Prepare to have your mind blown...................

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 15:00:42 03/13/17

unless you are already clued in to this amazing research.

The other night, when the fascinating topic of tree to tree communication was being discussed on the Brooks Falls Disqus forum, I went looking for some research, but was not able to find what I hoped. I was remembering participating in an all-day seasonal naturalist training session in Rocky Mountain National Park, conducted by Dr. John Emerick, who wrote an incredibly inclusive natural history of that park, titled "Grassland to Glacier". This was around 1984 or 1985 if I'm not mistaken. After we spent the morning going up Trail Ridge Road, and concentrating on alpine tundra subalpine forest ecology, we descended to Hidden Valley, where Dr. Emerick spent an hour or two on aspen ecology. He told us about research that showed the two different ways aspen procreate, and how entire groves can be descended from one particular tree. He also spoke of emerging research that showed that trees under attack by disease or parasites communicate with each other, so some trees have advanced warning, and can start protecting themselves. I finally found something very germane to the topic. This research is synthesized in an 18 minute TED talk that is priceless IMHO. A Canadian scientist tells the story of how her dog falling into the pit of their outhouse sparked the curiosity that led to her academic, and later, research focus. You will never look at the forest where you live or where you vacation the same way again. Her research spans 30 years, and the talk was given last June. She had to be just ramping up as Dr. Emerick was telling us how the subject needed to be researched.

This research has so many implications for how we manage forests.

Any personal insights on the topic are welcome.


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