THE PRO­FES­SOR AMONG THE TREES

Countryfile Magazine - - Whispering Woods -

Suzanne Si­mard, pro­fes­sor of for­est ecology at the Uni­ver­sity of British Columbia, has worked with Wohlleben and pro­vided a great deal of his sci­en­tific jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. She spe­cialises in ex­am­in­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween plant and soil com­mu­ni­ties (par­tic­u­larly my­c­or­rhizal fungi) and how these reg­u­late en­ergy and in­for­ma­tion flow in ecosys­tems. Us­ing ra­dioac­tive car­bon, she demon­strated that many trees, such as birch and Dou­glas fir, share car­bon with one an­other. She ar­gued that forests are com­plex net­works, at the cen­tre of which are ‘hub’, or ‘mother’ trees. Si­mard was di­rec­tor of Ter­reWEB (Ter­res­trial Re­search on Ecosys­tem & World-Wide Ed­u­ca­tion and Broad­cast), a grad­u­ate-train­ing pro­gramme fo­cus­ing on ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion of global change re­search, and has pop­u­larised the use of ac­ces­si­ble – and an­thro­po­mor­phic – lan­guage. • Watch her TED talk at ted.com/talks/suzan­ne_ simard_how_trees_talk_­to_each_other

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