The Burgundy truffle (Tuber aestivum Vittad.) has a wide-ranging distribution across Europe, yet its ecology is far from being well understood. For instance, although the literature on the ecophysiology of this species is dominated by the symbiosis with deciduous hosts, the real range of hosts in nature seems to be much wider than the current distribution of T. aestivum. The aim of this study was to determine the relative importance of abiotic (soil) and biotic (vegetation) properties in determining the performance of T. aestivum in this pioneering stage of research on truffles in Poland. Soil parameters influenced the formation of T. aestivum fruiting bodies more strongly than plant composition. The number of fruiting bodies increased with increasing concentration of soil calcium and phosphorus. The number of plant species was the only significant predictor among the investigated vegetation characteristics. The influence of this predictor was positive, as an increasing number of fruiting bodies was found when the number of plant species was higher. The presence of truffle fruiting bodies was significantly correlated with the presence of five plant species, viz.: Brachypodium sylvaticum, Cephalanthera damasonium, Cornus sanguinea, Sanicula europaea and Viola mirabilis.
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Vol. 26 • No. 2