The Se­cret Net­work of Na­ture

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild At Home - BY PE­TER WOHLLEBEN, £14.99, BODLEY HEAD Liz Kalaugher Sci­ence writer

Con­ser­va­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions are often crit­i­cised for us­ing charis­matic an­i­mals to en­gage pub­lic in­ter­est. Pe­ter Wohlleben can never be ac­cused of this – here, the sub­jects of his mus­ings in­clude bac­te­ria, fungi and bark bee­tles. De­spite such ap­par­ently un­promis­ing top­ics, this is a fas­ci­nat­ing read, in­tro­duc­ing trees that ‘taste’ deer saliva, flir­ta­tious moths, seedling-“suck­ling” plants and raven-wolf friend­ships. Wohlleben says na­ture’s net­works are so com­plex, we can’t ever know how our ac­tions will change them. “We need to leave things alone – on as large a scale as pos­si­ble.”

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