Structure: Berry and mushroom habitats
Most edible wild berry species grow in different types of forests but a few species also grow on mires. Weather, light and nutrient conditions along with successful pollination regulate the size and quality of berry crop. The ideal habitat structures of wild berry species vary throughout Finland
Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) produce the largest crops of wild berries. Cowberries grow abundantly in sparse pine-dominated heath-forests and also in some forested mires. Cowberry thrives in areas with abundant light access to the ground layer. Typically mature forests and seedling stands with poor soil fertility produce large crops of cowberries. The largest crops are normally collected in Lapland, Kainuu and Northern Ostrobothnia.
Bilberry prefers sparse and mature spruce-dominated forest stands that grow on relatively moist grounds. Abundant yields are also harvested from some pine dominated forests. Just as with cowberry, the largest bilberry crops are collected in Lapland, Kainuu and Northern Ostrobothia.
Forests are primary habitats for mushrooms. Especially old-growth forests are favourable for mycorrhiza mushrooms. They require specific habitat conditions to be able to grow their mycelium and form the over-ground part for the mushroom. In general, the species of the tree defines which mushrooms will grow in the vicinity of that tree.
Mushroom harvest is at its best in autumns when the air is humid. Weather conditions during previous autumn and winter as well as weather changes during the same growing season will also reflect on mushroom growth. Changes in the environment e.g. in the form of forest management operations also influence mushroom harvests as habitat conditions change. Clear-cutting disturbs mushroom growth for several years.
- Updated (20.04.2017)