Trees Communicate via a Network

 Professor Suzanne Simard shows that all trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the largest, oldest, "mother trees" serving as hubs. 


Dr. Suzanne Simard is a professor with the UBC Faculty of Forestry. 

 Networks of mycorrhizal fungal mycelium have recently been discovered by Professor Simard and her graduate students to connect the roots of trees and facilitate the sharing of resources in Douglas-fir forests, thereby bolstering their resilience against disturbance or stress and facilitating the establishment of new regeneration.

This research provides strong evidence that forest resilience is dependent on conserving mycorrhizal links, and that removal of hub trees could unravel the network and compromise regenerative capacity of the forests.

Graduate Leanne Philip discovered that Douglas-fir supported their birch neighbors in the spring and fall by sending back some of this carbon when the birch was leafless.
 Maintaining the biological webs that stabilize forests may help conserve genetic resources for future tree migrations, ensure that forest carbon stocks remain intact on the landscape, and conserve species diversity.


Comments

  1. This is so interesting! I always wondered about this and it's nice to know that it has been studied and that there is proof.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! and it is women who are figuring this out...

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