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Edible forest fungi in SE Asia - current practices and future management

Dell, B., Malajczuk, N., Dunstan, W., Gong, M., Chen, Y.L., Lumyong, S., Lumyong, P., Lumyong, N. and Ekwey, L. (2000) Edible forest fungi in SE Asia - current practices and future management. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop of Bio-Refor, Kathmandu, Nepal, November 28-December 2, 1999: Bio-technology Applications for Reforestation and Biodiversity Conservation, 28 November - 2 December, Kathmandu, Nepal pp. 123-130.


In many upland forest regions of SE Asia, sporocarps of fungi, mostly basidiomycetes, have traditionally been collected for local consumption and trade. Many of these fungi, especially members of the Amanitaceae, Boletaceae, Russulaceae, and Tricholomataceae, form ectomycorrhizal associations with trees in the families Dipterocarpaceae, Fagaceae and Pinaceae and are important for maintaining ecosystem function. Species of Termitomyces fruit in association with colonies of soil-dwelling termites. Examples of fungal collecting, marketing and the commercial value of fungi are described for Yunnan in China, northern Thailand, and parts of Indonesia and the Philippines. The highest diversity of edible fungi is collected from mixed forests in China and the lowest diversity from areas of tropical pine and dipterocarps. In general, traded fresh sporocarps are 2 to 20 times more valuable than local seasonal fruits and vegetables. International trade in a small number of species is having a major impact on the quality and sustainability of some collecting sites. With forest destruction, fungal fruiting is increasingly restricted to remnant stands, pockets of secondary forest, small conservation reserves or commercial timber estates. Increasing harvesting pressures on this dwindling resource is likely to result in loss of biodiversity unless management strategies can be identified and implemented in sensitive remnant forest areas. This is particularly urgent for high-value mycorrhizal fungi such as Tricholoma species and hypogeous Ascomycetes. In some regions, there is also a need for the diversity of forest fungi to be documented, fungal herbaria to be established and fungal taxonomists to be trained. Furthermore, the diversity of indigenous edible fungi should be encouraged in suitable industrial timber estates, by silvicultural practices and inoculation strategies if necessary.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
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