The secret life of trees: Is nature less selfish than we think?

A canopy of trees in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Story highlights

  • Trees share resources through an underground network of fungi
  • Excess carbon from older trees helps seedlings survive

(CNN)Nature might not be all about a ruthless "survival of the fittest". Research suggests that trees don't just compete for survival, but also cooperate and share resources using underground fungi networks.

"A forest has an amazing ability to communicate and behave like a single organism -- an ecosystem," Suzanne Simard, an ecologist at the University of British Columbia, told CNN.