The Hidden Life of Trees
Thursday the 8th March 2018 fromat the White Rock Hotel
Trees have been around for about 385 million years so it is not surprising that they have developed sophisticated ways of interacting with their environment that we are only just beginning to appreciate. They have to collaboration for the survival of the individual tree, the genus of trees and the collective forest – sounds familiar!??!
Peter Wohlleben’s book “The Hidden Life of Trees” is a very accessible description that explains some of the complex interactions that trees have developed.
Ø They communicate through the fungi that make up the forest floor
Ø they protect themselves against predators by apparently putting out airborne volatile chemicals that alert other trees to produce toxins against those predator
Ø roots seem to communicate distress to neighbours and grow in such a way that they can optimise their group response e.g. to drought, etc.
The sort of issues that we will be discussing are:
· The importance of trees to our life - as part of the ecosystem that produces the Oxygen that we breath and maintains the temperature of the planet on which we live.
o Global warming and the South American forests
o At a more local level: the balance between the needs of new roads and parts of the green belt
· What about the psychological impact of becoming increasingly remote from our natural environment?
· Is there a moral imperative that requires that we treat all living things with respect (lest they come back and kill us?)
· Is there a way in which we can use this better understanding of the complex systems that enable trees to flourish?
Please bring along any of your ideas.