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Fascinating info on plant activity
Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:21

I've been waffling on about wild flowers lately on account of my fascination with their intriguing 'mechanisms' and this morning I watched a very recent 'Nature' documentary about how plants communicate, nurture and attack or defend against insects and other plants.

One species goes so far as to change its flower shape to prevent its usual pollinator from feeding on its nectar since the moth that pollinates also lays a lot of eggs that become hungry caterpillars. Then it also changes its scent to attract predators of said moth and not content with that it sprouts little buds the caterpillars can't resist which alters their chemistry to make them irresistible to insect predators that eat them.

Douglas firs nurture their seedlings by sharing their nutrients with them by changing the soil to make mushrooms grow thickly whose root filaments provide the tree with nutrients in exchange for the carbon they cannot provide for themselves...and a lot more similar examples of plant activity besides.

The researchers decried the scientists that deride their hypothesis that these plants are exhibiting behaviour which seems to suggest they have a brain and since they don't their assumptions are based on a hypothetical nervous system network of some kind which is detectable by minute voltage changes in the roots which are in fact the largest part of almost every plant.

One fascinating test to show that the firs were sharing nutrients was shown by injecting them with radio active carbon 14 and only one day later a geiger counter detected it in the seedlings and the surrounding root network proving that the plants were indeed 'feeding' their young which is the only way the radio active substance could have shown up in them.

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