How Trees Talk to Each Other

Suzanne Simard, a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia's Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, has conducted and published hundreds of experiments in forests. Her groundbreaking research has uncovered complex underground communication networks of trees. These dense webs are nurtured by mother trees, better known as hub trees, that send messages and carbon through nodes and links to younger trees. These interlinking fungal highways connect hundreds of plant species and increase the resiliency of the whole community. One remarkable discovery made by Simard is that mother trees recognize their kin. They even send them additional carbon and information. Deforestation and logging practices threaten these remarkable ecosystems. Despite replanting efforts, forests require a complexity of species to survive. Learn about what steps we can take to help protect our forests and prepare them for climate change in this enlightening TED Talk. Simard also shares her knowledge in a segment exploring the interconnected network of trees on the Nature of Things at 36:00. Check out this CRC blog post that reflects on the complexity of nature and shares music interpreted from the rings of trees.

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