Kauri tree discovery stuns science world
New Zealand researchers have discovered Kauri trees can have a shared root system. AUT’s Dr Martin Bader and Associate Professor Sebastian Leuzinger were hiking in the bush and stumbled on a Kauri stump that was being kept alive by being connected to neighbouring trees trough it’s root system. This means we may have to consider a forest not as a collection of individual trees, but as a ‘super-organism“. This has implications for both the spread and control of Kauri die back disease. The disease caused by the organism Phytophthora agathidicida could theoretically spread through the roots from tree to tree. Also any control treatments such as injecting with phosphate could spread through a tree community reducing the cost of remedy treatments. Their paper is published in cell.com/iscience
This discovery reinforces what UBC Professor Suzanne Simard explains here –Trees communicate with each other!