If you have ever walked into a deep dark wood and had the feeling that everything is connected, that the trees are communicating with each other you will be relieved to know that its not just your imagination! Research has shown that plants use fungi as we use the internet, to communicate and share resources. 90% of plants have a mutually beneficial relationship with fungi, something known as a ‘Mycorrhizal’ relationship.
To get your head around this you need to forget the mushrooms on the forest floor, they are just the fruiting body of the fungus. The actual organism consists of a sometimes massive network of underground fibres (known as mycelia) and its these that plants use to communicate and share resources. But just as we have ‘cybercrime’ so does the woodland with some plants using fungi to steal from each other!
Next time you are walking through a woodland remember that beneath your feet the trees really are talking to each other using their very own ‘Wood Wide Web’
Mike Bright – Bridgend Group