can’t see the forest

Keepin’ it in the Family

Posted in Biology, botany, ecology, Genetics, Nature, plants, Psychology, Science by Curtis on 6/16/07

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Biologists from Canada’s McMaster University have published a study which shows that at least some plants, though they of course lack cognitive abilities, are nonetheless capable of exhibiting what humans might interpret as social behaviors. The subjects of the study showed a strong preference towards being planted with sibling specimens; the scientists say they did not get along so well with ‘strangers.’

From Press Esc:

Plants are able to recognise their siblings, according to a study appearing today in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

Researchers at McMaster University have found that plants get fiercely competitive when forced to share their pot with strangers of the same species, but they’re accommodating when potted with their siblings. . .


3 Responses

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  1. peoplesgeography said, on 6/17/07 at 4:04 am

    Isn’t that interesting. I’m the opposite — welcoming of strangers, and disdainful of siblings! Only kidding … kinda. There’s also a fascinating book entitled The Secret Life of Plants by Bird and Tomkins — have you ever come across it? I got my cheap and dusty copy at a second hand bookstore; I think it should be in libraries. I think there’s a film as well. I’ll embed the wikipedia entry.

  2. peoplesgeography said, on 6/17/07 at 4:07 am

    A little more searching reveals its actually currently sold at Amazon — worth checking just for the reviews.

  3. Curtis said, on 6/17/07 at 11:45 pm

    Thank you, I’m glad to check it out. I’m not familiar with the book, but I do know a Stevie Wonder tune by that name.

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