What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses

What a Plant Knows A Field Guide to the Senses How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut Can an orchid get jet lag Does a tomato plant feel pain when you pluck a fruit from its vines And does your favourite fern care whether you play Bach or

  • Title: What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses
  • Author: Daniel Chamovitz
  • ISBN: 9780374288730
  • Page: 168
  • Format: Hardcover
  • How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut Can an orchid get jet lag Does a tomato plant feel pain when you pluck a fruit from its vines And does your favourite fern care whether you play Bach or the Beatles Combining cutting edge research with lively storytelling, biologist Daniel Chamovitz explores how plants experience our shared Earth through sight, smell, tHow does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut Can an orchid get jet lag Does a tomato plant feel pain when you pluck a fruit from its vines And does your favourite fern care whether you play Bach or the Beatles Combining cutting edge research with lively storytelling, biologist Daniel Chamovitz explores how plants experience our shared Earth through sight, smell, touch, hearing, memory, and even awareness Whether you are a green thumb, a science buff, a vegetarian, or simply a nature lover, this rare inside look at the life of plants will surprise and delight.

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      Posted by:Daniel Chamovitz
      Published :2019-01-24T16:51:30+00:00

    1 thought on “What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses”

    1. Have you ever wondered what plants 'see'? What they 'smell'? What they feel? How come a plant 'knows' when and how to bend towards the light? Does the colour of the light play a role in all this? What about the day and night cycle, do plants have some sort of circadian rhythm? Do plants experience jet lag? How does the plant distinguish between colours? How come a plant can tell that there's a bug on its leaves? If the bug is a dangerous one, how come it 'knows' that and will release chemicals t [...]

    2. Silly rabbit. Plants don’t have a brain or central nervous system – how can they “know” anything? Turns out though, that their cells communicate with electrical currents and contain some of the same neuroreceptors as human cells. Huh? Also, they see. They have photoreceptors on the tips of their shoots that cause the stalks to bend toward light (if you cut off the tip, the rest of the stalk doesn’t bend). And, they smell. Infested trees let off a chemical that bugs don’t like, and tr [...]

    3. If you read this book, even the first few chapters, you will never look at any plant the same again. Before you get too far into the book, you may wonder if the author is not setting you up to join him in a plants' rights campaign. But if you read to the end you will be disabused of such a conclusion. In fact, you will find that such anthropomorphizing is not the purpose of the book. It is simply a book to increase the awareness (a word chosen in harmony with the content of the book) of what pla [...]

    4. I alotted time before spring for this piquing book about how plants, lacking a brain/central nervous system, can sense and process information. My reading just happened to coincide with the special arrival of my niece's baby girl. Maleigha, now 16 days old, was born without a brain (anencephaly), but has a portion of brain stem, which allows her to breathe and have a heartbeat. She is blind and deaf, and will never be able to walk or talk. (Actually I know very little about the condition of anen [...]

    5. A light and moderately enjoyable read, and even though it delves into a fair amount of science ranging from biology, to biochemistry and beyond, it still comes up a little thin. I found myself wanting more. I'm realizing that "more" would have been a greater emphasis on how the research on plant senses: smell, touch, hearing, seeing, etc, relates to the everyday care-taking of plants. In short, a more horticultural bent would have been more interesting to me. Michael Pollan's The Biology of Desi [...]

    6. A fascinating little book. Describes how plants sense things - how they detect and respond to light, touch, smell, sound, and how a plant remembers - with the experiments that led to these conclusions. It describes Darwin's experiment that determined that it is the tip of plants that sense the presence of light. It describes the experiments that determined how ethylene induces ripening, and how the trait evolved as a response to environmental stresses such as drought and as a mechanism to ensure [...]

    7. Really fascinating to ponder what a plant does know - essential reading for anyone who gardens or has house plants or who admires the trees in the park! Sciency but in a very understandable way. Very much recommended.*So the next time you find yourself on a stroll thru a park, take a second to ask yourself: What does the dandelion in the lawn see? What does the grass smell? Touch the leaves of an oak, knowing that the tree will remember it was touched. But it won't remember you. You, on the othe [...]

    8. An engaging read that serves as a great introduction to plant chemical ecology. My only complaint is that I found it to be a little sparse on actual scientific explanation, but I do have a degree in horticulture science. Still, I think this book should be required reading - so few seem to realize that plants are complex organisms that must engage in the types of warfare typically found only in science fiction.

    9. This book isn't overly complex or chock full of "things never known". It *is* brimming with the fascinating! It is very well written and creative and fun. Bonus: It's also an entertaining book to read aloud to kids who are interested in plants. Mine heard the first chapter and would like to hear more. I thank the scientist author for fresh and creative writing that made us ponder and smile.

    10. Despite my everlasting passion for biology and life sciences, I have always been a bit indifferent to plants, despite studying their biology through different stages of my education erefore, this was an interesting read. not because It was new; I found myself skimming through often, because I was familiar with lots of the concepts. what was special about the book was the way he presented it , comparing humans with plants on a cellular level. putting both creatures on the same biological scale wa [...]

    11. Interesting book that outlines briefly the scientific information we have concerning what a plant "feels, sees, hears, thinks, and smells". Those terms are in quotations for a reason. We can only perceive these aspects of a plant's sensory perceptions through our own limited human sensory perceptions. My favorite part of the book was the chapter on what a plant feels (in particular how they feel gravity and their internal circumnutational dance). The book was worth it for the chapters on light a [...]

    12. This is an excellent popular science book. I have no formal biology education, though I am a scientist of sorts, or at least that is what my Ph.D. claims. When I browsed through the list of contents, I got worried. "What a plant sees", "what a plant feels", "what a plant remembers". I do not care for anthropomorphizing, and I was worried this book is one of those insubstantial books about how plants are similar to us so we should care about them. But no worries, this book is the exact opposite.T [...]

    13. I loved this book. Granted, I’m a bit of a plant nerd, but I thought it was pretty easy to understand and a fairly light read overall.

    14. What a Plant Knows is a very brief survey of research into plant senses and awareness: a bare 120 pages divided into sections on sight, hearing, smell, touch, proprioception, and memory. A fascinating subject, to be sure, but too shallowly and sketchily treated. The author writes at an extremely introductory level, thinking it necessary to explain things like what a cell wall is*; all these explanations, along with abundant comparisons between humans and plants, plus the chatty style of the writ [...]

    15. Reviews by others range from 2 to 4. I give 4 Stars because book conveyed information in exactly the way the author intended. The readers giving 2 stars had Bachelor Degrees in Science and thus they thought the book was a bit light in conveying the science behind "What a Plant Knows." But if that science had been included the book would have been too long and too difficult for me. I just wanted to enjoy being amazed at what scientists have discovered and agree upon. I was motivated to read the b [...]

    16. Elegantly expressed overview of current plant research, comparing plant senses and human senses. Debunks some of the ideas expressed in The Secret Life of Plants, at least as they were popularized in the media, and yet in the end saying plants are aware. Disappointingly short, only 141 pages plus 30 pages of notes, index, and acknowledgements. Highly recommended for people who love to read science. Good discussion of epinegenetics, also. Saw it reviewed in Science News, asked the library to orde [...]

    17. Plantas enxergam luz, sentem cheiros, são capazes de notarem e reagirem ao toque, orientam-se pela gravidade e possuem memórias específicas. Tudo isso em um ser sem sistema neurológico ou cérebro e narrado na clássica forma, quase cliché de tão universal em livros de popular science, da apresentação das descobertas em ordem cronológica. O que o livro não realiza, contudo, deixando a reflexão para o leitor, é usar as diferentes maneiras com que uma planta se relaciona com o mundo pa [...]

    18. I'm not even justifying this with another shelf.This sucked. I went into this thinking it would be more than fluff. When really, I didn't learn anything I already kinda knew. (well some things were nifty little tidbits).This didn't warrant a book. So, basically, substance sucked. Idea was pretty cool.

    19. It wasn't a bad book - just v short and didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, which as I'm not a biologist was disappointing. A bit dumbed down

    20. Very enlighteningWell written and logically presented. Very interesting to understand how plants adapt and respond to their environment. As the author points out, humans tend to interpret things using human characteristics. He concludes plants are brainless because they don't have a localized brain- like organ. Perhaps, for plants the "brain" is an organ that is distributed throughout the plant itself and not located in a specific location.

    21. Reading What a Plant Knows reminds me of an episode of Nova, Planet Earth, or SciShow: entertaining, informative, and easy enough for non-science enthusiasts to enjoy. It has just enough experimental data and simplified scientific explanations to expand on each chapter's topic without burying the clueless in a flood of complicated definitions. And the language is clean, so anyone of any age can read it. Many thanks to all the scientists who fact-checked Chamovitz and his editor, Amanda Moon. Ama [...]

    22. This is a short, whimsical book about the life of plants. How does a plant perceive the world? There are three levels of consciousness in humans--anoetic, noetic, and autonoetic--associated with the three levels of memory formation processes--procedural, semantic, and episodic, respectively. In this book, Daniel Chamovitz outlines the perceptions of a plant, one sense at a time, in order to give the reader a sense (convenient pun) for what plants know versus what characteristics we attribute to [...]

    23. What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the SensesDaniel Chamovitz Darwin's Garden!Plants are profoundly different from animals but both share many of the same problems: they both have to survive in a somewhat hostile world, they both have to take in nourishment, expel waste (oxygen) and try to keep from being eaten. This fascinating little book explores the inner life of plants and how they address the Darwinian forces that surround them. The sun provides life giving light for the plant and the pl [...]

    24. Chamovitz's charming book was just that: charming. I kept running into issues with his topic, which at times bordered on the fantastical instead of the scientific. He sites numerous experiments and published studies about plant behavior, but many of them have been debunked or inconclusive. I don't mean to say you can't have a book that sites experiments that didn't work out, but when the topic is about defending plant behavior and you point to a bunch of studies which were never conclusive, it g [...]

    25. Simple explanations on how plants have senses. By revisiting what our senses actually are, versus what we tend to glorify them as, this book argues that plants qualify as being capable of seeing, smelling, etc. Basically, the ability to sense, and react, to different wavelengths qualifies as seeing. An organ dedicated to complex sensing is not necessary. This is how each sense plays out. My favorite, though, is the remembering. Quite a unique thought.In the end, the author touches on the need to [...]

    26. A fascinating little book on how plants are able to sense the environment and react in an intelligible, goal-directed manner. Chamovitz is at pains to distinguish legitimate scientific investigations into plant awareness from typical New Age mumbo-jumbo like The Secret Life of Plants,, which unfortunately soured the legitimacy of seriously studying plant sensation. Chamovitz's book provides a lucid introduction to classic and modern experimentation on plant's sensory abilities going back to Darw [...]

    27. I have never been a fan of botany and I have a complicated relationship with plants in general. But this books is a page turner. Being a vegetarian, I was a bit nervous starting it. The book promised to explain how plants are aware of their environment. So, my reflex was to tag a carrot with feelings and imagine it suffer, while being eaten raw.Thank heavens, I was wrong. The book didn't make me say no to the last bits of real food. Instead, it made me aware of the world of these green things th [...]

    28. Thankfully, this book was not "New-Agey" at all. It is research-driven. I love that the facts are as interesting as fiction. It details similarities (more than I realized existed) between plants and humans without falling into the trap of anthropomorphizing plants. The author uses the human senses as an analog to explain plant responses to environmental stimuli. I feel that these connections are useful in that they help us to understand plants better and to understand ourselves better. The curre [...]

    29. This is an entertaining and educational read! Unlike some books that suggest that plants can talk to you, this book provides a great look at how plants adapt to their environments in ways not entirely dissimilar from the way that people sense their environment. The author is very clever in drawing analogies between sensory processes in people and those in plants. Naturally, plants aren't sentient in the same ways as people (except for some politicians), but the activity of plant cells is electro [...]

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