Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 147–167 | Cite as

Viability of Introducing Payments for the Collection of Wild Forest Mushrooms in Catalonia (North-East Spain)

  • Irina Prokofieva
  • Elena Górriz-Mifsud
  • José-Antonio Bonet
  • Juan Martínez de Aragón
Research Paper


Wild mushrooms are among the most valuable non-wood forest products in the world, and mushroom picking activities are well developed in many countries. Recent studies have demonstrated important links between forest management options and the productivity of mushrooms. Furthermore, there is evidence that the optimal forest management oriented at maximizing joint revenues from timber and mushrooms can lead to higher profits than the traditional timber-oriented management. The precondition for such management, however, is that forest owners derive benefits from mushrooms produced in their forests. In this paper, we discuss the feasibility of implementing payments for mushroom harvesting in Catalonia, North East Spain. As in many other European regions, mushroom picking in Catalonia is a long-standing tradition, which has been practiced with negligible limitations for centuries. The rising popularity of this activity in the last decades, however, has caused forest owners to voice concerns about the sustainability of this activity and about the impact it has on the private forest property. We document the results of a public opinion survey and contrast them with the issues emergent from forest owners’ interviews about the regulation of mushroom picking activities. Our results show that mushroom pickers support the idea of introducing payments for mushroom harvesting. Based on the survey and interview results, we also discuss the design aspects of payments for mushroom picking and articulate the key issues in their implementation.


Harvesting fees Public opinion survey Forest owners Policy instrument design Non-wood forest products 



The survey and interviews were conducted within the NEWFOREX project (New ways to value and market forest externalities), financed by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (contract number 243950). We also would like to thank two anonymous reviewers, whose helpful and detailed comments have helped improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

11842_2016_9348_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20 kb)
11842_2016_9348_MOESM2_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC)SolsonaSpain
  2. 2.Foreco Tecnologies SLSolsonaSpain
  3. 3.European Forest Institute – Mediterranean Regional Office (EFIMED)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Universitat de Lleida-Agrotecnio Centre (UdL-Agrotecnio)LleidaSpain

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