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Influence of annual climatic variations, climate changes, and sociological factors on the production of the Périgord black truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vittad.) from 1903–1904 to 1988–1989 in the Vaucluse (France)

Baragatti, Meili, Grollemund, Paul-Marie, Montpied, Pierre, Dupouey, Jean-Luc, Gravier, Joël, Murat, Claude, Le Tacon, François
Mycorrhiza 2019 v.29 no.2 pp. 113-125
Bayesian theory, Tuber melanosporum, desertification, global warming, land use, models, mycorrhizae, orchards, regression analysis, summer, truffles, water stress, France, Mediterranean region
From 1903–1904 to 1988–1989, the two World Wars and sociological factors as rural desertification and changes in land uses mainly explained the decline of black truffle production in the Vaucluse department, which well reflects that of the whole of France. These can be correlated with the annual climatic variations as well as, from 1924–1925 to 1948–1949, the raw production rates of the managed truffle orchard of Pernes-les-Fontaines located in Vaucluse. The two methods used (correlation coefficients and Bayesian functional linear regression with Sparse Step functions) gave consistent results: the main factor explaining the annual variations of truffle production was the summer climatic water deficit of the year n. A general model including the rural exodus and the cumulated climatic water deficit of summer months both allowed to well explain the evolution of truffle production from 1903–1904 to 1988–1989 in the Vaucluse and its huge decrease. During that period, global warming had little effect. However, in the twenty-first century, all the scenarios predict increased summer water stress for the Mediterranean region, which could greatly affect black truffle production.