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Plant Communication

G K GRAY gord at homostudy.win-uk.net
Tue May 13 15:27:31 EST 1997

My apologies to someone who asked me to expand on this subject.
When I set out to send a personal reply I could not find the
original posting, so this is a "To whom it may concern".

In a personal message the questioner asked me to expand on my
statement that plants communicate. Actually it comes more into the
realms of the philosophy of science and of information theory
rather than laboratory science in the strict sense, which what the
questioner's use of the word "findings" might suggest.

A plant in bloom needs pollination to generate seed for the next
generation. A costly way of doing this is to make a lot of pollen
and let it blow on the wind, which is the way with maize. Less
costly is to make less pollen *and* a cheap attractant - nectar,
which says in effect "Come and get it!" to the bees, making them
do some of the work the plant would otherwise be doing. It does not
imply the plant is *consciously thinking* although that is a
different subject that may or may not be relevant. It is
nevertheless communication, a transfer of *information*, being
closely akin to advertising.

Cheers! Gord 

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