Summary of “The Intelligence of Plants”

“Trees do not have will or intention. They solve problems, but it’s all under hormonal control, and it all evolved through natural selection.” These “Magical” notions of plant intelligence are worrisome, he says, because people “Immediately leap to faulty conclusions, namely that trees are sentient beings like us.”
Writing in The Power of Movement in Plants, he concluded that the root of a plant has “The power of directing the movements of the adjoining parts” and thus “Acts like the brain of one of the lower animals; the brain being seated within the anterior end of the body, receiving impressions from the sense organs and directing the several movements.” Darwin was talking about how plants react to shifts in vibrations, sounds, touch, humidity, and temperature-but these are just adaptive reactions.
Recently, more findings have seemed to support-or at least point toward-a more restrained version of plant intelligence.
Plants may not be capable of identifying murderers in a lineup, but trees share their nutrients and water via underground networks of fungus, through which they can send chemical signals to the other trees, alerting them of danger.
If the plants were just acting evolutionarily, it would follow that they would compete for resources; instead, they seem to be “Thinking” of the other plants and “Deciding” to help them.
If plants can “Learn” and “Remember,” as Gagliano believes, then humans may have been misunderstanding plants, and ourselves, for all of history.
If we respected nature more-the power it has to not only be destroyed by us but to destroy us in turn-would we see more clearly how imbricated we are? Would we be more hesitant about growing plants in monocultures, genetically manipulating them for our pleasure, destroying forests? Would we try harder to protect the environment, if we understood that by protecting plants and trees we are protecting ourselves?
Why not consider that plants have been doing the same for far longer than we have been around, with an intelligence that is radically different from ours?

The orginal article.