Making It Happen

The Woodwide Web

The largest organism on earth is the honey fungus—almost three miles across, with its home in Oregon’s Blue Mountains.1 It’s a killer, a parasite colonizing and culling trees and woody plants. Above ground, all we see is dead trees and mushrooms. Down in the underworld, fungi connect as a vast, entwined network of mycelium, tiny fungal threads that wrap around tree roots to create a “mycorrhizal network” that connects plants in a vast ecosystem. In healthy forests, trees and fungi operate a mutually beneficial barter system, with fungi fueled by the sugar trees photosynthesize from sunlight. In exchange, fungi help trees suck up water and share nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

Get The Live Enterprise: Create a Continuously Evolving and Learning Organization now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.