A single-substrate three-compartment model for the growth of a mushroom crop is constructed. The model describes the growth of the mycelium, and the initiation and growth of sporophores, up to the end of the first flush. The growth of mycelium and sporophores is controlled by the substrate density in the storage component of the mycelium, and initiation of sporophores is modelled by assuming the existence of a threshold substrate density, below which initiation cannot take place. When the substrate density exceeds the threshold density, the rate of initiation is assumed to be proportional to the difference between these two densities.

Parameter values are given which lead to a solution of the model which agrees reasonably well with observed data. Various aspects of the solution are examined, and the important parameters are identified. The parameter controlling the rate of initiation of sporophores has little effect on either the number of sporophores initiated or the duration of initiation.


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