"Do plants have intelligence? Do they have memory? Are they better problem solvers than people? Plants make up 80 percent of the weight of all living things on earth, and yet it is easy to forget that these innocuous, beautiful organisms are responsible for not only the air we breathe, but for many... Full description
"Do plants have intelligence? Do they have memory? Are they better problem solvers than people? Plants make up 80 percent of the weight of all living things on earth, and yet it is easy to forget that these innocuous, beautiful organisms are responsible for not only the air we breathe, but for many of our modern comforts: our medicine, food, even our fossil fuels. Now, Stefano Mancuso, one of the world's foremost experts on plant neurobiology, reveals the surprisingly sophisticated ability of plants to innovate, to remember, and to learn, highlighting the creative solutions plants offer to the most vexing technological and ecological problems that face us today. Despite not having brains or central nervous systems, plants perceive their surroundings with an even greater sensitivity than animals. They efficiently explore and react promptly to potentially damaging external events thanks to their cooperative, shared systems; without any central command centers, they are able to remember prior catastrophic events and to actively adapt to new ones. [This book] is packed with eye-opening research that makes it more and more clear how remarkable our fellow inhabitants on this planet really are. on this planet really are. Consider the Victoria amazonica, whose leaf arrangement allows it to grow to more than two feet in diameter while floating on water, a unique construction that has inspired the design of numerous landmark human structures, from Victorian London's Crystal Palace to Eero Saarinen's graceful Terminal 5 at New York's JFK airport. Or, the tree genus Acacia in Africa and Latin America, which uses its addictive extrafloral nectar to mobilize an army of ants in its defense against predators, even those as large as an elephant. Or, the Boquila trifoliolata--the most accomplished mimic in nature--a vine that can change the size, shape, and color of its leaves to copy the leaves of the host species it climbs, even mimicking two or three other types of leaves at the same time. Making the complicated science of plants wonderfully accessible, The Revolutionary Genius of Plants opens our minds to a new understanding of life on earth."--Dust jacket.
"Originally published in Italy in 2017 by Giunti Editore S.p.A. as Plant Revolution : le piante hanno già inventato il nostro futuro."
xii, 225 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 205-212) and index.
Stefano Mancuso is one of the world's leading authorities in the field of plant neurobiology, which explores signaling and communication at all levels of biological organization. He is the associate professor at the University of Florence in Italy and has published more than 250 scientific papers in international journals.