trees communicate

Sentient Forests – We Are Not Alone

Here’s a great video about sentient forests where trees and fungi communicate over vast distances.

simard ubc

Sentient Forests Professor Suzanne Simard

Professor Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia gives a towering performance in her telling of how all the trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the largest, oldest, “mother trees” serving as hubs. The underground exchange of nutrients increases the survival of younger trees linked into the network of old trees.

Simard was lead to the discovery by the observation of webs of bright white and yellow fungal threads in the forest soil. Many of these fungi were mycorrhizal, meaning they are in a symbiotic relationship with a a host plant, in this case tree roots. Microscopic experimentation revealed that the fungi actually moves carbon, water and nutrients between trees, depending upon their needs.

Amazingly, she says her studies reveal that in a forest, 1+1 equals more than 2.

Watch and share her passion in this wonderful video.

 A Forest Is Much More Than Just A Bunch Of Trees

She describes how deforestation causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all trains, planes and automobiles combined. What might we do to change this contributor to global warming?

Suzanne Simard examines how the complex, symbiotic networks of our forests mimic our own neural and social networks — and how those connections might make all the difference.

“The big trees were subsidizing the young ones through the fungal networks. Without this helping hand, most of the seedlings wouldn’t make it.” — Suzanne Simard

At the centre of a forest’s mycorrhizal network stand the “Mother Trees”. These are large, older trees that rise above the forest. These “Mother Trees” are connected to all the other trees in sentient forests by this network of fungal threads, and may manage the resources of the whole plant community. Simard’s latest research reveals that when a Mother Tree is cut down, the survival rate of the younger members of the forest is substantially diminished.

Indeed it seems we are not alone and share this planet with sentient forests.

You can watch another of Prof. Simard’s  video lessons she gave as a TEDEd talk here.

I have a growing collection of my favourite science works and stories showing that WE ARE NOT ALONE.

Give a read through my sentient archive. There you can read more about how plankton blooms, blue-green algae on the sea bed, and plants everywhere seem to have not been skipped over in the evolution of intelligence.

What did you think those trees were doing for all those decades and centuries rooted in the same spot…nothing? They may be the original Chatty Cathies. I am guessing they have book clubs, philosophical societies, and more than their fair share of Steven Hawking and Einstein like math and physics thinkers. OK the list can go on… poets… singers….story tellers ….  No need for lawyers or politicians, sorry about that …NOT 😉

Here’s a link to one of Professor Simard’s scholarly papers.