, this winter there’s almost no truffle season at all in Catalonia due to the lack of rain last summer. The first weeks in the melanosporum market, quality was poor and prices really really high.
And even worst for the Tuber uncinatum season, as was 0 in the Pirynees.
One of the new features is the long term study (40 years!) correlation with the growth of the host trees, that says that in warm and rainy summers, oaks grow more than in hot dry summers. It seems obvious. But should we take the idea from here that as faster and better the tree grows, more truffles will be produced? Just a well balanced growth will perform better crops. I’ve seen so may examples of huge trees in truffle orchards, tipically with no brule or contaminated with any other mycorhizal fungi.
One of the conclusions they say is that Tuber melanosporum can has its future in northern countries. We already comment in another post about this topic, and how melanosporum ecology is changin (facing north in south Spain) and how Tuber aestivum in spreading in so many black truffle natural trufflieres as summers become more and more dry.
Although we already have some truffieres of Tuber melanosporum in UK, the Netherland, Germany, with good levels of truffle infection, it’s too early to see how these crops will be.
Nowadays it seems that it’s worth in these countries to grow uncinatum, if not, see the picture a UK friend sent us from last octuber (thanks Nigel!)
All the best,
Marcos S. Morcillo
Reference: Büntgen, U; Egli, S; Camarero, J.J.; Fischer, E.M.; Stobbe, U.; Kauserud, H.; Tegel, W; Sproll, L.; Stenseth, N.C. (2012): Drought-induced Périgord black truffle decline. Nature Climate Change, online.