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rainbowgardener
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Re: Interesting article & new show: What do plants talk abou

I'm not going to subscribe so I can't see the article. But trees talk to each other in a myriad of complex and subtle ways, that we are only just starting to be aware of. One little example. If an oak tree comes under attack by insect larvae, it increases production of tannins and other chemicals, to repel the insects. But it also sends out chemical signals to other trees in the area that alert them of the danger, so the other trees, although not attacked yet, also increase their production of tannins and other protective substances.

https://io9.com/5792863/how-do-trees-com ... -the-lorax
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Nightowls
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Re: Interesting article & new show: What do plants talk abou

Sorry,
Lots of readers tell me they talk to their plants -- some even sing to them -- and they all claim the plants benefit from the interactions. I used to think the only benefit to plants was the carbon dioxide exhaled through speech (or song), but a couple of years ago I read a study that showed tomatoes grew better and bigger when exposed to music -- from a radio.

And now a new "Nature" documentary is exploring the "intelligence" of plants and associates them with "behavior." Many may scoff initially, but the evidence is compelling. And why shouldn't it be? Plants are living, growing, breathing life forms. I'm not contending that they form thoughts or can reason, because they obviously don't have brains or eyes or ears, but there could be something going on in there.

Experimental plant ecologist J.C. Cahill of the University of Alberta maintains that, contrary to popular belief, plants don't lead solitary and sedentary lives. We already know that many plants enjoy a symbiotic relationship with companion plants, helping one another by, say, repelling insects or increasing their bedmate's crop production. But Cahill builds a case that plants actually evesdrop on eachother, talk to their enemies, call in insect allies to fight those enemies, recognize their relatives and nurture their young.

The fascinating program, "Nature eavesdrops on what plants talk about," airing Wednesday at 8 p.m. on PBS, features Cahill and several colleagues as they document how their experiments and findings support these new discoveries in plant behavior.

Wack
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Re: Interesting article & new show: What do plants talk abou

I watched, or attempted to watch that show on Nature - What do Plants Talk About. I thought it highly stylized and boring, with even my love for plants and all I could only watch about 15 minutes. You might have often heard about people humanizing animals, giving them human characteristics and traits that don't really exist per se, that what this was to me, but with plants.

To me it was a much romanticized explanation of chemical reactions and alike.

If I'm walking along, trip and fall down and have the wind knocked out of me, I will make a noise and probably have discomfort. That discomfort and noise is a natural reaction to what happened, I'm not trying to communication to someone else that I've fallen, possible hurt myself and that I might need help. An independent observer with no preconceived notion of humans falling down, making noise and feeling pain might have a perception like those presented on the show, I'm in distress, and I’ve been injured. I need Help, but in reality what they perceive is just an interpretation of my natural physical reactions.

If I eat something and then ralph it back up, this my be preceived as a warning to others, and it very well could be, but in reality it's a natural chemical reaction to what I injested.

I wish I could remember some of the experiments more specifically, but for them to be strong and convincing representation of their ideas; they needed to have been more fully explained. The one where they scented or hormone up the inanimate object and then a true under the bell jar struck me as not a valid test. Wish I could remember the specifics better.

Not wanting to be a downer on anyone’s perception of things, how you perceive nature and enjoy nature doesn’t matter to me, as long as you enjoy it. But in this case I thought they were trying to present highly romanticized version of hard science that I didn't buy into.

If for some reason that was the point, that it was supposed to be a light hearted "what if" well then I missed the point, or obviously it was lost on me anyway. That's ok too :hehe:

Some of the photography was stunning. I should have just turned the sound off, put in a nice CD and enjoyed the show.

P.S. The above is not to say the I'm completely closed minded to the concept, it's just that this show did not do nearly enough to convince me.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Interesting article & new show: What do plants talk abou

I didn't see the show and I agree we have to be careful. If we say plants talk to each other, we mean something different than when we say humans talk to each other. Plants are not sapient, do not have (that we can tell :) ) self-awareness, intentionality. They communicate to the extent that information about the environment is shared from one to another. They don't intend to communicate, it is just something that happens.

However, that sharing of information allows a group of plants, a forest, and perhaps the earth itself, to function as a community, and even to some extent as one super-organism. The community supports, feeds, protects, nurtures its members, so that they have better survival rate in the community than as individuals. The oak trees in my example are less likely to be killed by borers or whatever, than if the initial oak were not able to exude the signal chemicals or the nearby ones were not able to receive and react to them or if they were all scattered individuals too far apart to communicate in that way.

That I believe is science, not anthropomorphizing.
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