Listen to the Radiolab Podcast, From Tree to Shining Tree (Links to an external site.)and answer the following questions.
1. Professor Suzanne Simard who is forestry professor at the University of British Columbia describes how she noticed that the forest seemed healthier when different species of trees were present. This observation inspired her to conduct an experiment where she covered douglas fir, birch, and cedar trees with bags and exposed to them radioactive gas. Explain the major conclusions from her experiment.
2. Describe the mutualistic benefit fungi and plants receive from their association with one another. How do some trees end up with springtail (insect) or salmon (fish) nitrogen in their tissues?
3. What surprising thing happens when one tree in the forest becomes injured or is dying? Why do you think this has evolved?
4. In your opinion, why do you think people should care about the mutualism between fungi and plants?