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Rare truffle find in Scottish spruce forest sends fungi experts on alien species hunt

Still Waters

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Naturalists have found a very rare type of truffle living in a Scottish forestry plantation which is being cut down so a natural Atlantic rainforest can grow in its place.

The discovery of the globally rare fungus near Creagan in the west Highlands has thrown up a paradox: the work to remove the non-native Sitka spruce, to allow rewilding by native trees, means the truffle will be lost.

Chamonixia caespitosa, a type of truffle normally found in the Alps and Scandinavia, has only been recorded once before in the UK, in north Wales, seven years ago. Inedible to humans, it has a symbiotic relationship specific to this species of spruce. When it ripens, its white fruit turns a mottled blue in contact with the air.


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