How Trees Communicate

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

New studies from researchers at the University of British Columbia show that trees can communicate by sharing carbon and nitrogen.  Fungi connects the underground root systems to create a symbiotic relationship that works as a survival mechanism for the trees.  Larger and older “Mother Trees” have mycelium that grows below their roots linking them to nearby trees in a complex neuro-network of roots, soil, fungi and micro-organisms.  The intertwined root system forms a structure that functions similar to axons and neurons in the brain.  Essentially, trees can move their energy, leaving a legacy that transfers from one generation to the next.   This study shows the importance of a complex forest ecosystem that contains both old and young trees together sharing ancient resources in opposition to a clearcut model, which would decimate ancestral knowledge and resources.