Forest ecologist Suzanne Simard’s research says trees talk to each other. Now she’s having to defend her work

By Ali Pitargue
CBC News
February 24, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

University of British Columbia forest ecologist Suzanne Simard is defending her research on how trees communicate after a citation review claims there is insufficient evidence to support her work. …Through mycorrhizal networks, Simard says, trees are able to exchange resources, sharing nutrients with younger saplings and releasing chemicals to warn each other of distress. But authors of a citation review published in Nature Ecology and Evolution says this research might not be applicable to every forest. Review co-author Justine Karst, who studies mycorrhizal ecology of forests at the University of Alberta, says she is questioning the claim that mycorrhizal networks are widespread in forests. …Karst and her co-authors’ analysis also questions the study’s claims that fungal connections benefit seedlings and trees can recognize their kin through mycorrhizal networks. Simard told CBC the article misses a major point about the research, maintaining that studying interactions between trees is crucial for protecting forests.

Read More