Usually it has come down to access to capital and this has distorted much of our economy for decades.
“[We showed] that Douglas-fir and paper birch were intimately interconnected in a diverse mycorrhizal fungal network. Even more, we reported that photosynthetic carbon moved back-and-forth between the two tree species through this network, but with net transfer from birch to fir. The net gain in carbon by fir was enough for the trees to make seeds and reproduce. We also found that the more shade birch cast on its fir neighbors, the more carbon it donated…Eventually, we discovered that the direction of net carbon transfer changed over the growing season, with Douglas-fir sending some of its carbon back to birch in the spring and fall when birch was leafless…We found that old trees rapidly transmitted carbon, nitrogen and water to the seedlings, increasing their nutrition, survival and growth. In drier climates where the forests experienced drought stress, old trees transmitted more water to connected seedlings than did trees in wetter forests where they were replete. Thus, this intricate below ground telecommunications system appeared essential for the recovery and resilience of the forest under stress…Mycorrhizal networks have also served like telegraphs for transmission of biochemical signals. We have recently discovered that injury to one tree resulted in the transmission of defense signals through the connecting mycorrhizal mycelium to neighboring trees, even though they were a different species. These neighbors responded with increased defense-gene expression and defense-enzyme activity, resulting in increased pest resistance.”