Plant (and fungal?)... behaviour? A future part of naturalist obeservation?

Sure, it’s still a controversial subject that some refuse to even label as ‘behaviour’.

But as more and more research evidence grows to support the idea of non-animal life responding, and interacting and perhaps communicating about changes in their environment through non-neurological channels, will we some day be including these signals and their observable clues as part of the data?

I think because at best, this phenomena has traditionally been thought of as a ‘long-game’ type of signal system, that no one gave much thought to this possibility. But what if it turns out that things are moving much quicker than we imagined? And even if the response is something more in-between–should we be taking note?

Has anyone else here ever given much thought about this or observed something already that made them wonder of the possibilities?

Would love to hear some stories, and discussion.

Um… no rush.

1 Like

I firmly believe the plants all move with intent. The beeches smack at the pines. I have a smoke bush that has trimmed the tops of the rose of Sharon. I suggest indoor grow rooms have a camera; you’ll see individual plants waving about…remember that for the most part they move at the speed of tree…


Probably could become an observation field, but would be very niche. Can’t think of many times I’d use it.
Some lichens build defensive structures to protect against other nearby fungi’s chemical warfare. Kind of also long game though, the barriers don’t come and go overnight.

1 Like

This sort of thing has been a part of research into botany and fungi for a very long time. It’s not a new thing.

We’ve known that trees and other plants communicate warnings to each other and rapidly respond to them for many decades.

Predatory plants and predatory fungi have been studied for centuries, with recognition that some of their responses are astoundingly rapid, especially in the case of nematode hunting fungi and bladderworts and waterwheel plants.

In recent decades the complexity of communication and relationships has taken on new light as we see that mycelial networks connect plants of the same (and different) species to each other and facilitate nutrient transport, water, and warning signals, but again it’s not exactly new, it’s a refinement and addition to long established knowledge.

We’ve established that certain plants have memory and learning, something that’s likely more widespread than the few species we’ve studied so far. Same thing with fungi.

Yes, in the future more interactions and behaviors of plants and fungi will be worked out and detailed, but they are already a part of current observations and already the subject of studies.

Our understanding of the complexity and breadth has been lacking, but that’s slowly increasing.


Maybe long-game observation could be a real project for expanding natural appreciation.

If a group (School? Family? Community? Business?) actively committed to a multi-year (decade? generation?) observation schedule, it could generate a great foundation for growth in citizen level appreciation and awareness. I think that there are already some examples out there working along these long timelines.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.