Plants may be more intelligent than previously believed
Source: The Business Line
Researchers have suggested that plants are more intelligent than we believe, insisting that they are also able to make complex decisions.
The result of the finding of the research conducted by scientists at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Gottingen have concluded from their investigations on Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), indicate that Barberry, who sacrifice their own seeds depending upon its chances of survival in their fight against parasites, have a structural memory, and is able to differentiate between inner and outer conditions as well as anticipate future risks.
Approximately 2000 berries were collected during this study from different regions ofGermany , examined for signs of piercing and then cut open to examine any infestation by the larvae of the tephritid fruit fly (Rhagoletis meigenii).
The European barberry or simply Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) is a species of shrub distributed throughout Europe . It is related to the Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) that is native to North America and that has been spreading through Europe for years.
Scientists compared both species to find a marked difference in parasite infestation.
This led scientists to examine the seeds of the Barberry more closely. Approximately 2000 berries were collected from different regions of Germany , examined for signs of piercing and then cut open to examine any infestation by the larvae of the tephritid fruit fly (Rhagoletis meigenii).
This parasite punctures the berries in order to lay its eggs inside them. If the larva is able to develop, it will often feed on all of the seeds in the berry. A special characteristic of the Barberry is that each berry usually has two seeds and that the plant is able to stop the development of its seeds in order to save its resources.
This mechanism is also employed to defend it from the tephritid fruit fly. If a seed is infested with the parasite, later on the developing larva will feed on both seeds. If however the plant aborts the infested seed, then the parasite in that seed will also die and the second seed in the berry is saved.
The study has been published in the journal American Naturalist.
- Asha Bhardwaj <ashabh@...> wrote:
Very interesting.I know from personal experience that plants can hear and respond.Some Lilies in my pots which are over 20 years old ,did not flower in April,their annual flowering time,for 2 years.Standing near the plants I was telling my daughter that I intended to remove these plant because I water them throughout the year but do not get any flowers in April.In the next few days to my surprise ,a bud came out and two flowers emerged.This happened in the month of October.These plants never flowered in October before or since.Twice I have managed to save dying plants by talking to them when fertilisers and pesticides failed.You must have also read about music increasing the yield of certain crops.Plants definitely have a response system
- I can certainly vouch for the statement "Plants may be more intelligent than previously believed". It is only by observing closely and being in tune with nature that one can realize what your plants like and do not like. Take for example the position they are placed in. I have a small terrace and have a lot of potted plants. Now and then, I keep shifting my plants to different locations. Since then I have learnt that I they like a particular location they thrive well and if they do not, they simply exist or wither away, depending on the amount of attention showered on them. I have a Tiger Lily Plant which was placed in the South direction. While it grew vegetatively, it did not produce any flowers. While doing my usual round of cleaning and shifting, the Tiger Lily Plant was shifted to North Side, and since then it has started producing flowers. Similarly talking to my lemon plants and pineapple plant asking them to fruit for me, assuring them of my love and attention as also thanking them, have borne me fruits.