This is an excerpt from Peter’s book, “The Hidden Life of Trees”. His observations come from tree communities but apply to human as well.

“But isn’t that how evolution works? you ask. The survival of the fittest? Trees would just shake their heads -or rather their crowns. Their well being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the other lose as well. When that happens, the forest is no longer a single closed unit. Hot sun and swirling winds can now penetrate to the forest floor and disrupt the moist, cool climate. Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives. When this happens, they depend on their weaker neighbors for support. If there are no longer there, then all it takes is what would once have been a harmless insect attack to seal the fate even of giants.“

Real Social Security — by Peter Wohlleben