“What both teams discovered was nothing less than a vast underground netwook … in which fungi connect trees of different species by passing chemical and electrical signals among the trees’roots. It was an arboreal Internet—christened the ‘wood wide web.’. Trees could actually communicate by exchanging carbon through their root. The exchange offered mutual support. Carbon is the food of trees, created by photosynthesis, using the leaves as solar panels. Sometimes one tree would act as mother to its neighbors, giving them more carbon than it received in return. Later the debt would be repaid as the roles were reversed.

As the subtleties of this underground network were explored, it became clear to scientists that trees not only benefited by mutual exchange of food. They  exchanged vital information, warning their neighbors (and children) of threats and advising them of opportunities to seize”.

Thomas Pakenham. “What the Trees Say”. New York Review of Books (December 8, 2016), p. 46. Reviewing Peter Wohlleben’s book The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World.

Collaborative models not confined to humans :

Trees exchange vital information and help one another as people would/did/do?

Trees invite us to reflect on the loss, perhaps irreversible, of our (human) collaborative model

 Like the robots which (who??) invite us to re-consider our humanity, other non-human elements around us might save us from ourselves…