the intelligent plant

stoc zone 6 swedenDecember 25, 2013

Interesting read.

'' Plants are able to sense and optimally respond to so many environmental variables��"light, water, gravity, temperature, soil structure, nutrients, toxins, microbes, herbivores, chemical signals from other plants��"that there may exist some brainlike information-processing system to integrate the data and coördinate a plantâÂÂs behavioral response. The authors pointed out that electrical and chemical signalling systems have been identified in plants which are homologous to those found in the nervous systems of animals. They also noted that neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate have been found in plants, though their role remains unclear.''

Here is a link that might be useful: The New Yorker

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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

At a workshop I attended last winter the presenter talked of Mass Events that occur among trees. These events appear to be a form of chemical communication likely through the roots. What happens is that all the Oak Trees will decide that it's time to produce a bumper crop of acorns, and so in one year they will inundate the area with acorns. The next few years there will be sparse crops of acorns. This allows for a greater chance of acorns germinating in the Mass Event years and allows the trees to conserve energy in the "off" years. Pines do this with seed and cone production as well.

It's pretty cool to know that plants "communicate" with one another, even at a very basic "on-off" level. I wonder what the Hosta have to say to each other.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Hey, I note the article in TNY is by Michael Pullan, who wrote one of my fav titles, THE BOTANY OF DESIRE. I think it is amazing. Earlier this year I went so far as to say I felt that plants had STRATEGIES, for obtaining the life-sustaining items. And if they can, they influence their environment to give it to them.....i.e., get us to fall in love with them and worshipfully deliver at their least gesture.

Steve, that on/off thingy makes me think they're standing there playing rock/paper/scissor with other trees. Ok, this year who gets to flood the market? I will meditate on mass producing seeds one year....the awful camphor tree had a bumper crop of seeds/drupes last year, hard to get rid of them. Then this year, a very light crop. Much less need to pull seedlings, and less sweeping them off the driveway.

Plants are amazing things.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:53PM
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bernd ny zone5(5)

So watch out when you are killing the trees to make more space for hostas. Nature might retaliate.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 7:59PM
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stoc zone 6 sweden

That is really interesting about the acorns.I have also heard that plants will also communicate and share and or supply chemicals needed in exchange for something else.

So much we don't know.One of my early dance teachers told us to read ''The Secret life of Plants'' I aways meant to and never found it or got around to it. It's mentioned as the early research that they couldn't prove the 2nd time around.
Thanks for the tip on the book Mocc--I will look for it.

berndnyz5---Funny but it may be true! I just cut down 2 big scrub sapplings--hope they don't come after me.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 12:32PM
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stoc zone 6 sweden

Hey Mocc,
Just saw that it is also available as a film.Just ordered the book and the movie.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 3:39PM
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This is a very interesting subject. In the recent past I watched an episode of 'Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman' and the subject was alien intelligences. They had a segment on plant intelligence as well, comparing it to alien intelligence in the sense that it may seem so 'alien' to us, we may not even recognize it as intelligent behavior. They had some nice examples as well, similar to the behavior Steve mentioned. Very, very compelling topic that we have hardly scratched the surface of.

Don B.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 10:37PM
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