Trees and Fungus

Tree roots extend a long way, more than twice spread of the crown. So the root systems of neighboring trees inevitably intersect and grow into one another. Usually, there are fungi that operate like fiber-optic Internet cables. Their fine filaments penetrate the ground, weaving through it in almost unbelievable density. One teaspoon of forest soil can contain many miles of these hyphea. Over centuries, a single fungus can cover many square miles and network an entire forest. The fungal connections transmit signals from one tree to the next, helping the trees exchange news about insects, drought, another dangers. The fungi are pursuing their own agendas and appear to be very much in favor of conciliation and equitable distribution of information and resources. So trees communicate by means of olfactory, visual, and electrical signals. The electrical signals travel by a kind of nerve cell at the tips of the roots.

And trees are sensitive to sound. In a study of seedlings, whenever their roots were exposed to a crackling sound at 220 Hz, they oriented their tips in that direction. They were registering that frequency, so it makes sense that they heard it.

Peter Wohlleben,
Author, The Hidden Life of Trees

My other sites—

Contemplative Photography

David L. Smith Photography

Ancient Maya Cultural

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