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Publication Information

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Title: California Indian ethnomycology and associated forest management

Author: Anderson, Kat M.; Lake, Frank K.;

Date: 2013

Source: Journal of Ethnobiology. 33(1): 33-85

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Many California Indian tribes utilized mushrooms for food, medicine, and/or technological purposes. This paper summarizes which mushrooms were important to different California Indian tribes in historic and modern times and how they were harvested, prepared, and stored. Oral interviews were conducted and the ethnographic literature reviewed to detail the extent and complexity of indigenous knowledge about fungi harvesting and associated burning to enhance mushroom populations and their habitats. Through two case studies, we review indigenous burning practices of several tribes in the lower montane mixed conifer forests of the central and southern Sierra Nevada, and the mixed evergreen forests of northern California. We explore the potential ecological effects of burning on these forests at different levels of biological organization and conclude by offering suggestions for research, management, and restoration practices needed to perpetuate usable mushrooms.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, mushroom harvesting, fire, fungi, mycorrhiza

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.



Anderson, Kat M.; Lake, Frank K. 2013. California Indian ethnomycology and associated forest management. 2013. Journal of Ethnobiology. 33(1): 33-85


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