Okay, the way I understand it is: The greenery of plants photosynthesize light into energy stored as sugars and lipids. Mycorrhizal fungi extract nutrients stored in soil. Roots are effectively a strategy for interfacing between plants and fungi, which allows them to share energy and nutrients between them — the structure of a symbiosis.

I'm sure it's messier than that, but I'm trying to get a general sense of the arrangement.

In a way, they form a chain of links. The plant is the link between the sun and the root. The root is the link between the plant and the fungus. The fungus is the link between the soil and the root.

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Or, as Merlin Sheldrake puts it:

"These are fungi with a dual niche: Part of their life happens within the plant, part in the soil. They are stationed at the entry point of carbon into terrestrial life cycles and stitch the atmosphere into relation with the ground."

"…stitch the atmosphere into relation with the ground." A poet, that guy.

I've been reading this book for months. The body text is only 224 pages long.

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@lrhodes Is this because you're taking extensive notes, or other reasons?

Also I've now added this book to my to-read list. Sounds fantastic 🍄

@dstn It's a book that lends itself to slow reading, in part because Sheldrake's prose and imagery are worth savoring, but also because the subject matter is so big that it bears stopping and thinking about the processes and issues involved.

So I've been unhurried about it, switching off between this and other books, giving it lots of time to breathe. But I'm enjoying it!

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