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How plants communicate - Essay Example

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Plants are highly sensitive but sessile organisms that compete for resources that occur both below and above the ground. Just as with all organisms, the growth, development and evolution of plants depends on the success of the communication process. …
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How plants communicate
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"How plants communicate"

Download file to see previous pages They adopt measures that control the resources in the environment, perceive themselves and distinguish between non-self and self thus enabling them to protect their territory. They would process the information and evaluate it and consequently modify their behaviour appropriately. These competencies indicate parallel communication processes in the body of plants, referred to as intraorganismic; between different and same species, referred to as interorganismic; and between plants and their non-plant counterparts, referred to as transorganismic (Witzany, 2010). Intraorganismic communication entails sign-mediated interactions between cells and within cells, referred to as intercellular and intracellular respectively. Intercellular communication processes particularly coordinate growth and development, dynamics and shape, allowing plants to differentially react to physiological influences and developmental status. Witzany and Baluska (2012) observe that finding meaning functions of signalling molecules would be pegged on coherently investigating interactional patterns where signalling occurs. In these interactions, there would be active coordination and organization of various ordered steps conveyed by signs. These signs encompass a wide array of physical influences and chemical substances. According to Witzany (2010), these chemical molecules used as signs function as memory media, information carriers, messenger substances and signals. With different biotic and abiotic influences, there would be need for different behaviours which determine the set of signs in a given genera, family or species of plants and their production, combination and transportation. Therefore, different communicative processes would be executed with same chemical molecules thus optimizing energy cost. Foraging and Movement in Plants Plants are known to move in response to physical stimuli. Sensitive legumes would fold their leaflets when disturbed by insects with neighbouring leaves folding up upon being wounded. Adler (2011) cites some tropical legumes which lower leaves during heavy but not light rains or alighting insects, a response that accelerates the drying up of the leaf surface. Carnivorous plants would rapidly catch insects and trigger hairs that would take up the meal. These responses in plants could be attributed to osmotic changes in the concentration of ions, action potentials, electrical signals and turgor, compared to actinmyosin system in animals. Through circumnutation, plant organs would undergo subtle movements at their elongation axes, explaining directed and conspicuous movement of plants in response to gravity, light and similar stimuli, thus capturing the required resources (Witzany 2006). Through morphological plasticity, plants efficiently forage for light. Karban (2008) observes that vertical shoots would branch more and elongate less in adequate lighting as opposed to those in limited light. Witzany (2010) further indicates that light transmitted through leaves would have a lower red: far red than unfiltered illumination ratio. Roots would be more abundant in soils with higher nutrients in an attempt to increase the acquisition of resources. Bais, Park, Weir, Callaway, and Vivanco (2004) refer to the underground with densely populated roots which face competition for water, mineral nutrients and space from invading neighbouring root systems as the rhizosphere. Mating and Germination Other than acquisition for resources, plants’ reproductive behaviours show how they respond to environmental cues. Plants that do not get pollinated respond by increasing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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