By Yiannis Manetas
Why is it that crops shouldn't have to maneuver? How does a nonmotile organism have intercourse or guard itself? Why are a few crops almost immortal? what's the mechanism that enables vegetation to use a virtually inexhaustible extraterrestrial strength resource? How do crops keep an eye on the composition of our planet’s surroundings? Why have there now not been mass extinctions between crops as there were between animals? How do crops speak with each other? finally, are vegetation clever organisms?
These are many of the questions the writer discusses to illustrate that vegetation are wrongly thought of to be basic organisms missing particular behaviour and intelligence. This publication provides to be as friendly a shock as Alice’s adventure within the white rabbit’s warren, within which she encountered an international very various from ours.
The writer explains the biology of vegetation following Einstein's maxim that every thing will be made so simple as attainable, yet now not simpler.
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Extra resources for Alice in the Land of Plants: Biology of Plants and Their Importance for Planet Earth
Leaves are autotrophic (photosynthetic) parts of the plant. Other plant parts depend on the food manufactured by leaves. This food must be appropriately distributed to the rest of the plant, giving priority to the heterotrophic organs in greatest need at any given time. “Any given time” means that relative needs change depending on the season and the developmental program of each plant. For example, before the adverse season of the year for the plant, the photosynthetic product needs to find its way to the plant’s storing tissues, usually located in voluminous plant organs such as the stem or root.
All these processes are coordinated successfully, even if the system appears chaotic at first sight. The various parts of a plant enjoy significant functional autonomy (by planting a twig, one can create a whole new plant) but communicate with one another using chemical signals sent through a network of vessels or from cell to cell so that information about their state is disseminated to all plant parts and behaviour is coordinated. This point is also discussed in other parts of the book. How big can a leaf be?
For every six Photosynthetic cells are factories that take up simple, unprocessed materials (CO2 from the atmosphere, water and minerals from the soil) and use energy from the sun. They produce processed, good-quality food that is exploited by the entire biosphere. Oxygen is a by-product of the process, and it is released into the environment Oxygen, as a photosynthetic byproduct, initially was a dangerous pollutant that destroyed the prevailing anaerobic organisms 23 Alice in The Land of Plants Consequently, nature found a way to render this pollutant useful: it has been and is still used as an oxidant during aerobic respiration Why is the chemical composition of the atmosphere more or less stable?