Dr. Paul Thomas
[In April], we were in Morocco presenting data at two academic conferences on underground fungi. The first report presented investigates the climatic impact on the distribution of three key truffle species and the second is a large study (343 data points) on the impact of tree growth and development on truffle production. Both reports are being prepared for publication in international journals and copies will be available on request.
While there, we managed to go hunting for desert truffles (Terfezia or ‘terfess’) with the local inhabitants. Their unusual hunting method involves striking a stick against the ground and listening for subtle changes in the sound to detect if there is a fruiting body underneath. The tiny size of host plants for the truffles produced is extremely interesting. This method of collection does, however, look like very hard work, quite a contrast to hunting the higher value European species with dogs, as shown in the picture below.