Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Caterpillar Fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) Production and Sustainability on the Tibetan Plateau and in the Himalayas

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Asian Medicine

Caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps = Cordyceps sinensis) is an entomophagous fungus endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas. It has become the most important source of cash income in wide areas of the Tibetan Plateau, where it is known as yartsa gunbu, ‘summer grass winter worm’. The market is driven by Chinese consumers, who refer to it as dongchong xiacao. The value of this myco-medicinal has increased by 900% between 1997 and 2008, creating a globally-unique rural fungal economy. However, actual annual production data is still not available for many areas of the Tibetan Plateau in China as well as the Himalayan production areas of India, Nepal and Bhutan. This paper analyses available production data and estimates the total annual production in the range of 85 to 185 tons for all production areas. Current availability of multi-annual production figures is limited and allows only for provisional estimates regarding the sustainability of current harvesting quantities. Centuries of collection indicate that caterpillar fungus is a resilient resource. Still, unprecedented collection intensity, climate change and the recent economic dependence of local economies on caterpillar fungus calls for sustainable resource management. Absence of long-term field studies indicating best management practices—at best in their infancy in some production areas—necessitate a degree of improvisation in designing resource management strategies. The development of easily implementable approaches that can rely on community support will be crucial for successful management. Most promising from a socio-economic, administrative and also mycological perspective is the establishment of an end date of the collection season, which might allow for sufficient spore dispersal to guarantee sustainability.

10.1163/157342109X568829
/content/journals/10.1163/157342109x568829
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
6
3
Loading
Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/157342109x568829
Loading

Data & Media loading...

http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/157342109x568829
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/157342109x568829
2009-01-01
2016-12-08

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Asian Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation