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The hidden life of trees : what they feel, how they communicate : discoveries from a secret world
2016
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
NonFiction
Nature
Science
Topics
Trees
Plants
Forest ecology
Nature
Communication
Horticulture
Setting
- Europe
- International
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

After a lifetime managing and studying forests in his native Germany, Wohlleben shares his distinct perspective on trees in this heartfelt homage. He traces the life cycles of typical trees in central European forests, combining his personal observations with elements of folkloric wisdom and the latest scientific research. In a touch of whimsy, the author likens plant behavior to familiar aspects of human actions: tree species nourishing members of the younger generation by feeding them soil nutrients are tree "mothers"; individual trees that protect and communicate with one another via a rich underground network have formed "friendships"; and urban trees growing up miles from traditional forests are dubbed "street kids." Wohlleben laments the many failings of traditional forest management practices, arguing that patience and ecological balance are essential to maximizing trees' beneficial role in the global ecosystem. In this spirited exploration, he guarantees that readers will never look at these life forms in quite the same way again. VERDICT Those with some background in biology or ecology will be best positioned to glean insight here, but even general readers will gain a rich appreciation of a forest's dynamism.-Kelsy Peterson, Forest Hill Coll., Melbourne, Australia © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

This fascinating book will intrigue readers who love a walk through the woods. Wohlleben, who worked for the German forestry commission for 20 years and now manages a beech forest in Germany, has gathered research from scientists around the world examining how trees communicate and interact with one another. They do so using a variety of methods, including the secretion of scents and sound vibrations to warn neighboring plants of potential attacks by insects and hungry herbivores, drought, and other dangers. The book includes a note from forest scientist Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia, whose studies showed that entire forests can be connected by "using chemical signals sent through the fungal networks around their root tips" and led to the term "the wood-wide web." Wohlleben anthropomorphizes his subject, using such terms as friendship and parenting, which serves to make the technical information relatable, and he backs up his ideas with information from scientists. He even tackles the question of whether trees are intelligent. He hopes the day will come "when the language of trees will eventually be deciphered." Until then, Wohllenben's book offers readers a vivid glimpse into their secret world. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
The first of a three-part series investigating the wonders of nature by New York Times bestselling author Peter Wohlleben. Book two, The Inner Life of Animals, is now available as well. <br> <br> Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.<br> <br> After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.<br> <br> Includes a Note From a Forest Scientist, by Dr.Suzanne Simard <br>
Table of Contents
Foreword    Tim Flanneryp. vii
Introduction to the English Editionp. x
Introductionp. xiii
1Friendshipsp. 1
2The Language of Treesp. 6
3Social Securityp. 14
4Lovep. 19
5The Tree Lotteryp. 25
6Slowly Does Itp. 31
7Forest Etiquettep. 37
8Tree Schoolp. 43
9United We Stand, Divided We Fallp. 49
10The Mysteries of Moving Waterp. 56
11Trees Aging Gracefullyp. 60
12Mighty Oak or Mighty Wimp?p. 68
13Specialistsp. 73
14Tree or Not Tree?p. 79
15In the Realm of Darknessp. 85
16Carbon Dioxide Vacuumsp. 93
17Woody Climate Controlp. 99
18The Forest as Water Pumpp. 105
19Yours or Mine?p. 113
20Community Housing Projectsp. 125
21Mother Ships of Biodiversityp. 131
22Hibernationp. 136
23A Sense of Timep. 147
24A Question of Characterp. 151
25The Sick Treep. 155
26Let There Be Lightp. 162
27Street Kidsp. 169
28Burnoutp. 180
29Destination North!p. 186
30Tough Customersp. 195
31Turbulent Timesp. 201
32Immigrantsp. 211
33Healthy Forest Airp. 221
34Why Is the Forest Green?p. 227
35Set Freep. 233
36More Than Just a Commodityp. 241
Note from a Forest Scientist    Dr. Suzanne Simardp. 247
Acknowledgmentsp. 251
Notesp. 252
Indexp. 261
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