Theory of ‘Smart’ Plants May Explain the Evolution of Global Ecosystems
It's easy to think of plants as passive features of their environments, doing as the land prescribes, serving as a backdrop to the bustling animal kingdom.
But what if the ecosystems of the world take their various forms because plant "decisions" make them that way? A new theory presented by Princeton University researchers in the journal Nature Plants suggests that in some cases that may be exactly what happens. In one of the first global theories of land-biome evolution, the researchers write that plants may actively behave in ways that not only benefit themselves but also determine the productivity and composition of their environs.