A climatic potentiality model for black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) in Teruel (Spain)

R. Alonso Ponce, B. Águeda, T. Ágreda, M. P. Modrego, J. Aldea, F. Martínez-Peña


Black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) is an edible ectomycorrhizal mushroom whose cultivation is an economically-viable alternative in rural areas affected by depopulation. In the province of Teruel (Spain), truffle plantations occupy nowadays more than 4,500 ha, but no land use planning guidelines have been available. Species distribution models are tools that allow managers, farmers and foresters to plan ahead and make decisions with a scientific basis. The territory climatically suitable for T. melanosporum in Teruel has been predicted using a method based on the ecology field theory, previously tested in the development of distribution models for forest species. A dataset of 924 locations where black truffle has been collected in the Catalano-Aragonesa ecoregion and eight climatic parameters deeply influencing the presence and fructification of the black truffle have been considered and their corresponding habitats have been built. The distribution model, corrected under lithological criteria, has identified more than 8,000 km² as suitable for black truffle fructification in Teruel, almost 55% of the province, belonging 3,000 of them to the optimal class. This land is mainly distributed over the regions of Gúdar-Javalambre, Comunidad de Teruel and Maestrazgo. A further correction based on land-use criteria has identified more than 4,000 km² as suitable for truffle plantations, being 1,150 of them optimal. The model here presented will help to a proper planning for truffle cultivation in the province of Teruel.


Species distribution models, autoecology, natural truffle area, truffle plantations

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2010192-01315

Webpage: www.inia.es/Forestsystems