Sitting in solitude while gazing at trees in the distance, a question suddenly arose. How could they never interact with each other (above ground), yet live so harmoniously with their neighbours. Could they possibly be communicating using a channel far deeper than meets the eye? Rather than viewing trees as a single independent life forms, could the forest be actually considered as a super organism of trees and fungi network?
A little reading revealed that trees are able to communicate and share resources with each other through a network of symbiotic fungi called mycorrhizal network, which is commonly called “Wood Wide Web”. by scientist. A wonderful video on the subject is shared below.
Through the “Wood Wide Web”, mother trees establish a constant contact with their younger ones, passing into them sugar and other nutrients ensuring they have a higher chance of survival and growth. The mother trees also guide the young one’s growth in accordance with the climatic conditions.
Trees help each other stay alive. Trees that are sick or dying may release their nutrient resources into the mycorrhizal network which can be then used by the heathier trees. On the other hand, the healthier trees support and keep alive the healthy trees that might have fallen.
Trees also use the fungi network to send message to each other. If they are attacked by pests, they can release chemical signals through their roots which can warn other trees to raise their defences.
Much like human families, using their own “Wood Wide Web”, trees live together creating an ecosystem that is nurturing and fending the whole group. A healthy forest makes up for a happy forest not only benefiting each member of the forest eco-system but also immensely benefit the health of very species on Earth including us humans.
Could there be something, we as humans could learn about the value of nurturing deep relationships from our trees?
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