CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Nearly three decades ago, huge wildfires burned about a third of Yellowstone National Park. The park has seen wildfires every year since, but the forests of new trees that grew in the scars of those 1988 fires have helped curb their size and intensity — until now.
Ecologist Suzanne Simard has shown how trees use a network of soil fungi to communicate their needs and aid neighboring plants. Now she’s warning that threats like clear-cutting and climate change could disrupt these critical networks.