Skip to comments.Can a Plant Be Altruistic?
Posted on 11/16/2009 11:46:49 AM PST by JoeProBono
Although plants have the ability to sense and respond to other plants, their ability to recognize kin and act altruistically has been the subject of few studies. The authors explored kin recognition in Impatiens pallida (yellow jewelweed). By moving their resources into leaves, these plants not only positively affected their own growth, but also negatively affected their competitors' growth. This is the first instance where researchers demonstrated that a plant's response to an aboveground cue is dependent upon the presence of a belowground cue.
The concept of altruism has long been debated in philosophical circles, and more recently, evolutionary biologists have joined the debate. From the perspective of natural selection, altruism may have evolved because any action that improves the likelihood of a relative's survival and reproduction increases the chance of an individual's DNA being passed on.
Social behavior, kin recognition, and altruism are well known in the animal kingdom; however, although plants have the ability to sense and respond to other plants, their ability to recognize kin and act altruistically has been the subject of few studies
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
Yellow jewelweed (impatiens pallida) appears to have the ability to recognize 'relatives' from 'strangers' and then shift resources for growth to benefit relatives
Social behavior, kin recognition, and altruism are well known in the animal kingdom
Yes, plants are wonderful and altruistic. With such great qualities, how can man eat them? We have PETA already... are we preparing for PETP (People for the Ethical Treatment of Plants)? Soon, it will be considered immoral for humans to eat anything.
I don’t understand how this could be classified as altruism. Getting beyond the philosophical nature of a conscious choice of action, what they are describing is action that guarantees a similar (family) DNA legacy continues. While it may not totally be within self-interest (for lack of a better term) it is showing a specific interest of a self group (ie family group) over an external grouping that it would have no interest in maintaining.
If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.
Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy
Funded by a Dept of Agriculture grant, no doubt.
LOL! I could use one of those... my neighbor has the redneck backyard from hell.
this could be a limited form of altruism i guess, but like the article states, if your genes are passed on you are gaining something.
Maybe, if it’s a John Birch. /rimshot
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