Scientists dectect underground electrical signals between plants through fungi. A recent multi-disciplinary has found that electrical signals are sent from one tomato plant to another. Researchers suggest that plants could communicate across species through fungi. The researchers used computer models to expand their experiment. Plants generate electric signals that propagate through their parts. When the roots of tomatoes are experimentally isolated from each with an air gap. The electrical signals won't go through this gap.
However, when the plants are living in common soil they can communicate by sending electrical signals to each other. This is done through the Mycorrhizal network in the soil. Mycorrhizal fungi are found in soil and play the role of a circuit. Researchers used physical experiments and mathematical modeling to analyze the transmission of electrical signals between tomato plants. One of the researchers previously studied electrical signal propagtion within a plant and also between plants through a network of Mycorrhizal fungi.
For the new study, the team designed an electrical circuit and corresponding mathmatical model that outlines the process of plant communication. This modeling would allow researchers to simulate the communication processes on a computer instead of conducting costly and lengthy experiments. Researchers said that it is possible for signals to propagate through the root network and spread in the common ground or soil from a tomato polant to an oak for example.
The nature of the message being sent is still a mystery. The possibility of knowing what kind of message are transmitted was beyond the scope of the experiment. Another important aspect that could be tackled is studying the plants' communications via electric waves through the air.
The majority of vascular plants have a relationship with a fungus in their roots. This relationship allows them to receive nutrients from the soil. It is so important that most plant species would not be able to survive without it.