This book provides a convincing argument for the view that whole cells and whole plants growing in competitive wild conditions show aspects of plant behaviour that can be accurately described as 'intelligent'. Trewavas argues that behaviour, like intelligence, must be assessed within the constraints of the anatomical and physiological framework of the organism in question. The fact that plants do not have centralized nervous systems for example, does not exclude intelligent behaviour. Outside the human dimension, culture is thought largely absent and fitness is the biological property of value. Thus, solving environmental problems that threaten to reduce fitness is another way of viewing intelligent behaviour and has a similar meaning to adaptively variable behaviour. The capacity to solve these problems might be considered to vary in different organisms, but variation does not mean absence. By extending these ideas into a book that allows a critical and amplified discussion, the author hopes to raise an awareness of the concept of purposive behaviour in plants.
Oxford University Press
July 23, 2015
About the author
Anthony Trewavas obtained his B.Sc and Ph.D from University College, London in Biochemistry and went to do post doctoral research at the University of East Anglia and the University of Edinburgh, where he became Professor of Plant Biochemistry, as well as undertaking numerous visiting professorships abroad. He has published 250 papers and two books, and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Academia Europea and has been elected as a Life Member of the American Society of Plant Biology.
In Plant Behaviour and Intelligence, Anthony Trewavas challenges us to leave behind our prejudices and view the world from a plant's perspective. Plants, he argues, behave on their own time scale, with their own unique physiology, and solve problems that are equally as complex as those confronting animals. This book represents a treasure trove of fascinating case studies and has the potential to serve as an important resource for plant physiologists and behavioral ecologists alike. - Andrew G. Zink and Zheng-Hui He, Science