Episode: From Tree to Shining Tree


Radiolab Logo
Subscribe
From Tree to Shining Tree

A forest can feel like a place of great stillness and quiet. But if you dig a little deeper, there’s a hidden world beneath your feet as busy and complicated as a city at rush hour.

In this story, a dog introduces us to a strange creature that burrows beneath forests, building an underground network where deals are made and lives are saved (and lost) in a complex web of friendships, rivalries, and business relations. It’s a network that scientists are only just beginning to untangle and map, and it’s not only turning our understanding of forests upside down, it’s leading some researchers to rethink what it means to be intelligent. 

Produced by Annie McEwen and Brenna Farrell. Special Thanks to Latif Nasser, Stephanie Tam, Teresa Ryan, Marc Guttman, and Professor Nicholas P. Money at Miami University. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified naturalist David Attenborough as his late brother, actor Richard Attenborough. In addition, it dated the earliest scientific studies of fungi to the late 19th century, whereas naturalists have studied fungi since the 17th century. Lastly, we mistakenly stated that the oxygen that a plant respires comes from CO2, when in reality it comes from water. The audio has been adjusted to correct these facts.

Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.   



Radiolab
Users who viewed this episode also viewed...

Radiolab > Playing God

When people are dying and you can only save some, how do you choose? Maybe you save the youngest. Or the sickest. Maybe you even just put all the names in a hat and pick at random. Would your answer change if a sick person was standing right in front of you? In this episode, we follow New York Times reporter Sheri Fink as she searches for the answer...

Radiolab > The Buried Bodies Case

In 1973, a massive manhunt in New York's Adirondack Mountains ended when police captured a man named Robert Garrow.  And that’s when this story really gets started.   This episode we consider a string of barbaric crimes by a hated man, and the attorney who, when called to defend him, also wound up defending a core principle of our legal system...

Radiolab > David and the Wire

David Weinberg was stuck. He had been kicked out of college, was cleaning toilets by day, delivering pizzas by night and spending his weekends in jail. Then one night he heard a story on the radio and got it in his head that maybe he too could make a great radio story. He’d cast himself as the main character in a great documentary and he’d travel and live and steer his way out of his rut...
Comments (0)

Login or Sign up to leave a comment.

Log in
Sign up

Be the first to comment.