symbiotic fungi

The Hidden Life of trees: What they Feel, How they Communicate

While I have long loved forests in all their forms, I had never understood them as deep a way until this book enriched me, giving me as close to an inside perspective on what life as a tree might be like as I’m likely to get. Written by a forester with over 30 years experience managing a communal forest in Germany, the first thing it taught me to do was to slow down my perspective on time, and perceive what life lived at a very different rhythm and in vastly varying constraints must be like. Unlike the events of deep geological time, trees still change on a human scale while remaining able to live for several millennia. The tree your grandfather planted remains but a youngster.

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While some may think lichens are detrimental to plant health, they are actually an indicator of a healthy environment and serve important ecological roles. Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae or cyanobacteria, and are capable of photosynthesis. Some lichens also have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen which is good for other organisms and contributes to the nitrogen cycle. Pictured are a variety of lichens including Usnea sp. and Teloschistes flavicans growing on the plant Calyptranthes sp.

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