Conservation of Tricholoma matsutake in Northwest Yunnan, China
The ectomycorrhizal species Tricholoma matsutake has been exported since 1985 from southwest Yunnan, China. It has quickly eclipsed logging and pastorialism to become the major contribution to rural livelihood and local government revenue. Productivity of matsutake has declined dramatically due to over-harvesting. The decline of Matsutake is additionally worrisome because it is a crucial symbiont in deciduous broadleaf forests forming the highest tree line on earth and harbouring many critically endangered plants. Action must be taken immediately to establish guidelines for the sustainable harvest and conservation of this species.