UKTC Archive

RE: Rhizomorphs do not show intelligence..........

Subject: RE: Rhizomorphs do not show intelligence..........
From: Rupert Baker
Date: Nov 19 2020 23:25:56
Hi Jon,
        I'm not sure I'm obsessed with evolution; I am  not a born-again 
neo-darwinist, certainly - I consider that there may be truth in some aspects 
of the Lamarckian 'heresy' - as the former would have it.  My point, I guess, 
is wondering what programming the rhizomorphs have; if the fungus is able to 
spread throughout the tree by latent propagules - as Boddy's work suggests 
for many species - why exert precious energy going somewhere where other 
parts of you have refreshed themselves already - if you'll forgive the 
illusion to a widely advertised dilute sugar solution modified by another 
species of fungus. Why not use the effort to spread through the surrounding 
habitat looking for other tasty carbohydrate sources as yet unexploited. 
You'd think that a few random mutations favouring offspring that were able to 
avoid negative geotropism, or recognise the difference between soils, even in 
a humus layer, and wood (I reckon there would be a difference in the solutes 
present if nothing else) would mean that there would be advantages to the 
random offspring in not recolonising somewhere they already existed in. 
Unless the fungi decaying the upper parts of the tree were different species/ 
organisms, and worth fighting for the rights to the Carb source.
I understand very clearly that evolution is not purposeful; but external 
selection pressures on random mutation lead to an analogous mode of action to 
purpose. Given how long fungi like Armillaria have been around, if they were 
wasting energy that another organism operating in the same sort of habitat 
had 'evolved' to use more efficiently, it is likely that they would have been 
competed out of existence, or at any rate to the margins. 
Which suggests that their M.O. is so effective that they can afford to waste 
resources like they were going out of fashion, and still be top dog.....

Or that a remarkably petty-minded god was having fun messing with its 


-----Original Message-----
From: On Behalf Of Jon Heuch
Sent: 19 November 2020 16:38
To: UK Tree Care <>
Subject: Re: Rhizomorphs do not show intelligence..........

"but I do wonder what is the evolutionary advantage of.."


I appreciate that arborists are trying to understand the world, which is 
good, but I do wonder why arborists are obsessed with evolution. Most of the 
things I do have no evolutionary advantage, especially when it comes to 
eating and drinking. I know I might get a hangover if I drink too 
much....yet, from time to time that's what I evolutionary advantage, 
possibly some disadvantage. 


Some want to think that trees and fungi are intelligent organisms, even 
"communicating"..the Woodland Trust have a video on line asking how trees 
communicate so that they all produce mast at the same time. I 
cringed..someone hasn't thought about the weather, I thought.


Trees and fungi do stuff that don't lead to any evolutionary 
advantage...girls just wanna have fun...(phade out Cindy Lauper)




The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and 
Stockholm Tree Pits

The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
Stockholm Tree Pits