UKTC Archive

Re: Rhizomorphs do not show intelligence..........

Subject: Re: Rhizomorphs do not show intelligence..........
From: Wayne Tyson
Date: Nov 20 2020 00:50:02
Rupert, et al,

How do these organisms compete? Or does it just happen, a la Chaos Theory?

Wayne

On Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 3:25 PM Rupert Baker <rupert_baker@xxxxxxxx.co.uk>
wrote:

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
creation!

Atb
Rupert


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info On Behalf Of Jon Heuch
Sent: 19 November 2020 16:38
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
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 do..no 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)



Jon






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The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
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