UKTC Archive

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

Subject: RE: Rhizomorphs do not show intelligence..........
From: Jim Quaife
Date: Nov 20 2020 08:52:58
I hope that the powers that be will excuse the advertising but with regard to 
this thread the AA is selling two books that they have commissioned, one 
being Lynne Body's treatise on the relationship between fungi and trees, and 
the other of photo-recognition of tree associated fungi.
I've treated myself for Christmas!
Jim

https://www.trees.org.uk/Book-Shop 


-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
[mailto:uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Jerry Ross
Sent: 20 November 2020 08:15
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Re: Rhizomorphs do not show intelligence..........

I suspect that the much-hyped book 'Entangled Life'will be a mycological 
'Short History of the Universe' and like that book be left unfinished on 
a thousand bookshelves. But it is worth a read. It's particularly good 
in explaining the unfathomable complexity of the interactions between 
and within fungal colonies and with soils, plants, animals; indeed with 
pretty much every other substrate on the planet. He's clear not to 
attribute 'intelligence' to fungi, but shows that the way they respond, 
communicateand make 'decisions' really does end up looking rather like a 
form of intelligence.
So it seems unlikely your rhizomorphs are merely 'wasting resources' and 
climbing up your tree by mistake or responding to just one more of God's 
impenetrable jokes.
But the take-away from the book, despite its exhaustive footnotes, 
referencesand attributions to a range of authorities, is that we really 
know extraordinarily little about them.
An interview with Sheldrake here:  https://is.gd/Q7rnLW

(BTW, are you sure your fungus is not whittling away at the marble-hard 
heartwood? Fungi break down rock, so heartwood probably wouldn't defeat 
them)

On 19/11/2020 23:25, Rupert Baker 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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To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk