Truffles live in a natural symbiotic relationship (mycorrhiza) with forest trees and shrubs in most forest ecosystems.
Except for well-known nutritional importance and unique aroma of truffles, their reported biological activities have also drawn scientific attention as they are believed to have positive effects in the development of truffle-related products. They have positive impact on human health and well-being.
Fruiting bodies of black truffles are more or less regular round shaped, have 3-5 cm in diameter and black-brown color. They grow on well-drained, calcareous soils. T. melanosporum lives in mycorrhiza with a variety of deciduous trees, usually oak, hornbeam and hazel.
Fruiting bodies of T. melanosporum achieve maturity from November to March.
Truffles grow in mycorrhiza with higher plants and their distribution is determined by the appearance of these species.
Truffles are, as extremely valuable species, threatened with disappearance because of changing habitat conditions and intense collection. Around the world there is a decline in productivity of natural habitats which are often associated with climate change, and land use.
Due to declining productivity of truffles’ natural habitats and, at the same time, significant increase in demand on world markets, a campaign of intensive plantations began with plants inoculated with truffles. These plantations mainly produce black species of truffles, where precisely T. melanosporum dominates.
Artificial cultivation of black truffle (T. melanosporum) has become an important alternative in the rural areas of the Mediterranean, primarily due to the minimum agro technical requirements and high market prices.
Truffles industry today is of great importance at the global level where truffles are recognized as extremely important product. Their collection and sale acquires direct economic benefit, and related secondary industry is an important factor in tourist and gastronomic promotion in all truffles native regions. Tuber melanosporum is one of the most important commercial species of truffles.
- Zgrablić, Ž., Brenko, A., Matočec, N., Kušan, I., Fornažar, A., Čulinović, J., Prekalj, G., Strategy of sustainable truffle management in Istrian region, Croatia, Istrian Region, 2014
- Gajos, M., Hilszczansja, D., Research on truffles: Scientific journals analysis, Academic Journals, Vol.8(38), 2013, p.1837-1847.