New research from New Zealand suggests that perhaps we will be forced to verify our current knowledge and approach to the topic of trees, all through one inconspicuous log. Mother Nature surprised us again.
It seems that trees do not always function as individuals, and sometimes they form a large superorganism, or at least this is suggested by the latest research from New Zealand, where a very unique puzzle has been found. Sebastian Leuzinger and Martin Bader from Auckland University of Technology during the walk noticed that the stump of New Zealand agate, which should have been dead for a long time, because there are no leaves needed to carry out the photosynthesis process, is far from that state.
The researchers were very interested in this issue, which is why they conducted more detailed analyzes, including. Measurements of the flow of juices and found that when their flow is greater in the stump, it decreases accordingly in neighboring trees. According to the scientists, it can only mean one thing to protect against extinction, the stump combined its roots with the roots of neighboring trees, because when they coalesced, it could receive water and essential nutrients through them.
And although we have long been observing such root vaccinations between trees of the same or similar species, until now all cases concerned several healthy, fully functional individuals who helped themselves in their survival. This makes sense because it not only allows the absorption of nutrients from a larger area, but also improves the stability of trees in the substrate, reducing the risk of overturning one of them.
Now we are dealing with a stump that is not able to offer other trees anything in return … unless it was connected to other trees yet as a healthy individual, so these even in the current condition treat it as an element of a large root system, not letting it dry up . Anyway, it completely changes our perception of trees, because, as Sebastian Leuzinger says: “It is possible that we should not treat trees as individuals, but rather the whole forest as one big superorganism.” This should also completely change our view on the question of tree survival and ecological issues.