You can tell a lot about a tree from the company it keeps. James Nardi guides you through the innermost unseen world that trees share with a wondrous array of creatures. With their elaborate immune responses, trees recruit a host of allies as predators and parasites to defend against uninvited advances from organisms that chew on leaves, drain sap, and bore into wood. Microbial life thrives in the hidden spaces of leaf scales, twigs, and bark while birds, mammals, and insects benefit from the more visible resources trees provide. In return, animals help with pollination, seed dispersal, and recycling of nutrients. The Hidden Company That Trees Keep blends marvellous storytelling with beautiful illustrations and the latest science to reveal how the diverse lives of these companions are intertwined with those of their trees.
James B. Nardi is a research scientist in the School of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His books include Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners, Discoveries in the Garden, and Close Encounters with Insects and Spiders.
"[A] wonderful book [...] [This] timely and beautifully written work has the potential of enlightening potential learners on all levels."
– Steve Dixon, Library Journal, starred review
"In a word, it is superb. James Nardi has done a magnificent job."
– David Gascoigne, Travels with Birds
"[A] magnificently-illustrated portal to the secret lives of microbes, fungi, and mosses, squirrels, insects, and lizards alike."
– Mike Lunsford, Tribune-Star