I was recently speaking with a customer and a co-worker regarding mycorrhizal fungi and it’s benefits. This reminded me of a documentary I saw on PBS that mentioned a field of clover that was connected via a “Wood Wide Web” of fungi threads called mycelium that stretched over 5 miles! These long thin threads of mycelium, better known as mycorrhizal fungi, act as an information superhighway between plant species to share nutrients and information. It is believed that saplings that are not getting enough light and are short on food are actually supported by donor trees who share their carbon and nitrogen with them. It’s amazing that plants can communicate with and help each other.
Equally as fascinating, is that plants can ward off unwelcome plants and predators by releasing odorous chemicals called volatile organic compounds or VOCs through the soil by way of these fungi. These fungi also trigger other types of defense-related chemicals within plants which in turn resulted in quicker immune response time to attack, also known as priming.
Do I think plants communicate with us? Sure they do. We should all talk to our plants and hope they understand us and we should to learn more how to listen to them.