The Fungal Internet

In a beautiful example of biomimicry, the fungus known as mycelium live underneath and around trees and plants; they receive sugars from the surrounding foliage and in turn help gather water and minerals for the plants.

A summary of recent research suggests that this internet of fungus functions in similar ways to our world wide web and faces similar challenges. The mycorrizhal network, as it’s called, can be used to signal danger and to defend against predators, and to speed up communication. Challenges include plants that suck up chlorophyll from the network, or insert toxins to limit the growth of plants competing for light and water.

Thanks to fellow biomimic Safi Marroun for this one.

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