ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Do Plants Exhibit Behavior?

Updated on June 20, 2014

Do Plants Exhibit Behavior?

Source

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote, “Behavior is the image in which everyone shows their image.” However, do plants behave? I mean, we see them everyday, they show their image, but do plants really behave? Like animals? Plants eat, grow, learn, exhibit self-defense, avoid mating with family, and nurture their young, just as animals do the same. How? The inability for them to maneuver and the lack of a nervous system does not limit their ability to behave. Over the course of many studies plants have been observed to behave using under ground systems of fungal networks, using chemical signals to protect themselves from predators, and even growing faster underground instantly at the detection of nutrient rich patches of soil.

So what exactly do plants do to behave and how do they do it? First of all, the question of how these elegant beauties behave without a nervous system and without movement is still being researched. But, known clues and observations have proved that plants eat, grow, learn, exhibit self-defense, avoid mating with family, and nurture their young. Plants eat by gaining nutrients underground and gaining light energy from the sun to photosynthesize, just as animals consume nutrients from plants or other prey. Plants grow by using those nutrients to fuel reactions in their body and propel themselves away from the far-reaching ground in an attempt to rise higher than their peers. Animals do the same, as they metabolize and use that energy to fuel their body’s needs. Plants learn through perceiving the world through its senses and on a cellular level, and they respond based on various circumstances. Same goes for animals, as they first learn what situation they are in before performing the right response.

Plants exhibit self-defense by releasing chemical signals or adapting differently to dire or threatening situations. For example, tobacco plants use chemical warfare to protect themselves from even the most excruciating circumstances. For example, if a pollinator is causing damage to the tobacco plant by landing its eggs on the plant, and the babies hatch and start destroying the tobacco plant, the plant learns to switch pollinators. This changes the pollinator and thus effectively resolves the problem. On a minor scale, if herbivores are trying devour this addictive herb, it sends out chemical signals to develop a spit like substance on its outer covering to keep predators far from reach. Animals almost behave in the same exact way. They weigh their gains and losses and defend themselves. If it’s just a precaution they do simple things like hiding. However, if it’s a threatening situation (i.e. a predator is destroying it’s habitat and hunting it down) the animal will probably run away as soon as possible, or die trying.

Finally, plants also nurture their young and avoid mating with their own relatives. Plants use underground fungal networks to help spread nutrients that it gains to its young and feeble successors. For example, in a study where a tree was injected with a carbon-14 subordinate and days later, through a complicated measuring utensil it was found that the carbon-14 subordinate had been transferred from the tree to a younger and growing tree. Animals nurture their young as well. For example, the dam of a pack of puppies nurtures its young till about the age of eight weeks, and only after this point are the puppies allowed to be sold or old enough to go far distances away from the dam without being in danger. Plants also develop certain characteristics that don’t allow them to mate with their own relatives, just like animals don’t, or else their young will develop a lot of problems.

Although people have always had a perception that plants don’t behave, through modern studies, it has been found that they do. To make the learning process easier, many ways that a plant behaves are analogous to those of animals. The one catch is that plants do this without movement or a nervous system. The question how remains unanswered and search for the answer is ongoing.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)