The ability to store information in the memory and know how to use it to one’s advantage is not unique to humans and animals, but also to plants.
In fact, many plants are able to learn and store information memory.
Trees with memory
This is demonstrated for the first time by an experiment carried out at the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology of the University of Florence and described in an article published in the latest issue of the scientific journal „Oecology“ („Experience teaches plants to learn faster and forget slower in environments where it matters „). Stefano Mancuso, responsible for the LINV, together with the researchers of the University of Western Australia, Monica Gagliano, Michael Renton and Martial Depczynski, subjected to stimuli of various nature some plants of ‚Mimosa pudica‘, a shrub that closes its leaves as soon as it is disturbed , demonstrating the ability to distinguish between different stimuli and to store information for long periods of time. „The ‚Mimosa pudica‘ is a small plant of tropical origin, now quite common even at our latitudes, which has long been studied for its reaction to disturbing stimuli says Stefano Mancuso, associate of Arboricolturagenerale and tree crops of the Department of In-depth analysis of agri-food production and environmental sciences of the University of Florence – His immediate and visible reaction allowed us to study the responses to various types of stress, both dangerous, such as contact with an insect, and harmless. We have trained the plants to ignore a non-dangerous stimulus, the fall of the vessel in which they are grown from a height of 15 centimeters, repeating the experience – explains the researcher – After some repetitions the mimosa plants have no longer closed the leaves , saving energy among other things – adds the researcher – By raising the plants in two separate groups, with different light availability, it was possible to demonstrate that those grown at lower light levels, and therefore with less energy, learn more in a hurry of those that have more – explains Mancuso – As if they didn’t want to waste resources. The plants – specifies the researcher – have kept memory of the experiences for over 40 days ”.