The BBC published a very interesting study in 2014 comparing an underground fungal mesh network with the Internet. Calling it the “Wood Wide Web”, it allows “connected”; plants to exchange information, send support to distressed plants and commit crime when competing for essentials.
An excerpt reads:
As a result of this growing body of evidence, many biologists have started using the term “wood wide web” to describe the communications services that fungi provide to plants and other organisms.
“These fungal networks make communication between plants, including those of different species, faster, and more effective”, says Morris. “We don’t think about it because we can usually only see what is above ground. But most of the plants you can see are connected below ground, not directly through their roots but via their mycelial connections.”
The fungal internet exemplifies one of the great lessons of ecology: seemingly separate organisms are often connected, and may depend on each other. “Ecologists have known for some time that organisms are more interconnected and interdependent”, says Boddy. The wood wide web seems to be a crucial part of how these connections form.
Read more here.