Wood Wide Web

A theory of how plants cooperate comes from research of how fungus connects tree roots together into common mycorrhizal networks (CMN). Scientists have found evidence that important nutrients are shared over CMN and can connect multiple species of plants together.

Some researches take this theory further. One idea is that a “Mother tree” supports it’s seedling kin by sending resources to them preferentially. Another idea is that plants cooperate, which conflicts with evolutionary biology which centers on competition.

A recent article in Nature Vol 627 discussed a recent review of the research and calls into question several of these ideas, most notably doubting the explanation of a “mother tree”. Evidence for the wood-wide-web are not as clear as the headlines may make them appear.

See also: