Get Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant PDF

By Stefano Mancuso

ISBN-10: 1610916034

ISBN-13: 9781610916035

Are crops clever? Can they resolve difficulties, speak, and navigate their atmosphere? Or are they passive, incapable of autonomous motion or social habit? Philosophers and scientists have meditated those questions seeing that old Greece, customarily concluding that vegetation are unthinking and inert: they're too silent, too sedentary -- simply too diversified from us. but discoveries during the last fifty years have challenged those rules, laying off new mild at the outstanding services and intricate inside lives of plants.

In Brilliant Green, Stefano Mancuso, a number one scientist and founding father of the sphere of plant neurobiology, offers a brand new paradigm in our knowing of the vegetal global. Combining a old viewpoint with the newest in plant technological know-how, Mancuso argues that, because of cultural prejudices and human conceitedness, we proceed to underestimate crops. in reality, they approach details, sleep, be mindful, and sign to each other -- exhibiting that, faraway from passive machines, vegetation are clever and conscious. via a survey of plant features from sight and contact to communique, Mancuso demanding situations our inspiration of intelligence, offering a imaginative and prescient of vegetation that's extra subtle than so much imagine.

vegetation have a lot to coach us, from community development to recommendations in robotics and man-made fabrics -- yet provided that we comprehend extra approximately how they stay. half botany lesson, half manifesto, Brilliant Green is an interesting and passionate exam of the interior workings of the plant kingdom.

monetary help for the interpretation of this e-book has been supplied via SEPS: Segretariato Europeo in step with Le Pubblicazioni Scientifiche.

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Additional info for Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence

Sample text

Though the idea doesn’t jibe with our general impression of plants, they may be more like us in the social sphere. In the fourth chapter we’ll see how plants use their senses to orient themselves in the world, interacting with other plant organisms, insects, and animals, communicating with each other by means of chemical molecules and exchanging information. Plants talk to each other, recognize their kin, and exhibit various character traits. As in the animal kingdom, in the plant world some are opportunists, some are generous, some are honest, and some are manipulators, rewarding those that help them and punishing those that would do them harm.

Ambivalence toward the plant world still had its hold on the mind of the great Swedish botanist! Not until Charles Darwin published his treatise on insectivorous plants in 1875 did a scientist finally assert the existence of plant organisms that feed on animals. But even Darwin, with his characteristic caution, didn’t go so far as to call them “carnivores” (as we do today), though he was perfectly aware of plants that prey on rats and other small mammals, such as several supercarnivores belonging to the genus Nepenthes.

But it hasn’t been enough time for us to get to know plants. We know very little about the plant world, and we probably see plants in much the same way as the first Homo sapiens did. This assertion, though patently indemonstrable, may be clarified with a simple example. Let’s consider an animal—say, a cat—and try to describe its characteristics. What can we say about the cat? It’s smart, clever, affectionate, sociable, opportunistic, agile, quick, and who knows how many other things. Now let’s consider a plant—say, an oak tree—and describe its characteristics, too.

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Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence by Stefano Mancuso

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