A PHOTO A DAY HELPS …… Day 174, Monday

The ROOTS of trees are usually hidden underground. Besides the obvious function of extracting water and nutrients from the soil, they are also very important for keeping the tree stable and secure. Some roots extend above ground to achieve this while other roots can drop down for 50m or more to reach water.


Did you know? There is increasing evidence that trees communicate with each other underground through their roots and fungal threads called mycorrhizal networks. The fine, hair-like root tips of trees join together with microscopic fungal filaments to form the basic links of the network, which appears to operate as a symbiotic relationship between trees and fungi. Trees can send distress signals about drought and disease, for example, or insect attacks, and other trees alter their behavior when they receive these messages. I find this extraordinary.

How do Mangroves survive growing in the sea? Most plants die if swamped with salt water. Mangroves filter out as much as 90% of the salt as it enters their roots! Some species excrete salt through glands in their leaves while others concentrate salt in older leaves or bark. When the leaves drop or the bark sheds, the stored salt goes with them. Like desert plants, mangroves store fresh water in thick succulent leaves with a waxy coating which minimizes evaporation.

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