Plant Diversity ›› 2009, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (S16): 72-80.

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The Truffle and Its Cultivation in France

Sourzat Pierre   

  1. Station d′expérimentation Sur La Truffe , 46090 LE MONTAT, France
  • Online:2009-12-25 Published:2009-12-25
  • Contact: Sourzat Pierre

Abstract: Truffle production in France reached its peak at the turn of the 19th to 20th century, benefiting from the overpopulation of the countryside and the destruction of European vineyards by Phylloxera around 1870 - 1880 . The two World Wars with their sociological and ecological consequences marked the start of the decline in production which motivated in turn the efforts to revive it at the start of the seventies . Ecological factors , including soil, climate and the quality of the environment made it possible to determine criteria for the cultivation of-principally- Tuber melanosporum in calcareous regions with a Mediterranean climate . Truffle cultivation has evolved since its invention at the beginning of the 19th century; initially very empirical, it went through a phase of development based on a model of arboriculture of mycorrhized plants; finally returning to more ecologically-based concepts at the end of the 20th century . The choice of the most appropriate method of
truffle cultivation is mainly a function of the pressure due to contamination by other species of Tuber present in the environment. The prospects of extending truffle cultivation in France depend at the same time on scientific research , experiments on cultivation techniques , plantations with grants from local authorities , technical support and training of truffle-growers. The latter are aware that they hold in their hands an historical , sociological , gastronomic and economic heritage to enhance, faced with the initiatives launched in other European countries and the entire world .

Key words: Mycorrhized plants

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