'Squirrel feeding habits often benefit the forest. Buried nuts, if not recovered, may grow into trees and help restore the forest. Squirrels also aid tree growth by digging up, eating, and dispersing certain underground fungi, which form beneficial associations, called "mycorrhizae", with roots. The fungi absorb water and minerals from the soil and pass them on to the plant, receiving energy from the plant in return. Squirrels spread the indigestible spores of these fungi by releasing droppings in areas with young trees.'
quoted from the article 'Squirrel'
by Peter D. Weigl
within The World Book Encyclopedia
Volume 18 So-Sz