Talking plants


Chaos Product
Registered Senior Member
That's what the title of an article in Discover Magazine (Vol 23, No. 4) proclaims. The evidence is mounting revealing that plants can actually give cries for help, invitations and even warnings to other plants in the local area. These communications are held through odor molocules that float right past the human nose. To give an example, A common crop pest Heliothis Virescens begins to feed on a tobaco plant. Chemicals in the caterpillar's saliva prompt the plant to release airbord chemical cues. Those signals in turn summon Cardiochiles nigiceps, a parasitic wasp that prefers to lay its eggs in H. virescens. Now that's COOL!

The world around us is very connected indeed.
I will give you another example of such communications.

I went to school at one time for Timber Harvesting. One of the things mentioned was that pine trees suffer from the attacks of the pine beatle. The pine beatle eventually kills the pine tree. During the time that it is attacked it releases compounds into the air that communicate it's trouble to other pines in the area. Those pines start producing chemicals that make them less attractive meal for the pine beatle. It is a slow process though.

Another odd attack is the kanker sore. A knot that appears in the pine tree. The knot grows in size over time. The life cycle is to leave the sore as a spore. It must then attach to the underside of the oak leaf. Before the end of the year when the leaves fall it must once again move and find an open place in pine tree bark to infect. Remove the oak trees and you stop the life cycle.