Volume 13 Part 1 Article 41: Water relations of the mushroom culture (Agaricus bisporus): Influence on the crop yield and on the dry matter content of the fruit bodies

Volume 13 Part 1 Article 41
Year 1991
Title: Water relations of the mushroom culture (Agaricus bisporus): Influence on the crop yield and on the dry matter content of the fruit bodies
Author: E.R. Kalberer

Abstract:

Water present in the finit bodies of Agaricus bisporus is extracted from the substrate (54-83%) and from the casing soil (17-46%). The moisture content of the substrate and the casing soil and the water potential of the substrate decrease markedly during the growth of a strong flush. During cultivation, the casing soil can be watered directly. The moisture content of the substrate can only be increased by heavy watering of the casing soil. Watering of growing flushes is recommended as long as it does not affect the quality of the crop. These waterings reduce the extraction of moisture from the substrate. Investigations in commercial growing plants showed that particular attention has to be paid to the moisture content of the substrate. Cultures which appeared to be well watered might have a very low moisture content and water potential in the substrate after the second flush. The moisture content of the substrate should be monitored during cultivation. Cultures with strong flushes should have a thick casing layer. From thin casing layers the fungus can extract smaller amounts of water than from thick ones. Cultures with thin casing layers give a lower crop yield and a higher dry matter content of the fruit bodies than those with thick layers. When the water potential of a moist casing soil is lowered the yield drops and the dry matter content of the fruit bodies increases. The water potential of the casing soil determines the dry matter content of the fruit bodies.

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