Plants talk. Using fungus-phones.
BBC opens the weird world of vegetable communication, revealing the fungal networks plants use to signal one another:
But below ground, most land plants are connected by fungi called mycorrhizae.
The new study, published in Ecology Letters, is the first to demonstrate these fungi also aid in communication.
Researchers from the University of Aberdeen, the James Hutton Institute and Rothamsted Research, all in the UK, devised a clever experiment to isolate the effects of these thread-like networks of mycorrhizae.
The team concerned themselves with aphids, tiny insects that feed on and damage plants.
As the researchers allowed single plants in the sets to be infested with aphids, they found that if the infested plant was connected to another by the mycorrhizae, the un-infested plant began to mount its chemical defence.