carbon cycle

Trees share vital goodies through a secret underground network

Call it the wood wide web. Although we think of trees as competing with each other for resources, we know from lab studies that they share information and nutrients underground.Trees of the same species growing close together will sometimes fuse their roots and exchange materials. And seedlings of different species can share nutrients via mycorrhiza, the symbiotic fungi that grow alongside and between tree roots.

Now botanist Tamir Klein and his colleagues at the University of Basel in Switzerland have spotted this transfer in mature wild trees for the first time. And it turns out they share much more than anyone guessed. Read more in New Scientist.