How Plants Help Each Other Grow By Near-Telepathic Communication

6a0148c76e8722970c0167621abbea970b-800wi“Plants substitute biosynthesis for behavior”, employing biochemical messaging as a means of interacting with their environment on a level we don’t even fully understand, yet we are constantly immersed in this sea of molecular communication.. Its been hypothesized that plant psychedelics are messenger molecules to mammals that naturally raise awareness at critical junctures in order to impart information vital to maintaining the continuity of the all life in biosphere…But how do plants communicate with each other besides the thick matrix of pheromonal activity?

Via Waking Times:

Plants have scientifically been show to draw alternative sources of energy from other plants. Plants influence each other in many ways and they communicate through “nanomechanical oscillations” vibrations on the tiniest atomic or molecular scale or as close as you can get to telepathic communication.

Members of Professor Dr. Olaf Kruse’s biological research team have previously shown that green algae not only engages in photosynthesis, but also has an alternative source of energy: it can draw it from other plants. His research findings were released in the online journal Nature Communications.

Other research published last year, showed that young corn roots made clicking sounds, and that when suspended in water they would lean towards sounds made in the same frequency range (about 220 Hz). So it seemed that plants do emit and react to sound, and the researchers wanted to delve into this idea further.

Working with chili plants in their most recent study, specifically Capsicum annuum, they first grew chili seeds on their own and then in the presence of other chili plants, basil and fennel, and recorded their rates of germination and growth. Fennel is considered an aggressive plant that hinders the germination of other plants around it, while basil is generally considered to be a beneficial plant for gardening and an ideal companion for chili plants.

Germination rates were fairly low when the seeds were grown on their own, lower when grown in the presence of fennel (as expected). Germination rates were better with other chili plants around, and even better with basil.

Keep reading, plant brother.

 

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  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    I got in an argument with some gay guy about this when I was working in a Garden Center and this hot girl, that worked there also (whom I was trying to get with) gave me this look of pity.

    It was not cool. It was a look like “You poor superstitious retard. it must be so sad being you”

    This was after I saw her in a Bikini at a pool party. All the guys were talking about her tits for weeks after that. She looked like a Sports Illustrated model, but she was really smart and working on her Masters in Horticulture or something and here she was with those perky titties looking at me like I was a retard.

    That’s Madison WI for you. I should have bee like “Watch TED talks bitch Paul Staments!!” but I just walked away with my head down and then loaded a bunch of cocoa shell mulch into some rich old dudes car.

    • Anarchy Pony

      How’s that autobiography coming?

  • http://wildernessvagabonds.com/ Mike Lewinski

    Plant psychedelics are more likely forms of chemical defense against herbivores than messenger molecules designed to raise consciousness. In reality, nothing in nature wants to become someone else’s food. You see this kind of chemical warfare and appropriation and re-appropriation all over the place. First a plant evolves an alkaloid that makes it toxic to an insect that eats is. Then that insect (or another) evolves the ability to sequester the alkaloid for its own defense. Such an adaptation is a double boon: first it opens up a new food source, and secondarily it provides defense against larger predators (as more and more gets concentrated as you move up the food chain). This continues. You have amphibians eating poisonous insects in order to become poisonous themselves (ala poison dart frog). Eventually humans come along and re-appropriate that alkaloid for our own uses, which seem entirely accidental by this point.

    • Trevor Smith

      “In reality, nothing in nature wants to become someone else’s food”

      That’s not exactly true at all. Fruit is just one example of something a plant produces for attracting animals to eat, and thus help disperse its seeds.

      The whole competitive/hostile/survival of the fittest aspect of nature is merely one side of the coin that is over-emphasized by our cultural viewpoint. Read books like Darwins unfinished business. Many people have pointed out that recently we’ve found that a lot of it is more about cooperation than it is about competition. This goes on all around us but we’re mostly blind to it; partly because its so subtle (3/4 trees have a symbiotic relationship with fungi, but who could tell?), and partly because our cultural upbringing would naturally create an emphasis on the more competitive aspects.

      The ideological limitations we project onto nature are always being overcome with new data. It doesn’t seem too far fetched to me personally that this incredibly complex communicating matrix of activity would have evolved biochemical mechanisms that interact with mammalian cognitive facilities in an evolutionary beneficial way.

      • Borgar

        That’s a wonderful comment. Cabbalistically speaking, our society exclusively recognizes the the left pillar of the tree (severity), while the right is ignored and completely unattended. It’s the cancer of our times, and will be our undoing.

      • http://wildernessvagabonds.com/ Mike Lewinski

        You’re right, that was a sloppy statement that was just too general. Almost nothing wants to be wholly digested as something else’s food. I can name some insect mating exceptions that are all intra-species.

        Then there’s Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite that infects rodents, felines and even humans. In the brains of infected mice, it causes a desire to stick around places where cats are likely to frequent (creating some kind of arousal/stimulation/euphoria at cat urine through direct brain chemistry modification). The parasite itself does want to be eaten, but is not actually digested, per-se. In fact, it goes on to mate inside of the cat’s stomach with other T. gondii from other mice. I was thinking of this specific example when I made my sloppy statement, and dismissed it because I really meant “nothing wants to die of being digested by another being in nature, unless it promotes its own reproductive success in doing so”. The exceptions are few and prove the general rule.

        I feed mites living on my skin, and am happy for the maintenance services that they provide since they don’t cause my death by digestion, and I’m sloughing skin cells anyway.

        I’d note that “symbiotic” does not have the old conventional meaning that it had when I was in school in the 80s-90s. Wikipedia says there is controversy over the new definition, but the majority appear to accept it from my readings.

        The old definition of symbiosis was contrasted with parasitism, while today it simply means different species living together. Most ecologists classify a wide range of symbiotic relationships from mutualistic (what we called symbiotic before with both parties benefiting from the relationship), to commensalist (one party benefits, the other is unaffected), to parasite (one party benefits to the detriment of another).

        Some ecologists think that all mutualistic relationships could also be described as reciprocal parasitism. Humans have a kind of bias for the mutualist over the parasite which I think is quite understandable. I’d say that non-human nature shares the bias insofar as the mutualistic relationships are self-evidently more stable than parasitic. I think over time evolution tends to weed out purely parasitic relationships. Mutualism is better because it persists, not for moralistic reasons.

        There are mites that live on other organisms and whose parasitism is known as phoresy. It means they steal transportation by riding on other flying insects. For most common houseflies, these mites are purely parasitic. They steal a ride that drains time away from reproduction for finding more food.

        Mites that ride on the burying beetle are mutualistic, because while they impose a small energetic cost for transportation, they also hop off from time to time to eat fly eggs, which it turns out will otherwise compete with the burying beetle’s offspring for the food source (carrion). The burying beetle mites aren’t morally superior to the fly mites, they simply happened to provide their host a benefit by accident. Surely if the fly mites could see their own predicament, they’d find a way to evolve to eat the burying beetle eggs in turn.

        I appreciate your suggestion of Darwin’s Unfinished Business, and in turn suggest the excellent book “Parasite Rex” by Carl Zimmer. You can Google his article called “Do Parasites Rule the World” and get a taste for it. The really short answer to that question is “yes, parasites do rule the world”. Most known species (somewhere between half and three-quarters) have at least one parasitic life phase. It’s the norm.

        But again, our human moralism (or your “ideological limitation projected onto nature”) is insufficient. The etymology of parasite in Greek means “beside food” which I believe describes humans in relationship to the ecosphere, as well as recursively to our myriad inhabitants. It is clear that with a ratio of 10:1 bacterial cells to human cells in our body, that we are ecosystems ourselves, colonial organisms who are food sources to thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of species.

        Even the designation “parasite” falls short quite often, part of why I have come to appreciate the redefinition of symbiotic. With the invention of indoor plumbing and shoes, we lost many intestinal parasites that plagued our ancestors, like hookworms, tapeworms, pinworms, etc. The hygiene hypothesis holds that these parasites play a vital role in modulating our immune system, and with the loss of parasitic organisms we co-evolved to keep at bay, our immune systems now want for a sparring partner to keep it out of trouble, and as a result we have elevated rates of asthma, MS, IBS, Chrohn’s and a host of other auto-immune diseases in the overly-developed world that rarely if ever appear in less developed places where communal latrines and bare feet are still the norm.

        In clinical trials they give people suffering serious asthma a treatment of hookworm eggs. At the end of the trial, many patients decline the treatment for the hookworms now living in their guts, because they are less trouble than the asthma. I’ve read of more than one such study with participants refusing the final “treatment”.

        Now clearly, the hookworms are parasites for drinking a little blood (and a real problem for anyone with anemia). But do we really need a sparring partner for our immune system? No. It’s just that absent something that accidentally co-evolved with us, we suffer consequences that are worse than the parasitism itself.

        I am aware of a much larger story of evolution that includes contributions by Lynn Margulis and others. I’m aware of horizontal gene transfer and endogenous retroviruses as major agents of evolution that Darwin couldn’t possibly have known about. I’m aware of Darwin’s own work that he suppressed because his daughter was editing, and his research on sexual selection had scandalous implications.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      I’m not sure that ALL food doesn’t want to be eaten
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niOm01dEzzI

  • BuzzCoastin

    plants may be the most highly evolved sentient life form on Earth
    they are 250 million years older than mammals

    corn is most widely grown & used plant in North America
    it can’t grow without human help & intervention
    it has completely domesticated North American humans
    who are now in the process of destroying their environment
    in order to produce more corn
    which is also destroying human health and plant environments
    and nobody suspects the corn of anything
    now that’s pretty smart

    • Trevor Smith

      I remember D mckenna once mentioning how in a sense we’re basically corns slaves, when you think about it

      • BuzzCoastin

        over 60% of Joe Sixpac’s diet is corn derived
        in the US
        corn crops cover an area twice the size of NY State
        all processed foods have a significant amount of corn
        of the 37 ingredients in a Chicken McNugget
        30 are made, directly or indirectly, from corn
        every “soft” drink has corn HFCS
        and now it’s being used as a fossil fuel replacement
        so you really can’t escape the grip of Corn in Amerika

        • Ittabena

          Growing up in the Mid-West all you ever saw were stratight roads lined on either side by corn and soy beans, which in itself was transplanted from Asia. By the time I left there I despised corn.

          Who knew that it was only foreshadowing?

          • BuzzCoastin

            corn & soy
            the one two punch of industrial agro-cultre

          • Ittabena

            Singin’ the old song; “Side by side…”

            And the home of Archer-Daniels Midland!

  • DeepCough

    Well, I guess the science of “Radionics” isn’t complete bullshit after all.

  • BuzzCoastin

    BTW: there’s a book title “Gaia’s Garden” that points out this fact in Chapter 6
    it was published in 2000
    where he also points out that
    wee will never fully understand the society of plants

    and this has been well know in permaculture circles
    for at least 50 years
    I willing to bet Paul Stamets has published on this years before

    • Matt Staggs

      Stamets is awesome. I’ve tried to get him on the podcast, but the guy stays really busy.

      • BuzzCoastin

        Stamets is definitely Mr. Scroom
        his books on mushroom growing are complex to say the least
        but a really brilliant dude
        there are others who are more publicity oriented
        but they’re permaculture generalist not scroom specialists
        Geoff Lawton, Paul Wheaton, Toby Hemenway, Eric Toensmeier
        come to mind

  • dave

    do scietists know how plants help each other,

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