The green plant as an intelligent organism

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Intelligence is an aspect of complex adaptive behaviour and a term not normally applied to plants. This chapter indicates a change in concept is long overdue and if poets can recognize it (above) so should scientists. Networks that control information flow are described as intelligent and such networks exist in all single living cells and in more complex multicellular organisms. Phosphoneural bacterial networks are briefly considered and these exist in a slightly different molecular but more complex form in higher plant and a nimal cells. Intelligent behaviour involves the whole organism and such integration involves complex communication. Evidence that plants forage and act intelligently in acquiring resources is indicated. The phenotype is actively (not passively) constructed in response to a complex changing environment by decisions that best secure the well-being of the individual plant within the life cycle goal of optimal fitness.




Trewavas, A. (2006). The green plant as an intelligent organism. In Communication in Plants: Neuronal Aspects of Plant Life (pp. 1–18). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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