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plant communications

Asked seriously: What if plants are smarter than we think?

The question is not whether plants are “as smart as SMART animals” (no) but whether many plants can use information to the same degree as many animals can (yes). It would make more sense to see that the reason they can is that nature is full of intelligence (not personal intelligences). And that the intelligence clearly did not get there by Darwinian means, as the above example illustrates. Read More ›

Plants use flashes of fluorescent light to warn leaves against insects

From ScienceDaily: In one video, you can see a hungry caterpillar, first working around a leaf’s edges, approaching the base of the leaf and, with one last bite, severing it from the rest of the plant. Within seconds, a blaze of fluorescent light washes over the other leaves, a signal that they should prepare for future attacks by the caterpillar or its kin. That fluorescent light tracks calcium as it zips across the plant’s tissues, providing an electrical and chemical signal of a threat. In more than a dozen videos like this, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Botany Simon Gilroy and his lab reveal how glutamate — an abundant neurotransmitter in animals — activates this wave of calcium when the Read More ›