Talking trees

Talking trees

Photo by: Zlicke Slabber

BY: Ryan Mengel 

This blog was written by one of our trainers, Ryan. With years of experience in guiding, Ryan shares some of the ways nature fascinates him most.

Have you ever sat and appreciated the settling sound and sensation of wind moving through trees, disrupting the leaves? Would you say the trees are “talking”?

 

Bushwise students take a walk through the bush.

Photo by: Ben Klunder

This image was taken pre-COVID-19.

 

Plant communication is complex. And in recent years, incredible research has been done to help us understand the fascinating systems in the natural world. 

Plants have evolved and developed a number of ways to communicate, both with their own species and with others. Plants are known to communicate by releasing pheromones into the air. 

 

Plants have many ways of communicating with other plants and insects by releasing pheromones.

 

Amazingly, many plants are even able to recognise whether their neighbours are of the same species or a competing one. And, some plants are even able to identify whether they actually share a “kinship” or direct genetic relationship with their neighbours.

Plant roots share a symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi. The fungi connects the roots of different plants, creating a mycorrhizal network, which allows them to communicate and interact underground.

 

Plant roots allow for communication and interaction underground.

 

This relationship creates an enormous “web” for communication, much like the world wide web we are so reliant on today. It not only allows plants to gain the nutrients extracted from the soil and detritus by the fungi, but they are also able to communicate various chemical and electrical signals.

So, the next time you feel a breeze or hear the trees “talking”, remember that you are only picking up a tiny part of the conversation.

Visit our website to join a course where you can learn more about plant communication.