Mushroom production as an alternative for rural development in a forested mountainous area

Abstract

Wild mushrooms are recognized as important non-wood forest products in mountainous ecosystems, but their real potential for generating rural economies has not been fully evaluated due to the difficulties in obtaining reliable productivity data, minimizing their true potential as contributor to rural economies. Mushroom yield models based on large data series from Pinus forest ecosystems in the region of Catalonia (Spain), combined with data from the Spanish National Forest Inventory allow us to estimate the potential mushroom productivity by forest ecosystems. The results of 24,500 tons/yr of mushrooms of which 16,300 tons are classified as edible and 7,900 tons are commonly marketed demonstrate the importance of mushroom productions in Catalonian pine forests, mostly located in mountainous areas where the development of agricultural activities is limited. Economic mushroom value is estimated at 48 million € for the edible mushroom and 32 million € for those corresponding to marketable yields, confirming the potential of this non-wood forest product. These production results and corresponding economic values provide a basis for the incorporation of wild mushrooms as significant non-wood forest products in the development of forest policies in mountainous areas.

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Correspondence to José A. Bonet.

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Bonet, J.A., GonzÁlez-Olabarria, J.R. & Martínez De Aragón, J. Mushroom production as an alternative for rural development in a forested mountainous area. J. Mt. Sci. 11, 535–543 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-013-2877-0

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Keywords

  • Non-wood forest products
  • Mushroom models
  • National Forest Inventory
  • Economic value
  • Mushroom potential estimation