Climate change responsible for the decline of truffles in Germany

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Of: Nadja Zinsmeister


Truffles may soon become rarer – and therefore probably more expensive too. © IMAGO / grafvision / Panthermedia28812415.jpg

With climate change, the conditions for growing many foods also change. One of them is particularly popular, but currently also particularly endangered.

Birmensdorf – Bad news for mushroom lovers: As a study has shown, the famous edible Burgundy truffle mushroom is becoming increasingly rare in Germany and Switzerland. The reason for this is climate change. Dry summers with high temperatures make conditions very difficult for truffles.

Worrying study: truffles could completely disappear from the woods

As announced Thursday by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, an average summer temperature one degree higher can reduce the Burgundy truffle harvest by about a quarter and in some locations by almost 70%. “Our results show that the Burgundy truffle is threatened by an alarming trend towards increasing summer drought in Europe,” says ecologist and study author Brian Steidinger of the University of Konstanz, who worked with the WSL.

The endangerment of the truffle, triggered by climate change, has ecological as well as culinary consequences. Because fungi provide their host trees with important nutrients and water. This makes them an important part of the forest ecosystem. Meanwhile, climate change is also affecting viticulture in Spain.

Not just truffles: other products could soon become luxury goods

The results of the studies were published in the journal Global Change Biology. Of particular concern: according to the study, with an average summer temperature of three degrees higher, there are no more truffles. Since the Burgundy black truffle is one of the most traded varieties in the world, the luxury product could become much more expensive.

Truffles aren’t the only products that could get expensive with climate change. “Both chocolate and coffee could become scarce luxury foods again due to climate change,” said Monika Zurek, senior researcher at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute in September. BBC Future. Here, too, the rise in temperature plays a particularly important role. For example, large tracts of land in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, a major cocoa growing area, could become unsuitable if the global temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius. (n / a)

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