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Trees with “Crown Shyness” Mysteriously Avoid Touching Each Other
#1
Trees with “Crown Shyness” Mysteriously Avoid Touching Each Other

Quote:If you look up toward certain types of towering trees—including eucalyptus, Sitka spruce, and Japanese larch—you may notice a unique phenomenon: the uppermost branches don't touch. Known as “crown shyness,” this natural occurrence results in rupture-like patterns in the forest canopy that seem to perfectly outline the trees' striking silhouettes.

Since scientists first started studying the topic in the 1920s, crown shyness has been observed between trees of the same and different species in locations across the globe. Regardless of tree type or environment, crown shyness appears to always culminate in the same aesthetic, characterized by gaps that resemble meandering channels, zig-zagging cracks, and winding rivers.

While no one is quite sure why certain trees exhibit this unique behavior, several hypotheses have been presented by numerous scientists....
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"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
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#2
Maybe they're just like people who don't like being touched, and who respect the similar wishes of others? Is there any reason why a tree couldn't feel just like a human with respect to the firm wish, "Hey, don't touch me, man"?
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#3
(08-17-2017, 10:11 PM)Laird Wrote: Maybe they're just like people who don't like being touched, and who respect the similar wishes of others? Is there any reason why a tree couldn't feel just like a human with respect to the firm wish, "Hey, don't touch me, man"?

Sure, I too like the idea of trees having personalities! Big fan of Tolkien's Ents in that regard. :-)

I guess the interesting question to me is how awareness of other trees is known? Potentially a field effect? Of course "field" is just a placeholder word for data points AFAICTell so I think what we're really asking about is the Boundary of Experiencing Subjects.
"Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

  -Thomas Browne
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#4
(08-17-2017, 10:22 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Sure, I too like the idea of trees having personalities! Big fan of Tolkien's Ents in that regard.

Nice!

(08-17-2017, 10:22 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I guess the interesting question to me is how awareness of other trees is known? Potentially a field effect? Of course "field" is just a placeholder word for data points AFAICTell so I think what we're really asking about is the Boundary of Experiencing Subjects.

Yes, it's a good question. Plants in general seem to be able to "see" without eyes. A striking example of this is in a video posted by Michael Pollan: Plant Neurobiology - Commentary - The New Yorker . I disagree with his conclusion: that "mood" (etc) is "merely metaphorical" when applied to plants, but otherwise it's a fascinating video.
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#5
Laird Wrote:Yes, it's a good question. Plants in general seem to be able to "see" without eyes. A striking example of this is in a video posted by Michael Pollan: Plant Neurobiology - Commentary - The New Yorker . I disagree with his conclusion: that "mood" (etc) is "merely metaphorical" when applied to plants, but otherwise it's a fascinating video.

Fascinating video. I expected the second plant to grab the same pole but it just gave up. How did it know that it had lost the race?
"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ― C.G. Jung
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#6
(08-17-2017, 11:17 PM)Kamarling Wrote: How did it know that it had lost the race?

That's the million-dollar question... the video suggests to me that plants have senses that either we don't, or that lie dormant within us.
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#7
It's always interesting that those that gravitate towards immaterialism assume the answers lie therein. This response between trees is a purely natural response likely chemical (allelopathic, (sp.)) in origin. Many plants secrete chemicals as protective defense. An example is the creosote plant which through the use of cresote creates a barren area around itself preventing competition from othe plant species. Many plants exhibit this defense mechanism.
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#8
(08-19-2017, 12:56 PM)Steve001 Wrote: It's always interesting that those that gravitate towards immaterialism assume the answers lie therein. This response between trees is a purely natural response likely chemical (allelopathic, (sp.)) in origin. Many plants secrete chemicals as protective defense. An example is the creosote plant which through the use of cresote creates a barren area around itself preventing competition from othe plant species. Many plants exhibit this defense mechanism.

Do plants defend from other plants of the same species? As you say they do it for competing with other species...
I agree the phenomen is likely to be organic/chemical, though you assert it to be purely so. Care to back that up with actual evidence?

cheers
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#9
Certainly not all tree species exhibit this behavior. I have acres of trees of varying ages and they have no problem mixing in the canopy.

Also people have studied vining plants like peas or morning glory and many of these vining plants can sense which way to grow to encounter something to grip onto. I'm guessing these trees have some similar sense.

I tend to agree with Steve001 on this one. Probably some chemical or other process that alerts the plants to the nearness of other plants.
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#10
(08-19-2017, 01:44 PM)Bucky Wrote: Do plants defend from other plants of the same species? As you say they do it for competing with other species...
I agree the phenomen is likely to be organic/chemical, though you assert it to be purely so. Care to back that up with actual evidence?

cheers

I only asserted what is known. The creosote plant for one.  Look up allopathic interaction in plants. All plants don't. The point I am making is not to first look for metaphysical explanations.
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