An earlier post ( Oct 24, 2016: How trees talk to each other) highlighted research by a B.C. scientist showing how trees communicate via mycorrhizal (fungal) networks in the soil, even allowing older trees to nurture younger, shaded trees.
A recent article in the Globe and Mail, Scientists identify the real king of the forest: fungus (Jan 12, 2017), describes research by other B.C. scientists who found that the types of mycorrhiza fungi that trees associate with can influence whether the trees tend to grow in pure stands or mixtures. This was “a large-scale study involving 55 species and 550 populations of North American trees” (including sites in Nova Scotia) published in the prestigious journal Science .
It seems we are still only scratching the surface when it comes to understanding what goes on in the soil.