The Hidden Life of Trees | Book by Peter Wohlleben
A really fascinating description of the processes that allow trees to grow, fight off threats like pests and disease, survive extreme weather and care for each other. Structured in bitesize chapters, it’s surprisingly hard to put down.
Almost every chapter included a new piece of information that blew my mind a little. One great example is the fact that trees can communicate with each other through an ‘internet’ — the ‘Wood Wide Web‘. Certain fungi (mostly mushrooms) weave their web-like tubes with the roots of various trees, allowing them to exchange nutrients. The fungi take sugar and in return provide stuff like phosphorus and nitrogen. And it’s not just a one-to-one connection — the same fungus can connect to multiple trees, trading with each one simultaneously. And most amazingly, fungi have been shown to actually take sugar from one tree and distribute it to another tree that needs it (rather than taking it for themselves). The theory is that fungi thrive when there is a diverse range of trees in a forest, so they’ll help out trees in need from time to time. Just one of many things that I learnt from the book.
If you want to read more about natural environments and how they can benefit from being left to their own devices, definitely check out Feral by George Monbiot too.