This Changes the Neighborhood
Plant Communication: Sagebrush Engage In Self-recognition And Warn Of Danger
ScienceDaily (June 20, 2009) — To thine own self be true” may take on a new meaning—not with people or animal behavior but with plant behavior. Plants engage in self-recognition and can communicate danger to their “clones” or genetically identical cuttings planted nearby, says professor Richard Karban of the Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, in groundbreaking research published in the current edition of Ecology Letters.
Karban and fellow scientist Kaori Shiojiri of the Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, Japan, found that sagebrush responded to cues of self and non-self without physical contact. The sagebrush communicated and cooperated with other branches of themselves to avoid being eaten by grasshoppers, Karban said. Although the research is in its early stages, the scientists suspect that the plants warn their own kind of impending danger by emitting volatile cues. This may involve secreting chemicals that deter herbivores or make the plant less profitable for herbivores to eat, he said.
Read the Entire Article Here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090619171244.htm