Previous studies revealed that at certain levels plants can think, react, and adapt, even though they do not have an actual brain or any form of separate neural network.
Plants and Gambling
Data accumulated from a new study shows, however, that plants are not just able to think. Plants can calculate the highest positive outcome while taking a risk. This means that plants, when compared to humans, have a higher chance of making the better choice in situations of risk.
Hurt pride in regards to our species aside, the researchers believe the data is very useful in understanding plants and their growth. Understanding plant growth leads to better strategies when it comes to agriculture or even terraforming.
Pea plants were used in the study. Researchers divided their roots and individually set them into two different pots of earth. One of the pots always had a consistent amount of nutrients. The second pot sometimes had fewer nutrients than the first and sometimes it had more.
The researchers extensively studied the growth, attempting to discern if there was a clear choice being made by the peas or if was just coincidence. The data they gathered revealed that the plants knew when to take risks and when to play it safe.
Peas with an overall high amount of nutrients in both pots played it safe and focused their growth in the consistent pot. The peas consistently demonstrated that when given the choice between a sure thing or risking it all for the chance of something slightly better, they would always pick the sure thing.
Peas with a low overall amount of nutrients in both pots took the risk and focused their growth in the unpredictable pot. The peas demonstrated that they innately knew it was the smarter choice to take a risk when they found themselves in a bad situation.
Although the study may not seem that impressive, recent sociological studies have repeatedly demonstrated that humans on average will take unnecessary risks in similar situations. Both humans and animals choose not to play it safe when they should.
Researchers will still need some time to apply the data and devise the best plant growth strategy. Until then, perhaps we could employ the innate natural wisdom of the peas and other plants in regards to humanity’s gambling addiction.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.