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The occurrence of natural root grafts, the functional union of roots of the same or different trees1–3, is common and shared across tree species2. However, their significance for forest ecology remains little understood. While early research suggested negative effects of root grafting (i.e. increases the risk of pathogen transmission)4,5, recent evidence supports the hypothesis that it is an adaptive strategy that reduces stress6–8 by facilitating resource exchange9,10. Here by analysingdoi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-112267/v1 fatcat:ilsjd75ahvg5pfmu27wfyy5q7a