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Department of Forests

Fungi/Mushrooms


Mushrooms (Fungi)

The abundance of organic substances and appropriate climatic conditions prevailing in forests help the growth of fungi. Generally it could be said, that the largest number of mushrooms in the Eastern Mediterranean region grow on wooded slopes and valleys that retain wet conditions and are protected from drying, as opposed to areas exposed to wind and sunlight.


The ecological value of mushrooms is enormous, and it would be fair to say that they are the silent heroes of the forest. On one hand, various species support trees in the struggle for survival, creating mycorrhizae (harmonic plant-mushroom symbiosis), and on the other some other species provide a basic mechanism for recycling organic matter.

The existence of different habitats, which often include conifers, broad-leaved tree species and other plants, creates slightly different ecological conditions, favouring many different types of mushrooms including saprophytic as well as symbiotic and parasitic species. Most of the carnosomes (mushrooms) appear towards the end of autumn, as long as rainfall has been satisfactory, and the temperature is maintained at appropriate levels. As in the spring, mushroom harvest continues in the winter, especially at low and medium altitudes.


Various types of edible mushroom can be found and collected from the forests of Cyprus. The red mushroom Lactarius deliciosus is probably the most famous of them. It is a mycorrhizal species that coexists mainly with pine trees, while it has also often been observed to be associated with various broadleaved species such as golden oak, kermes oak, strawberry tree, mastic, and terebinth. Other mycorrhizal mushroom species harvested are the white mushroom Russula delica and Tricholoma caligatum. Additionally, other known edible species are Acruicus sp., Pleurotus ostreatus and Morchela sp.


The collection of edible species is the greatest pressure placed on the mushroom populations. The methods of collection can affect the populations of mushrooms themselves as well as the plants with which they coexist. It is important not to destroy the productive fungus but to just collect the fruiting mushroom. Use of agricultural tools to harvest mushrooms risks the scraping and moving of the scallop, exposing the fungus to the air and high temperatures, resulting in its necrosis. Additionally, immature individuals should not be collected since they have not yet been able to disperse their seeds.

According to the Forest Law, the collection of mushrooms from state forests is permitted (excluding areas declared as nature reserves) provided that no rake or other agricultural tool is used in the harvesting process.

The following table lists the names of different mushrooms found in the forests of Cyprus:

Scientific name
Ecology
1. Agaricus augustus
S
2. Agaricus campestris
S
3. Agaricus xanthodermus
S
4. Armillaria mellea
P/ S
5. Astraeus hygrometricus
S
6. Auricularia auricula-judae
S
7. Chroogomphus rutilus
Μ
8. Clathrus rubber
Μ
9. Coprinus comatus
S
10. Coprinus disseminatus
S
11. Crepidotus mollis
S
12. Fomes pini
P
13. Ganoderma applanatum
P/S
14. Inocybe geophylla var. lilacina
S
15. Laccaria laccata
Μ
16. Lactarius chrysorrheus
Μ
17. Lactarius deliciosus
Μ
18. Lactarius tormitosus
Μ
19. Lepiota brunneoincarnata
S
20. Lepiota castanea
S
21. Lepista nuda
S
22. Lycoperdon perlatum
S
23. Lycoperdon pyriforme
S
24. Marasmius sp.
S
25. Morchella sp.
S/Μ
26. Mycena seynii
P
27. Omphalotus olearius
S
28. Phellinus tuberculosus
P/S
29. Pisolithus tinctorius
Μ
30. Pleurotus ostreatus
S
31. Rizopogon luteolus
Μ
32. Russula delica
Μ
33. Sarcosphaera crassa
S
34. Schizophyllum commune
S
35. Stereum hirsutum
S
36. Suillus collinitus
Μ
37. Suillus granulatus
Μ
38. Tricholoma caligatum
Μ
39. Tricholoma fracticum
Μ
40. Tricholoma gausapatum
Μ
41. Volvariella speciosa ssp glyocephala
S

Key
S: Saprophytic
P: Parasitic
M: Mycorrhizae


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