Soil physical properties influence "black truffle" fructification in plantations

Mycorrhiza. 2014 Apr:24 Suppl 1:S55-64. doi: 10.1007/s00572-014-0558-7. Epub 2014 Feb 2.


Although the important effects of pH and carbonate content of soils on "black truffle" (Tuber melanosporum) production are well known, we poorly understand the influence of soil physical properties. This study focuses on physical soil characteristics that drive successful production of black truffles in plantations. Seventy-eight Quercus ilex ssp. ballota plantations older than 10 years were studied in the province of Teruel (eastern Spain). Soil samples were analyzed for various edaphic characteristics and to locate T. melanosporum ectomycorrhizae. The influence of cultivation practices, climatic features, and soil properties on sporocarp production was assessed using multivariate analyses. Low contents of fine earth and silt and high levels of bulk density, clay content, and water-holding capacity appear to promote fructification. Watering is also highly positive for truffle fructification. We develop and discuss a logistic model to predict the probability of truffle fructification in field sites under consideration for truffle plantation establishment. The balance between water availability and aeration plays a crucial role in achieving success in black truffle plantations.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Ascomycota / growth & development
  • Ascomycota / physiology*
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / growth & development
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / physiology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Mycorrhizae / growth & development
  • Mycorrhizae / physiology*
  • Quercus / microbiology
  • Soil / chemistry*
  • Soil Microbiology


  • Soil