A tree stump that should be dead is still alive; here’s why

Within a shrouded New Zealand forest, a tree stump keeps itself alive by holding onto the roots of its neighboring trees, exchanging water and resources through the grafted root system. New research, publishing July 25 in iScience, details how surrounding trees keep tree stumps alive, possibly in exchange for access to larger root systems. The findings suggest a shift from the perception of trees as individuals towards understanding forest ecosystems as ‘superorganisms.’

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