Climate change could kill off black truffles

Truffles are the prized ingredient of top chefs around the world. There are white and black truffles, both are a type of subterranean fungus that grows in the shadow of oak trees. More precisely, it grows within the roots of existing plants, but in a beneficial way, as it provides nutrients. They'll only grow when everything is right, and even then it takes several years.

Truffles can be found concentrated in certain areas around the world, with the Italian countryside and French countryside being rich places of growth. Truffles now can be cultivated, growers in Italy, France and Spain produce around 95 percent of the world’s supply, said researcher at University of Stirling Paul Thomas. He worked with Professor Ulf Büntgen at the University of Cambridge to look at the future of the truffles in the shadow of climate change. According to their report, published in the journal Science of Total Environment, these truffles may vanish from southern Europe by the end of this century.

Currently, the black truffle can trade for more than a thousand euros per kilogram, but their study says, the value of the truffle industry as a whole, which is currently worth millions of euros, could grow to 5 billion euros over the next two decades.

Click on the video above to learn more about the dangers of climate change to the black truffles.