Plants can make risky decisions as sophisticated as those made by humans
Plants can’t just remember when you touch them instead they can also make risky decisions as sophisticated as the ones made by humans, all in the absence of brains or complex nervous systems. They could even judge risks more capably than we do.
All this has been found by a study that appeared in Current Biology on Thursday. Researchers demonstrated that when plants came across making a choice between a pot having constant levels of nutrients or another with unpredictable levels, a plant will go for the mystery pot if the conditions are sufficiently poor.
Hagai Shemesh, a plant ecologist at Tel-Hai College in Israel who worked on the study, said, “It raises a question, not about plants, but about animals and humans, because if plants can solve this problem simply then maybe humans can, too. We have a very fancy brain, but maybe most of the time we’re not using it”.
Dr. Shemesh and Alex Kacelnik, a behavioral ecologist at Oxford University, carried out a set of experiments wherein they grew pea plants, splitting their roots between two pots. There were same amount of nutrients on average in both the pots, but the levels were constant in one and in the other one they varied over time.
Thereafter, the researchers changed the conditions so that the average nutrients in the pots would be equally high or low, and checked which pot a plant would prefer in such a case.
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