Phytosanitary problems detected in black truffle cultivation. A review

María Martín-Santafé, Victor Pérez-Fortea, Pedro Zuriaga, Juan Barriuso-Vargas


Aim of study: In black truffle plantations, many factors are driving the emergence of new pests and diseases which in forestry areas go unnoticed. Usually, the incidence of most of them is low. Nevertheless, in specific cases, some of them are capable of causing irreversible damage that could endanger the harvest or even tree survival.

Area of study: This paper presents an in-depth study of the pests and diseases more frequently associated with truffle plantations in the region of Aragón (Spain). Damages have been arranged into the main production stages: nursery, plantations and fruiting bodies.

Material and methods: The data used in this work come from the technical enquiries from truffle growers to researchers and technical staff, as well as from field visits undertaken by those work teams.

Sampling methodology has been carried out following standard procedures. Insects were collected with the traps commonly used in entomology works.

Main result: More than 50 damages have been described in this paper. Some of them are capable of weakening the plants and other can even kill them. Mycorrhizal competitor fungi have also been considered in this paper. These organisms do not cause real phytosanitary problems, but they can lead to important economic losses.

Research highlights: Researches, truffle hunters and managers must be alert in the face of the possible occurrence of potentially dangerous organisms. The final aim: being able to take action in an efficient way in the case of a pest outbreak.

Keywords: Tuber melanosporum; Quercus; parasites; pests; diseases.

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2014232-04900