We don't normally think of plants as anything but passive, do we? They don't put up much of a fight when we dig them up, nor do they leave the spot we tuck them into. They don't complain, even as we consume them. Or so it seems.
"What Plants Talk About" highlights the research of several scientists who build a case that plants actually behave; they actively respond to the environment, communicating with both enemies and allies in various ways to achieve results beneficial to the plant or its young—they are a lot more like us than we ever realized.
How about the plant roots that grow faster as they approach a nutrient-rich patch of soil, then slow down and consume their fill once they've arrived—pretty animal-like, wouldn't you say?
Some plants like the knapweed below don't "play nice," but others mingle and peacefully co-exist, like the group at the top of this post. Why is that? Much of plant behavior is still a mystery, but what exciting research!
Nature's "What Plants Talk About," will air tonight at 8:00 pm on UNC-TV.
Photo credit (photos 1, 2, 4): Plant Films, Inc.
Photo credit (photos 3, 4): Ian Kerr, CSC