Climatic variations explain annual fluctuations in French Périgord black truffle wholesale markets but do not explain the decrease in black truffle production over the last 48 years
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Le Tacon, F., Marçais, B., Courvoisier, M. et al. Mycorrhiza (2014) 24(Suppl 1): 115. doi:10.1007/s00572-014-0568-5
Production of the black truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vittad.) has experienced a decline in France over the last century. Different sociological factors as well as climate change have been suggested as possible explanations for this decline. The aims of this study were to assess the effects of annual climatic variations on black truffle sales by analysing reliable data. Over the past 25 years, almost 90 % of French truffle sales occurred in the southeastern region of France and, despite a decrease in southwestern France, for the last 25 years, sales were stable for France as a whole. An analysis of the two main southeastern wholesale markets (Richerenches and Carpentras) revealed that the main factor explaining the huge annual variations was the cumulative hydric balance from May to August of the year n. For the first time, frost days were also identified as an important factor in Richerenches. Using the model established for the past 25 years and the climatic data for the Richerenches and Carpentras basins, the truffle sales would have been stable from 1965 to nowadays. This simulation suggested that the production decline observed since 48 years could be attributed more to the change of rural world than to the climatic changes. The stability of production or the slight increase observed during the last 25 years could reflect the input of truffle orchards recently planted.