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Hugging the trees, everyone laughs like an exaggerated, flamboyant gesture. As it is with the taking of some sort of inner power from the forest giants, there are only subjective opinions, but that the trees can help others, it is now freshly scientifically proven.
Trees in the woods communicate under the surface
At this year’s Conference of the prestigious initiative TED, California’s Long Beach, where scientists, artists, politicians, and businessmens present “ideas that are worth spreading” (in October, this conference will be held in Prague), biologist Suzanne Simardová of Canadian University of British Columbia. For several decades he has specialized in the ecology of the Forest and presented its – for a number of people shocking – finding.
The forest lives under the surface
“Trees are the foundation of the forest, but the forest is much more than you see,” she said. “Beneath the surface is another world of endless biological pathways that connect individual trees and allow them to communicate with each other.”
Simardová discovered that the trees in the forest formed a complex connected complex of capable communication and mutual assistance, driven by the so-called. Parent trees. The individual trees do not rival the “place in the sun”, but they work together – they send instructional and warning signals, and within groups around the parent trees they supply each other with the necessary nutrients such as carbon, water, nitrogen or phosphorus.
“Trees in the forest are indeed like human or other animal communities, they form families and kinship ties,” she said.
One of the surprising findings of Simardové is the existence of already mentioned parent trees and their role in the community of trees. It is mostly mature, older trees, functioning as – Antropocentricky said – Local organizational center, a local authority.
Oversees the trees that are connected to them, nourishes the semenáčkům and helps them to overcome diseases, attack pests or survive unfavourable conditions. The ideal environment for their growth is a diverse community of species and genotypes (a summary of genetic information in DNA, which is slightly different in the same species).
A healthy forest will survive, even if vykácíte one or two parent trees, but there is a border. Suzanne Simardová
“Forests are complex systems with the extraordinary capability of sebeuzdravení,” Simardová emphasized that its knowledge of the functioning of forest units should be used to rethink the current view of the forest. It is considered that the forest should not be seen as a source of wood or as a recreation area. Even understanding of the forest as an ecological whole with climatic and biological functions is not sufficient.
The only tree will decide the forest
“A parent tree can be connected to hundreds of other trees in one forest,” Simardová explained. Indirectly pointed to the problem of the so-called Selective felling in species rich forests such as rainforests in the Amazon. Their exceptionally rich biodiversity also entails the problem of borderline distances of individuals of the same kind. If such a tree is Pokácen, the network is disrupted and the relationship is irretrievably interrupted, which may endanger the existence of the species.
“A healthy forest will survive, even if vykácíte one or two parent trees, but there is a border,” she said. “Then there is a danger that when you defeat a single other tree, the whole system collapses and Les collapsing.”
The key to communication and the common activities of trees in the forest is mycelium or spawn. It is a system of microscopic fibers, hyfů, which make up the body’s own sponge. What we commonly refer to as a fungus is just a plodnice, used for reproduction.
Mycelium grows below the surface and its size is practically immeasurable due to its structure, it can occupy tens and hundreds of square meters.
What we refer to as mushrooms is just their plodnices – the fungus itself remains beneath the surface.
Paul Stamets, a prominent mycologist and promoter of bioremediation (healing with living organisms), likened mycelium to the natural Internet. According to Simardové but it is more of a common vascular and nervous system of the forest.
Green mothers guarding their children
“We all love our children, and we know that this is true of animals,” said Simardová ‘s lecture at TED’s conference. “And I have asked the question: Can my offspring love and Douglas fir? To learn the answer, I started experimenting long years ago. ”
Ekoložka planted in the Canadian Mountains experimental Boulogne eight dozen trees, mostly Douglas fir and birch, to which several specimens of other species were mixed. The nursery trees, surrounded by their own seedlings, planted a young Jedlička, coming from another forest.
“The parent trees of their ‘ children ‘ have come to know. Encompassed is a denser and richer mycorrhizal network (symbiotic cohabitation of root fibers and fungi), through which semenáčkům supplied more carbon, and even at the cost of limiting its growth, to semenáčkům to ensure more space for their growth, ” She found Simardová. According to her, the parent trees, if they are attacked, injured or close to their natural extinction time, pass on to the offspring information and experience.
“We used isotopes to track carbon transfer from a dying parent tree – wandering through the trunk to the roots and to the offspring. Not only carbon, but also defensive signals. And we measured that these two activities of the parent tree increased the resilience of young trees to stress. I can say that the trees really speak, “she said.
Universal tool of all living
However, the first knowledge about the communication of trees was brought before the research published in Nature Communications magazine. A group of scientists led by Matthew Gillihama from the Australian University of Adelaide in cooperation with colleagues from the CSIRO Institute in Canberra, the University of Tasmania, the Portuguese Gulbenkianova Institute and the University of the U.S. state of Maryland has produced evidence of That the trees in the forest communicate with the same chemical and electrical signals as are known in mammals. But because plants do not have a nervous system, they use a different method to do so.
“It has been known for a long time that plants in a stressful situation such as drought, extreme temperature or salinity soil produce a neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), used animals, but it was not clear whether even in plants has a signal role,” Předeslal Gilliham.
“Our work has shown that GABA has the same mission in plants – its presence leads to the emergence of electrical signals that block growth if the plant is in an unfavorable environment.”
The team gained his findings in experiments with wheat, barley and vines. The plants exposed the stress situation (acid soil, excessive toppings and intense heat) – and they all reacted equally.
The conclusions of the Australian research open up new opportunities to cultivate more varieties of crops and thus to avert global food shortages. At the same time explain why some medications, produced on a herbal basis, are performed also in human medicine.
So go into the woods and embrace the first tree