[時事英文] Trees can talk

今天是地球日,讓我們了解一下我們的星球吧。太神奇了,我從來不知道樹有可以跟彼此溝通的網路,而且竟然是透過真菌!最神奇的是,樹還能透過這個系統幫助彼此,甚至排擠不受歡迎的植物。
在閱讀的同時也享受一下森林的照片,來深呼吸!

Forest Sounds:https://youtu.be/d0tU18Ybcvk?t=280

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《BBC報導》:

It’s an information superhighway that speeds up interactions between a large, diverse population of individuals. It allows individuals who may be widely separated to communicate and help each other out. But it also allows them to commit new forms of crime.

1. the information superhighway 資訊高速公路
2. speed up(使)加速;提高(……的)速度
3. diverse 多種多樣的
4. help each other out 互相幫助
5. commit a crime 犯罪

這是一條資訊高速公路,可使龐大且多元的族群互動加速。這讓相距甚遠的個體得以交流並相互協助。但這也使它們犯下新的罪行。

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No, we’re not talking about the internet, we’re talking about fungi. While mushrooms might be the most familiar part of a fungus, most of their bodies are made up of a mass of thin threads, known as a mycelium. We now know that these threads act as a kind of underground internet, linking the roots of different plants. That tree in your garden is probably hooked up to a bush several metres away, thanks to mycelia.

6. fungus 真菌*
7. mycelium 菌絲體
8. A be made up of B A是由B組成的**
9. act as 充當;起⋯⋯作用
10. be hooked up to 連接
11. thanks to sb/sth 幸虧;由於

不,我們不是在說網際網路,我們說的是真菌。儘管蘑菇可能是真菌中最為人熟知的部分,但它們的主體大部分是由許多被稱為菌絲體的細絲所組成。如今,我們知道這些細絲就像地下網路,聯繫著不同植物的根。得益於菌絲體,你花園中的那棵樹可能已與幾公尺外的灌木叢相連了。

*「fungus」為單數名詞,其複數形在英式英文中作「fungi」,在美式英文中則為「funguses」。詳參《劍橋詞典》:https://bit.ly/3cRxoTt

**在「A be made up of B」中,B通常為複數,表示A是由許多B所組成,如「This group is made up of 40 girls.」。而「A be made of B」則為「A是由B製成的」,意即物理變化,在製作過程中原料的本質不變,可以從成品A中辨認出原料B,例如:「木椅」顯然是由「木頭」製成的——「This chair is made of wood.」。

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The more we learn about these underground networks, the more our ideas about plants have to change. They aren’t just sitting there quietly growing. By linking to the fungal network they can help out their neighbours by sharing nutrients and information – or sabotage unwelcome plants by spreading toxic chemicals through the network. This “wood wide web", it turns out, even has its own version of cybercrime.

12. the more…the more… 愈⋯⋯愈⋯⋯
13. nutrient 養分
14. sabotage 蓄意破壞
15. toxic chemical 毒性化學物質
16. it turns out 原來;結果表明
17. cybercrime 網路犯罪
18. wood wide web 森林資訊網*

我們愈瞭解這些地下網路,便愈需改變對植物的想法。它們並不只是靜靜地坐在那裡長大。透過真菌網路的連接,它們可藉由共享營養與資訊來幫助它們的鄰居——或者利用此一網路來散播毒性化學物質以破壞不受歡迎的植物。原來這種「森林資訊網」甚至有它們自己的網路犯罪版本。

*由於網址總以「World Wide Web」(全球資訊網)的縮寫「www」開頭,作者遂以「wood wide web」為諧音,來形容植物間的溝通網路。

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It has taken decades to piece together what the fungal internet can do. Back in 1997, Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver found one of the first pieces of evidence. She showed that Douglas fir and paper birch trees can transfer carbon between them via mycelia. Others have since shown that plants can exchange nitrogen and phosphorus as well, by the same route. Simard now believes large trees help out small, younger ones using the fungal internet. Without this help, she thinks many seedlings wouldn’t survive.

19. piece together 拼湊
20. Douglas Fir 黃杉(道格拉斯冷杉)
21. Paper Birch 美洲樺(紙皮樺)
22. nitrogen 氮
23. phosphorus 磷
24. by the same route 藉由相同的途徑
25. seedling 幼苗;苗木

拼湊真菌網路的作用已花費數十年。1997年,溫哥華英屬哥倫比亞大學的蘇珊・西馬德發現了首要證據的其中之一。她證明黃杉與紙皮樺可藉由彼此間的菌絲體轉移碳。此後,其他人證明了植物亦可以相同途徑交換氮和磷。西馬德現在認為,大樹可以真菌網路幫助年紀較輕的小樹木。她認為,沒有這種幫助,許多幼苗或將無法生存。

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Another report suggests that tomato plants can ‘eavesdrop’ on defense responses and increase their disease resistance against potential pathogen. So not only do the mycorrhizae allow plants to share food, they help them defend themselves. It’s not just tomatoes that do this. Broad beans also use fungal networks to pick up on impending threats – in this case, hungry aphids. It was found that broad bean seedlings that were not themselves under attack by aphids, but were connected to those that were via fungal mycelia, activated their anti-aphid chemical defenses. Those without mycelia did not.

26. eavesdrop on 竊聽
27. defense response 防禦機制
28. disease resistance 抗病性;抗病力
29. pathogen 病原體
30. mycorrhizae 菌根(複數);mycorrhiza 菌根(單數)
31. broad beans 蠶豆
32. pick up on 注意到(他人未注意到的事物)
33. an impending threat 迫近的威脅
34. aphid 蚜蟲
35. under attack 遭受攻擊
36. chemical defense 化學防禦

另一份報告顯示,番茄植物可以「竊聽」防禦機制,並增強它們對潛在病原體的抗病力。因此,菌根不僅可使植物共享食物,還可幫助它們保護自己。不是只有番茄能做到這點。蠶豆也會利用真菌網路來探知即將來臨的威脅——在此一情況下,是飢餓的蚜蟲。蠶豆幼苗本身並不會受蚜蟲攻擊,但藉由真菌的菌絲體與受到襲擊的蠶豆相連接,則會啟動其抗蚜蟲的化學防禦。那些沒有菌絲體的植物並無此一機制。

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But just like the human internet, the fungal internet has a dark side. Our internet undermines privacy and facilitates serious crime – and frequently, allows computer viruses to spread. In the same way, plants’ fungal connections mean they are never truly alone, and that malevolent neighbours can harm them. For one thing, some plants steal from each other using the internet. Some of these plants, such as the phantom orchid, “steal” the carbon they need from nearby trees, via the mycelia of fungi that both are connected to.

37. have a dark side 有黑暗的一面
38. undermine 損害
39. facilitate 促使
40. in the same way 同樣地
41. never truly alone 從未真正獨自一人
42. malevolent 有惡意的;歹毒的
43. for one thing 首先;一方面
44. steal from 偷竊
45. the phantom orchid 雪蘭(幻影蘭花)

但就像人類的網路,真菌的網路也有黑暗的一面。我們的網際網路破壞了隱私並助長了嚴重的犯罪——使電腦病毒經常得以傳播。同樣地,植物間的真菌連結意味著它們並非形單影隻,因此歹毒的鄰居便可傷害它們。一方面,一些植物透過網路相互偷竊。其中如雪蘭,藉由連接彼此的真菌菌絲體從鄰近樹木「竊取」自身所需的碳。

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Overall, these fungal networks make communication between plants, including those of different species, faster, and more effective. We don’t think about it because we can usually only see what is above ground. But most of the plants you can see are connected below ground, not directly through their roots but via their mycelial connections.

46. overall 總體而言
47. fungal networks 真菌網

總體而言,這些真菌的網路使植物(包括那些不同種類的植物)之間的通訊更快、更有效率。我們沒想過,因為通常我們只能看見地面上的東西。但多數你可見的植物並非逕由根部而是透過菌絲體的聯繫在地底下相互連接。

《BBC報導》: https://bbc.in/2zCsLOR

圖片出處:之前在阿里山拍的 🙂

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我們的星球是不是超棒的!下次可以試著跟樹木說話。

Video:https://youtu.be/yWOqeyPIVRo

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CLIL(Content and Language Integrated Learning)是將學科內容和外語學習相結合,用外語教授科學、地理、歷史、藝術等內容,從而促進語言和學科知識的雙重學習:http://bit.ly/2K5l3PM

CLIL英文詞彙——Math:https://bit.ly/2YdERbc

Earth Day 2019:https://bit.ly/2ShSjY4

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