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Chanterelle mushroom habitat modelling and inventory Ehlers, Tyson D.

Abstract: This project builds on previous research undertaken as part of the Northern Vancouver Island Integrated Non-Timber Forest Product Demonstration Project (Ehlers and Fredrickson 2002, Ehlers 2004), funded in part by Forest Renewal BC (PAR0211-03) and later the Forest Investment Account (R02-25). Early work on this project began as a general survey of North Vancouver Island (NVI) commercially important fungi and their habitats and later the focus shifted to detailed investigations of habitat characteristics and productivity of the Pacific golden chanterelle (Cantharellus formosus Corner). Although the focus was primarily on commercial fungi, other fungal species were identified and documented since distributional data are sparse for many fungal species in B.C. Even for commercially important species such as Pacific golden chanterelle, there were few vouchered specimens and little habitat information for NVI prior to this study. The primary goal of the project is to conduct an inventory of Pacific golden chanterelle habitat in TFL 37 on NVI. The project also investigates co-management of timber and chanterelle resources. The collection of spatially-linked, quantitative chanterelle habitat and productivity information will permit the modelling of chanterelle yields under varying forest management scenarios. The specific research questions the project will address are: 1. What are the habitat characteristics of commercially productive chanterelle habitat on NVI? 2. What is the distribution and abundance of commercially productive chanterelle habitat in TFL 37 on NVI? 3. What is the average productivity of chanterelles (kg/ha/yr) from commercially productive habitat in TFL 37? 4. What relationships exist between past forest management activities and chanterelle productivity and what are the implications to compatible management of chanterelles and timber? Chanterelle Habitat Characterisation and Mapping During the course of non-timber forest product (NTFP) inventory work conducted on northern Vancouver Island from 1999 ?2003, a total of 230 fungal species or species groups were documented from 132 sites in TFL 37 and TFL 6. Of these, 40 have commercial value in B.C. (Berch and Cocksedge, 2003). One of the most significant in terms of total economic worth, the Pacific golden chanterelle, was detected on 86 sites representing a range of forest conditions and ecosystem types. Thirty-three of these sites were rated highly productive for chanterelles and shared similar habitat attributes. A database was created linking mushroom species to habitat information recorded for each site. Site records included location references, general physiographic properties (elevation, slope and aspect), BEC and forest cover data. Additional data on soil, vegetation, and stand characteristics were collected for some sites. For all sites where Pacific golden chanterelle was detected, productive potential was assessed in relative terms (high, medium or low) based on our experience and local knowledge of chanterelle habitat in the area. The biogeoclimatic and forest cover characteristics related to areas of high, medium and low chanterelle productive potential were summarised to build a predictive chanterelle habitat model. Canadian Forest Products (Canfor) used this information to generate 1:50,000 GIS maps for TFL 37 showing areas of predicted chanterelle productive capability (Figure 1). The maps showed that the majority of the land base encompassed by TFL 37 had low potential to produce chanterelle mushrooms. Areas of medium and high productive potential were mostly confined to the bottom of the main Nimpkish Valley and its tributaries in accordance with the elevational distribution of ecosystem and forest cover types specified. Figure 1. Sample portion of a predictive chanterelle habitat map produced by Canadian Forest Products for TFL 37. Green indicates high productive potential; yellow indicates medium productive potential, all other areas expecte ...
Ehlers, Tyson D.. 2007. Chanterelle mushroom habitat modelling and inventory. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2007MR303
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), Chanterelle, British, Columbia
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