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Title: High-elevation gray morels and other Morchella species harvested as non-timber forest produts in Idaho and Montana

Author: McFarlane, Erika M.; Pilz, David; Weber, Nancy S.;

Date: 2005

Source: Mycologist. 19(2): 62-68.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)


We investigated post-fire morels (Morchella species), especially the "gray" morels of Idaho and Montana, by

collecting ecological and genetic data and by interviewing commercial mushroom harvesters and buyers. Gray

morels fruited exclusively in high-elevation Picea/ Abies forests that had burned the preceding summer,

predominantly in zones of moderate fire intensity as indicated by a layer of dead conifer needles on top of the fire

ash. Genetic analysis revealed five varieties of morels among our specimens. Mushroom harvesters confirmed that

gray morels are economically crucial to their business because they are typically large, heavy, and durable.

Harvesters and buyers described the varieties of morels they encountered differently than mycologists did, but

cooperative research could facilitate mutual understanding of morel diversity and benefit everyone involved.

Keywords: Morels, non-timber forest products, wildfire, forest ecology, taxonomy, commercial harvesters, mushroom buyers

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



McFarlane, Erika M.; Pilz, David; Weber, Nancy S. 2005. High-elevation gray morels and other Morchella species harvested as non-timber forest produts in Idaho and Montana. Mycologist. 19(2): 62-68., Vol. 19(2): 62-68.


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