Plant Sensing and Communication

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Jun 18, 2015 - Science - 240 pages
0 Reviews
The news that a flowering weed—mousear cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)—can sense the particular chewing noise of its most common caterpillar predator and adjust its chemical defenses in response led to headlines announcing the discovery of the first “hearing” plant. As plants lack central nervous systems (and, indeed, ears), the mechanisms behind this “hearing” are unquestionably very different from those of our own acoustic sense, but the misleading headlines point to an overlooked truth: plants do in fact perceive environmental cues and respond rapidly to them by changing their chemical, morphological, and behavioral traits.

In Plant Sensing and Communication, Richard Karban provides the first comprehensive overview of what is known about how plants perceive their environments, communicate those perceptions, and learn. Facing many of the same challenges as animals, plants have developed many similar capabilities: they sense light, chemicals, mechanical stimulation, temperature, electricity, and sound. Moreover, prior experiences have lasting impacts on sensitivity and response to cues; plants, in essence, have memory. Nor are their senses limited to the processes of an individual plant: plants eavesdrop on the cues and behaviors of neighbors and—for example, through flowers and fruits—exchange information with other types of organisms. Far from inanimate organisms limited by their stationary existence, plants, this book makes unquestionably clear, are in constant and lively discourse.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1 Plant Behavior and Communication
1
2 Plant Sensory Capabilities
9
3 Plant Learning and Memory
31
4 Cues and Signals in Plant Communication
45
5 Plant Responses to Cues about Resources
67
6 Plant Responses to Herbivory
83
7 Plant Communication and Reproduction
109
8 Microbes and Plant Communication
129
9 Plant Sensing and Communication as Adaptations
139
10 Plant Sensing and Communication in Agriculture and Medicine
163
References
181
Index
231
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

Richard Karban is professor of entomology and a member of the Center for Population Biology at the University of California, Davis. He is coauthor of Induced Responses to Herbivory, also published by the University of Chicago Press, and How to Do Ecology: A Concise Handbook.

Bibliographic information