Prime weather conditions to make for bumper mushroom harvest in Germany in 2022
In states across Germany, nature will give in abundance during wild mushroom season this year. The country has 5.000 known species, so get picking!
Germany's dry summer weather caused mushroom boom
Climate change meant heatwaves and droughts struck Germany this summer. These dry weather conditions are now combining with consistent rain and will result in a particularly abundant mushroom harvest season. Data from the German Society for Mycology (DGfM) says that because forest floors are saturated with water, weather conditions are perfect for mushrooms to grow in every federal state.
This includes many different types of fungi, from porcini and bay bolete to slippery jack (aka sticky bun) and the unfortunately named boring brown bolete - more excitingly called Ziegenlippe (goats’ lips) in German. According to DGfM data, there are an estimated 10.000 macrofungi in central Europe, 100 of which are edible, 150 of which are poisonous and around 10 of which are deadly. If you’re thinking of going foraging, make sure to study up on those 10 first - the poisonous and deadly ones aren’t all as scary looking as you might imagine!
Everything relies on the mushrooms
According to the DGfM mushroom expert Lutz Helbig, different kinds of mushrooms play different roles in the ecosystem. Some, such as the giant bovist, act as decomposters by releasing enzymes that break down dead plants and animals. Others, such as porcini and chestnut mushrooms, are so-called mycorrhizal fungus which live in symbiosis with plants.
This relationship exposes the importance of mushrooms in the whole ecosystem. “95 percent of plants live in symbiosis with mushrooms,” the vice president of the GDfM, Rita Lüder, told ntv. “Mushrooms provide plants with mineral rich water and the sugars required for growth,” the biologist said. “Fungi also promote high soil quality. In crops they help to enhance the taste of cereals and strawberries. Without the mushrooms this would be impossible.”