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  • Writer's pictureBridgette Macilwaine

Tree awareness & connection

The roots of trees and other plants in an ecosystem are said to be connected by an underground network, following in depth research dating back to the 1990's. This network of fungi, known as mycorrhiza, is important for the exchange of nutrients and other substances between plants. The fungi help trees and plants access water and nutrients from the soil, and in return, the plants provide the fungi with sugars produced through photosynthesis.

It appears that by staying connected, plants can provide mutual support and help shape the ecosystems they inhabit. With all their inhabitants linked up, forests look less like collections of individuals, and more like giant superorganisms.


Therefore the felling of a tree or groups of trees should be carefully considered, as large quantities are being removed either for construction of roads or a houses or because the leaves pollute the roof and block the drainage system.


Trees offer numerous benefits that should always be considered:

  • Soil stabilization - with deep roots, a tree stabilizes the soil and prevents erosion.

  • Soil structure - the roots improve the soil structure and increase the water retention capacity of the soil.

  • Climate regulation - trees reflect and absorb some solar radiation, which helps to cool the environment, with some species, a single tree can have the cooling effect of ten air conditioners.

  • Nutrient cycling - trees provide sugars to the mycelium in exchange for nutrients, which promotes soil life and supports ecosystem health.

  • CO2 absorption - they contribute to C02 absoption from the atmosphere and store carbon in their trunks, leaves, roots and the soil.

  • Ecosystem support - by staying connected below ground, trees can provide mutual support and help shape the ecosystems they inhabit.

  • Soil fertility - leaves that fall to the ground decompose and serve as food for the soil, this promotes soil fertility and supports the growth of other plants.

  • Air purification - trees absorb dust and pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide, which significantly improves air quality.

  • Habitat - Trees provide habitat and food for a variety of animals, birds, insects and rodents, thus promoting biodiversity.

  • Sound and visual protection - trees are brilliant as natural sound and visual barriers, which is particularly beneficial in urban areas.

  • Shade and protection - trees provide shade which cools the local microclimate and contributes to reducing the heat island effect, they also offer refuge for wildlife

  • Health benefits - spending time near trees and green spaces reduces stress, improves mental health and promotes physical activity.


 

Thanks for reading, any questions, we would love to hear from you!


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