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Old 11-12-2009, 01:25 PM   #527
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:14 AM   #528
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:16 AM   #529
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:16 PM   #530
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:33 PM   #531
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:37 AM   #532
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Thank you for your recent contributions to this garden friends

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Old 11-19-2009, 10:38 AM   #533
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:08 PM   #534
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http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...%3A+Science%29

Plants Have a Social Life, Too

By Brandon Keim, November 18, 2009

After decades of seeing plants as passive recipients of fate, scientists have found them capable of behaviors once thought unique to animals. Some plants even appear to be social, favoring family while pushing strangers from the neighborhood.

Research into plant sociality is still young, with many questions unanswered. But it may change how people conceive of the floral world, and provide new ways of raising productivity on Earth’s maxed-out farmlands.

“When I was in school, researchers assumed that some plants were better or worse than others at getting resources, but they were blind to the whole social situation,” said Susan Dudley, a McMaster University biologist. “I went looking for it, and to my shock, found it. And we’ve found more of it since.”

In a paper published in the November American Journal of Botany, Dudley describes how Impatiens pallida, a common flowering plant, devotes less energy than usual to growing roots when surrounded by relatives. In the presence of genetically unrelated Impatiens, individuals grow their roots as fast as they can.

Acknowledging relatives in this way is an example of kin recognition. It’s common in the animal world, and is a precursor to kin selection, in which animals help their familial group, not just themselves. Dudley thinks plants have kin selection, too. It’s a controversial idea, but that it’s even being debated shows how far research into plant sociality has come.

When Dudley was in school in the 1980s, the very idea of plant sociality was practically taboo among scientists. It had burst into popular consciousness a decade earlier with the publication of The Secret Life of Plants, a New Age classic which also discussed orgones and dowsing. Later studies on “talking trees” went unreplicated, and the idea fell into disrepute.

But even if full-blown sentience was a silly idea, research on plant communication gathered. Much of it described how plants defended themselves, producing toxins and concentrating resources on their immune systems when unrelated neighboring plants were eaten. That clearly involved some sort of chemical signaling. Further studies conclusively showed plants were able to recognize themselves. Whether plants might respond to their relatives became a legitimate and intriguing question.

The answer isn’t only of concern to people with imaginations stirred by thoughts of chatting flora. It could provide a whole new perspective on plant behavior and evolution. By providing insights that improve agricultural productivity, studies of kin recognition could literally bear fruit.

“We know that in the animal world, kin recognition and selection plays a very important role for family structure, altruistic behavior and those kinds of things,” said Hans de Kroon, a plant ecologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands. “It’s so prominent in the animal literature. Once we start to discover that plants can recognize their kin, there’s a whole set of hypotheses we can apply to studying plants, that nobody ever thought to.”

The field’s landmark paper came from Dudley’s laboratory in 2007, when she showed how American searocket plants accelerated their root growth when placed in pots of strangers, but slowed it down when potted with siblings. Were they animals, they’d be described as sharing water and food.

In a Communicative and Integrative Biology paper published in October, University of Delaware biologists Harsh Bais and Meredith Biedrzycki tried to isolate the means of recognition by exposing Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings, each in its own pot, to root secretions from other Arabidopsis plants. The signal indeed proved to be in the roots — and just as Dudley had seen, growth patterns varied according to whether secretions came from genetically unrelated plants, or family.

Intriguingly, the plants in Dudley’s latest study were potted separately and unexposed to each others’ secretions, suggesting that their leaves emit chemical signals, as well as their roots. That’s supported by the research of University of California, Davis ecologist Richard Karban, who in a June Ecology Letters study showed that sagebrush boosts its immune system when exposed to the damaged cuttings of a related plant [pdf]. It seems to hear warnings from its kin.

More studies are needed to show exactly what sort of benefits are provided by these signaling and response systems. De Kroon said kin recognition doesn’t necessarily mean kin selection: maybe the plants are communicating, but it doesn’t do them much good in practice.

One of Dudley’s students, Amanda File, is now studying whether some trees favor their own progeny, which might grow best near their parents. Dudley and graduate student Guillermo Murphy, a co-author of the American Journal of Botany paper, are looking for for kin selection in invasive plants.

“We’re testing the hypothesis that invasive plants evolve greater altruism within their populations, allowing them to be better invaders of their new habitats,” said Dudley.

For plants used in agriculture, Dudley recommends kin recognition studies to see whether certain arrangements of relatives and strangers would be especially productive. De Kroon is looking at multi-species mixes. Karban hopes to use communication insights to engineer natural defense systems against pests.

“Maybe we thought before that only humans could do certain things, or vertebrates, or animals,” said Karban. “Plants are capable of much more sophisticated behavior than we assumed.”
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:42 AM   #535
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:05 PM   #536
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Great article Gemeos
Thank you

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Old 11-21-2009, 11:07 PM   #537
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:10 AM   #538
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:05 AM   #539
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Living with the spirit of trees

Collectively, trees are guardians, protecting all life on Earth, just as a single tree gives refreshing shadow under the summer sun. Because of this guardianship of all life and because of the guidance trees provide us with on our spiritual journey, everywhere in the world humans have respected, loved and revered trees. Evidence for this goes back 6,000 years and more, way back into the Stone Age. Humanity has had a deep, 'religious' relationship with trees long before 'religions' were invented. The wisdom of trees is as old as the dawn of human consciousness. When early humans first ever started to ask questions, about themselves and the cosmos, trees were among the first to answer. The spiritual and practical reverence of trees only fully stopped in the 20th century, following industrialisation and the exploitation-of-resources mentality.

Why are trees so special? How did our ancestors show their respect for them? And what can we do today?

Primeval forests – trees for life

Everywhere in nature we can observe the tendency for cooperation. Even in the subatomic world particles don't stay separate and in 'competition' but 'team up' to form greater structures. Atoms in their turn couple to form molecules and, in the biological dimension, these are organized into living beings of a complexity incomprehensible to us. In the landscape, countless animal and plant species constitute biotopes while in the macrocosm, planets, stars and even galaxies group to make up vast systems with their own rhythms, as well as energy and information exchanges.

But the richest and most perfect example for cooperation and teamwork in nature is the natural mixed woodland. The tree cover creates balanced conditions in regard to light, temperature, moisture, soil, the level of the groundwater table and the electric charge of the air. Thus a habitat is provided for a wide variety of smaller plants, animals, birds, insects, spiders and microorganisms. In symbiosis, fungi help the trees to develop nutrients. The deciduous trees, whose deep roots can reach layers of the soil inaccessible to smaller plants, share these nutrients every autumn by shedding their leaves, which get decomposed in the top layers of the soil. Protected from direct light, hard rain and erosion, the soil of the mixed forest is the richest humus on Earth.

Of course, competition, too, is an element in nature, for example when young tree seedlings race for the light in a gap of the forest canopy left by a fallen old tree. But certainly competition has not the primary importance in nature that Charles Darwin ascribed to it. Soon enough, the 'survival of the fittest' theory was used to justify the social conditions and imperialism of 19th-century society. But nature tries to avoid competition. In the animal world, for example, different species with overlapping habitats generally have a different diet while those species who eat the same or similar things generally live in different places.

With its multitude of thriving life forms, its teamwork and its intelligent adaptability the natural mixed woodland is the most essential expression of the character of planet Earth. And, where water or mountain altitudes allow for it, the forest has been the dominant biotope for hundreds of millions of years.

More than just lungs

Since the campaigns to save the tropical rainforest started woodlands have been called the green lungs of the Earth. But trees do much more than just producing oxygen and binding the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

For one thing, trees are exchange organs between the planet and outer space. The Scottish mathematician Laurence Edwards discovered in the 1980s that the winter buds of leaf trees are pulsating rhythmically, reflecting the movements of the planets of our solar system. In this way, the oak, for example, particularly responds to the movements and positions of planet mars while beech responds primarily to saturn, birch to venus, and elm to mercury.



The pulsing of oak buds measured in winter 1982-1983. The greatest expansion of the buds is indicated by deepest points of the line. These coincide with the blach arrows which indicate alignments of moon and mars.

Furthermore, the electrical currents of living trees have been examined in extensive measurements since 1948. The bio-electrical fields of trees react sensitively to the changes of light and darkness, to the moon phases, the seasons, the eleven-year cycle of sunspot activity, the changes in the electrical charge of the air, and even the changes of the Earth's magnetic field. Every event, every change in nature is mirrored inside the trees. Since their electrical currents are so closely linked to their biochemical metabolism it is now possible to predict a tree disease before any outer symptoms are evident, just by measuring the electrical currents of the tree.

But trees receive information from even greater distances. In the mid-1970s Russian botanists discovered an 807-year-old juniper tree (Juniperus turkistanicus) in a very high altitude in the Serawashan mountains (Taijikistan). Its annual rings clearly mirrored the supernovae in our galaxy that we know about (1604, 1770, 1952). They slowed its growth down for up to 15 years. No star in our galaxy can die without trees perceiving it.

Their vertical sap stream turns plants into electrical conductors. Trees in particular constantly discharge air-electrical voltage from the positively charged ionosphere to the negatively charged Earth's crust, as can be seen in their role as lightning conductors. Every electrical conductor creates an electromagnetic field around itself while an electrical current flows through it. And, according to another simple law of physics, the electromagnetical fields of electrical conductors amplify each other when they are parallel to each other and have currents running through them in the same direction. This applies to trees as well. Worldwide, billions of trees are participating in maintaining the Earth magnetic field which is the only protection from cosmic radiation which otherwise would be fatal to all life on Earth.

read further here:
http://spirit-of-trees.net/Living_spirit_e.html

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Old 11-29-2009, 03:24 PM   #540
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:05 PM   #541
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:30 PM   #542
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:32 PM   #543
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:02 AM   #544
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Lovely human nests in the trees Lightbeing

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Old 11-30-2009, 01:05 AM   #545
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:20 AM   #546
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Thank you everyone for the secret life garden, a very tranquil place to stop at and reflect.
If anyone is looking for me, I'll be in the tree house Lightbeing brought in, reading one of Luminari's books,
and some articles by Gemeos and Mudra. There will be rosehip tea if you stop by.

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Old 11-30-2009, 01:28 AM   #547
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I come with You Bushy ...let's have some tea down there ..
Anyone else interested ?

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Old 12-01-2009, 01:05 AM   #548
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:20 AM   #549
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The first time I saw plants communicate was when I lived in Nairobi and while luxuriating under some palm trees after a good swim I was lazily looking up at the sky and branches and suddenly I realized that what I was looking at was a patterned motion that clearly told me these trees were communicating. I never forgot that.

Now my lovable cockerpoo ``beams`` me all the time and I am used to his thought beams.

There was a lovely petunia plant in my front yard and like a good Japanese gardener I dreadfully deadheaded it until finally it got the message across to me to stop doing that and I stopped and to my surprise the plant is still putting out blooms and still green at this time of year in Toronto, Canada.

Yesterday it finally told me that I could bring it inside and remove the seed pods and give it a good trim. I thought petunias are annuals, so I`m not sure why this petunia plant wanted me to bring it indoors....

Also I noticed something and hubby has witnessed it: I can stand in front of a plant that is even indoors where there is no breeze and somehow a wind starts blowing it when I focus on the plant and the leaves start moving.

I`ve hugged some trees before but never felt that return of love that a previous poster described -- must be wonderful.

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Old 12-01-2009, 06:36 PM   #550
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Thank you for sharing your experience of communicating with plants Gnosis.
It is wonderfull to open one's heart to these sentient beings.
I have seen these patterns you describe in the branches too.
Once you become receptive nature's world brings so much perspective and insight.
It is rather impossible to feel alone while in nature ...

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