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TRUFFLES IN A WARMING WORLD

7:00pm-8:00pm on Thursday 31 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 26th March. For events on or after 27th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

Department of Geography, Large Lecture Theatre, Downing Place, CB2 3EN

Illuminating the hidden world of truffles, Professor Ulf Büntgen from the Department of Geography discusses how climate change affects one of the most exclusive gourmet foods, and how Cambridge’s Botanic Garden can contribute to a better understanding of the ecological requirements that are needed for the formation and maturation of truffle fruitbodies.

Despite its status as a highly-prized and coveted fungi in gastronomy, many aspects of the subterranean life cycle of truffles (Tuber spp) are still unknown. The remaining knowledge gaps and subsequent research needs mainly result from the fact that non-destructive in situ observations of the formation and maturation of truffle fruitbodies are extremely difficult. In this public talk, I will provide new biological and ecological insights into the hidden – and most fascinating – world of truffles.

I will therefore use case studies from southern and central Europe, as well as examples from the Botanical Garden in Cambridge, to discuss how anthropogenic climate and environmental change, may or may not, affect the phenology, productivity and diversity of truffles at local to regional scales. Furthermore, I will use the output of state-of-the-art global climate model simulations to assess trends and extremes in temperature, precipitation and soil moisture for all commercial truffle growing regions in the Americas, Europe, South Africa and Australasia until 2100 CE to predict their future performance and economic risk and reward.

Last but not least, I will emphasize the importance of appropriate irrigation systems, the vulnerability of the emerging truffle sector to future drying and global crisis, as well as the need to better understand the behaviour of truffle dogs.

Booking/Registration is: UNAVAILABLE

Additional Information

Age: All Ages
Format: Talk
Timing: In person
Event Capacity: 60
Theme: Environment
Accessibility: Full access

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