How this communication network works
According to forest ecologist Suzanne Simard, plants interact and communicate through an underground network of fungi that binds plants to the surrounding ecosystem. Through this symbiosis, plants can contribute to mutual development and growth and help different specimens in the forest.
The discovery came from observing the small white and yellow bands of fungi identified on the forest floor. In an interview with Ecology.com, Suzanne explained what the scientists were able to find out through microscopic analysis. According to her, the fungi are connected to the roots of the tree. From this connection, trees can exchange carbon, water, and nutrients, as needed.
“The big trees provide subsidies to the younger ones through this fungal network. Without this help, most of the seedlings would not develop ", explained the scientist.
The oldest trees, already developed and large, are considered "mother plants". They are in charge of managing the resources of a plant community through the fungal threads. This connection is so strong that, according to research by Simard's team, when a tree of this size is cut down, the survival rate of the youngest members of the forest or jungle is drastically reduced. The connection between plants is comparable to the synapse of human neurons.
This discovery may change the way you see and approach forestry issues.
In the video, Suzanne Simard explains the details of this discovery:
You can see it with Spanish subtitles here: https://www.ted.com/talks/suzanne_simard_how_trees_talk_to_each_other?language=es