The "Wood Wide Web"

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yogi
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Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

The "Wood Wide Web"

Post by yogi » 10 May 2015, 12:34

Plants use the Internet. Science fiction? Nope.

Some interesting revelations about how trees and other plants communicate with each other have been made recently. Apparently it has been shown how trees share nutrients with it's neighbors by using a fungal network of fibers. This deeply rooted communication system is called a mycelial network, which refers to the fibers connecting the fungi growing on tree roots. It has been shown how mature established trees, for example, share the wealth of nutrients with saplings that might be struggling in the shade somewhere. Likewise, immunization to certain insects and plant disease is also shared via the mycelial network. The amazing part of this story is that when a tree down the path is suffering from some kind of attack, it's neighbors up the road start to generate chemical defenses in preparation for a possible invasion. The sharing and early warning is all done via the mycelial network, or as it has been dubbed, The Wood Wide Web.

READ MORE: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141111 ... n-internet

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Icey
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Joined: 18 Feb 2015, 18:13

Re: The "Wood Wide Web"

Post by Icey » 10 May 2015, 16:45

This's absolutely true. I learnt about the mycelium connections in biology, as perhaps other readers here've done.

It's not just underground where this happens either. Birch, and a few other trees are often found to have parasitic growths on them, known as chaga. If the tree becomes damaged - such as a split occurring - this amazing fungus can heal the "wound".

The fabulous root/fungi system is one of the reasons why it's not a good idea to chop down natural forests. Even when new trees're planted, the nutrients in the soil're destroyed. This never comes back to the level of what it was, and the soil's never as rich as when the original trees sprang up.

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Kellemora
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Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: The "Wood Wide Web"

Post by Kellemora » 11 May 2015, 11:36

Awesome article Yogi!

Being raised in the horticultural and greenhouse industry, we saw and utilized all kinds of phenomenon we didn't understand, just knew something was going on which caused certain crops to perform differently, depending on how they were established. Identical crops, such as those used for cut flowers, when raised in 100 foot long continuous beds, did far better than those raised in beds with cellular divisions. Many of our beds originally had cellular divisions to halt the spread of disease or soil contamination, which was so prevalent in the long beds in the beginning. Also back when the whole beds were harvested. Over time we learned to stagger the plantings of one side of the bed with the other, and everything improved, and the use of chemicals went down considerably. It did make it harder to control the daylength when you have plants at different stages of growth in the same beds, but it was worth it to get continually better crops.

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pilvikki
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Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 15:35

Re: The "Wood Wide Web"

Post by pilvikki » 13 May 2015, 15:33

what an interesting article!

thanks!

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