How do plants communicate and coordinate their behaviour, and what is the evidence for this phenomenon?

171 views

How do plants communicate and coordinate their behaviour, and what is the evidence for this phenomenon?

In: 1

2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It really depends on the plants you’re talking about what what behavior you’re talking about, but generally the answer is that they release hormone signals into the air, water, soil, or pass them directly through connected or very close root systems.

As one form of evidence, a buddy of mine in college did a lot of his lab work on tomato plants. When a tomato is attacked – say, by a hornworm caterpillar, the cells in that area sense the attack from the vibrations of the chewing and the damage from the bites, and releases a chemical that signals the *entire* plant to rapidly produce certain toxins to fight off not just the caterpillar on that leaf, but any caterpillars that might soon attack the rest of the plant.

Nearby tomato plants that were not attacked will *also* begin producing that toxin as if they had been attacked, despite not being exposed to the stimulus of a caterpillar. The tomato plant releases that warning signal into the air to tell other plants to defend themselves.

Similarly, it’s widely said that the distinct smell of cut grass is also a chemical signal released by the grass that instructs the plants to retract their resources from the blades down into the roots, preserving as much as they can against what appears to be a predator eating the grass.

Many plants reproduce by sending out underground runners – roots that travel some distance under the ground and then spring up as a new apparent individual, but still connected to the original plant. These plants can send messages through their connected roots.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It really depends on the plants you’re talking about what what behavior you’re talking about, but generally the answer is that they release hormone signals into the air, water, soil, or pass them directly through connected or very close root systems.

As one form of evidence, a buddy of mine in college did a lot of his lab work on tomato plants. When a tomato is attacked – say, by a hornworm caterpillar, the cells in that area sense the attack from the vibrations of the chewing and the damage from the bites, and releases a chemical that signals the *entire* plant to rapidly produce certain toxins to fight off not just the caterpillar on that leaf, but any caterpillars that might soon attack the rest of the plant.

Nearby tomato plants that were not attacked will *also* begin producing that toxin as if they had been attacked, despite not being exposed to the stimulus of a caterpillar. The tomato plant releases that warning signal into the air to tell other plants to defend themselves.

Similarly, it’s widely said that the distinct smell of cut grass is also a chemical signal released by the grass that instructs the plants to retract their resources from the blades down into the roots, preserving as much as they can against what appears to be a predator eating the grass.

Many plants reproduce by sending out underground runners – roots that travel some distance under the ground and then spring up as a new apparent individual, but still connected to the original plant. These plants can send messages through their connected roots.