Bianca Bonato, Umberto Castiello

From firs to garden peas. Stories of ordinary resilience

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: resiliency, vulnerability, plants behaviour, plants cognition.

Plants are sessile, fragile organisms anchored to the ground. At first sight they appear the most vulnerable beings in nature, but, as witnessed by numerous examples, they are extremely resilient. Indeed, evolution has endowed plants with an extraordinary ability of adaptation to the environment despite their seeming fragility. Aside from their structural strengths, which have been taken as a specimen by humans to implement robots and mechanical devices, they provide striking examples of social cognition such as intraspecific and interspecific cooperative behaviours. They take care of their little ones and keep alive tree remnants. Further, they establish mutualistic relations with fungine networks through the wood-wide-web. Over hundreds of thousands of years plants have been able to transform their vulnerability into an extraordinary strength and adaptability. From Douglas firs in North America to pea plants (pisum sativum L.) in the Mediterranean areas they offer us stories of ordinary resilience.

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