Panpsychism

By: BenOh | December 10, 2016

In complex and ever-changing environments, resources such as food are often scarce and unevenly distributed in space and time. Therefore, utilizing external cues to locate and remember high-quality sources allows more efficient foraging, thus increasing chances for survival.

Associations between environmental cues and food are readily formed because of the tangible benefits they confer. While examples of the key role they play in shaping foraging behaviours are widespread in the animal world, the possibility that plants are also able to acquire learned associations to guide their foraging behaviour has never been demonstrated.

Here we show that this type of learning occurs in the garden pea, Pisum sativum. By using a Y-maze task, we show th...

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By: BenOh | December 10, 2016


By using the same experimental framework normally applied to test learnt behavioral responses in animals, biologists have demonstrated that Mimosa pudica (an American exotic herb) can learn and remember just as well as it would be expected of animals.  

Dr Monica Gagliano from the University of Western Australia and her colleagues designed their experiments as if Mimosa was indeed an animal.  
They trained Mimosa‘s short- and long-term memories under both high and low-light environments by repeatedly dropping water on them using a custom-designed apparatus.

The scientists show how Mimosa plants stopped closing their leaves when they learnt that the repeated disturbance had no real damaging consequence.  The plants were able to acquire the lear...

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By: BenOh | July 26, 2016

In this real-life model of forest resilience and regeneration, Professor Suzanne Simard shows that all trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the largest, oldest, "mother trees" serving as hubs. The underground exchange of nutrients increases the survival of younger trees linked into the network of old trees. Amazingly, we find that in a forest, 1+1 equals more than 2.


Dr. Suzanne Simard is a professor with the UBC Faculty of Forestry, where she lectures on and researches the role of mycorrhizae and mycorrhizal networks in tree species migrations with climate change disturbance. Networks of mycorrhizal fungal mycelium have recently been discovered by Professor Suzanne Simard and her graduate students to connect the ro...

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By: BenOh | July 26, 2016

In the deep stillness of a forest in winter, the sound of footsteps on a carpet of leaves died away. Peter Wohlleben had found what he was looking for: a pair of towering beeches. “These trees are friends,” he said, craning his neck to look at the leafless crowns, black against a gray sky. “You see how the thick branches point away from each other? That’s so they don’t block their buddy’s light.”

Before moving on to an elderly beech to show how trees, like people, wrinkle as they age, he added, “Sometimes, pairs like this are so interconnected at the roots that when one tree dies, the other one dies, too.”


Mr. Wohlleben, 51, is a very tall career forest ranger who, with his ramrod posture and muted green uniform, looks a little like one of t...

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By: BenOh | July 26, 2016

Hidden under your feet is an information superhighway that allows plants to communicate and help each other out. It’s made of fungi.

, BBC - Original article here

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