An Understory

Photo credit: Brendan George Ko, visual storyteller

Friday, December 11, 2020 Only 20 days remain in this year.

Occasionally, I read something that’s mind-stretching and transports me from my known world. A recent NYT Magazine issue has an article entitled, “The Social Life of Forests”–a stunner that describes “the underground life of forests”. That’s a lifelong passion of Suzanne Simard (Professor of Forest Ecology, University of British Columbia). She’s proved that a forest ecosystem exists, in which trees exchange communications and nutrients through a “subterranean circuit”–the web of roots and fungi comprising an underground network. The article, written by Ferris Jabr, with Brendan George Ko’s gorgeous photographs, can expand common ideas about this planet’s environmental and evolutionary processes.

Simard’s work today is featured in textbooks, and widely taught in graduate-level classes on forestry and ecology. Also, her work was the inspiration for a central character in a 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Overstory”, by Richard Powers, which impacted many readers.

Here’s a link to the NYT Magazine article, not a quick read, but well-worth time and thought: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/12/02/magazine/tree-communication-mycorrhiza.html

Dear Friends: In Nature, everything living and thriving relies on effective social structures. Diana

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