Forest is a complex network able to communicate and adapt

This is a summary of a TED talk “How trees talk to each other” by prof. Suzanne Simard.

Photographer: VANJA TERZIC.
  • Trees are the foundation of the forest, but a forest is much more than what you see.
  • Underground there are fungi networks that move water, carbon and nutrients like nitrogen or phosphorus between trees and other species.
  • The research has proven that these complex networks are similar to our neural and social networks with their own nodes and links.
  • The most important nodes, called hub trees or mother trees, can be connected with hundreds of other trees and help them survive.
  • Studies have shown that trees are able to recognise their kin and send them carbon, water, hormones or defence signals to support their development.
  • Forests are resilient thanks to the connections between trees and the ongoing exchange of feedback.

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