We are only beginning to understand that humanity’s wellbeing is absolutely dependent on the wellbeing of other life forms and biocenoses. The self-organising communication networks of the biosphere ensure the stability of satisfactory living conditions, on the levels of nutrient cycles, soil, atmospheric and climatic phenomena. Ecosystems are kept verdant by the syngenetic and intertwined relationships between microbes, algae, mushrooms, plants, insects and all other life forms.

Most of these relationships we cannot see nor measure. Nevertheless, these underground networks are influencing us directly. All terrestrial wellbeing is dependent on the life processes that occur within the soil. Everything that dies is fermented and turned into the juice of new life, mushroom mycelia grow together with plant roots, forming highly complex nutrient and information exchange channels, and difficult-to-measure organic signalling systems keep the processes in balance.

This year’s Biotoopia tries to peek into the depths of the underground networks, in order to better understand and protect them, and to recognise that humans, too, are connected to the living environment and each other through many entwined underground networks.

Learn more