Environment

How fig trees can save the planet

Tue 21 Nov / Quarterhouse

Dr Mike Shanahan explains why fig trees are so important to ecology, society and the future of life on earth. These trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilisation. This is no coincidence – fig trees are special. They evolved when dinosaurs roamed and have shaped our world ever since. And all because 80 million years ago these trees cut a curious deal with some tiny wasps. As Mike explains, thanks to this deal, fig trees could help restore lost rainforests, conserve wildlife and tackle climate change. In a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, their story offers hope.

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