Current issue: 54(4)
Under compilation: 54(5)
In northern Europe, largest part of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) are gathered for recreational purposes and household consumption, but considerable amount of forest berries and mushrooms are sold as well. Retail market, largely invisible for the official statistics, reveals the lifestyle-related aspects of NWFP trade and may help to understand the flows of this ecosystem service when information on wholesale trade is inaccessible. The prices and flows of most common NWFPs – edible berries, mushrooms and tree sap – in the retail market in Latvia in 2017 and 2018 were analysed based on direct interviews with the sellers in marketplaces and telephone interviews with online retailers. The mean retail prices of NWFPs were compared between statistical regions and years and correlated with socio-economic data and forest characteristics. The directions of the NWFP flows were analysed according to the place of origin and place of retail sales. The highest prices were recorded for stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus Pers.) and Boletes spp. among mushrooms, for wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca L.) among berries and for maple (Acer platanoides L.) sap in the product group of tree sap. The retail price of the same products differed between years, most likely due to the product availability, largely caused by meteorological conditions. In more than half of the cases of recorded sales, NWFPs were consumed in the same region as they were gathered. For other cases of sales, the capital, Rīga, was the main service benefitting area of NWFP retail trade, and the largest part of the products originated from the two closest statistical regions.
According to 459 and 350 questionnaires sent in 1983 and in 1985, respectively, the households in the Rovaniemi region located in the Arctic Circle in Northern Finland, eagerly picked wild berries. In both years, four out of five households picked at least one species of berry. In 1983 the total amount of wild berries picked was 29.2 kg per capita. In 1985 it was 15.0 kg per capita. Three species, the lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.), cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.) and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) made up 96% of all the wild berries picked during both years. Most of these berries were picked for the family’s own use, but many were also picked for sale. In 1983, 43% of all berries picked were sold, in 1985, 19% were sold. The cloudberry, although difficult to find, is the most important commercial species and also for household use it is the most sought after wild berry. Only very small amounts of edible mushrooms were collected, 1.0 kg per capita in 1983 and 1.3 kg in 1985.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The yield of Gyromitra esculenta (Pers.) Fr. was surveyed during 1973–82 in a Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) dominated stand in Central Finland. The soil surface was treated with different light methods, mainly removing the vegetation and humus layer.
It was shown that is possible to improve the natural yield of G. esculenta by breaking the soil surface. In the 286 m2 of treated the yield could be improved over 50 fold compared to the control area. In the untreated control area, the yield per hectare was 0.98 kg/yr. In treated plots the yield was 52.4 kg/yr (in the best year 191 kg/ha/yr). Fruit bodies of G. esculenta were found in treated plots every year after the soil treatment. The yield was at its best in the two first years declining later to the level of 10–20% of the first year’s yield.
The best natural yield was reached in the last year. The previous year’s precipitation was an important factor influencing the yield of the mushroom.
The PDF includes a summary in English.