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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 11;105(10):3811-4. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0709037105. Epub 2008 Feb 29.

Mushroom fruiting and climate change.

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  • 1Microbial Evolution Research Group and Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, Department of Biology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066 Blindern, NO-0316 Oslo, Norway.


Many species of fungi produce ephemeral autumnal fruiting bodies to spread and multiply. Despite their attraction for mushroom pickers and their economic importance, little is known about the phenology of fruiting bodies. Using approximately 34,500 dated herbarium records we analyzed changes in the autumnal fruiting date of mushrooms in Norway over the period 1940-2006. We show that the time of fruiting has changed considerably over this time period, with an average delay in fruiting since 1980 of 12.9 days. The changes differ strongly between species and groups of species. Early-fruiting species have experienced a stronger delay than late fruiters, resulting in a more compressed fruiting season. There is also a geographic trend of earlier fruiting in the northern and more continental parts of Norway than in more southern and oceanic parts. Incorporating monthly precipitation and temperature variables into the analyses provides indications that increasing temperatures during autumn and winter months bring about significant delay of fruiting both in the same year and in the subsequent year. The recent changes in autumnal mushroom phenology coincide with the extension of the growing season caused by global climate change and are likely to continue under the current climate change scenario.

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