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What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses [Format Kindle]

Daniel Chamovitz
4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can it actually feel an insect's tiny, spindly legs? And how do cherry blossoms know when to bloom? Can they actually remember the weather?

For centuries we have collectively marveled at plant diversity and form--from Charles Darwin's early fascination with stems to Seymour Krelborn's distorted doting in Little Shop of Horrors. But now, in What a Plant Knows, the renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz presents an intriguing and scrupulous look at how plants themselves experience the world--from the colors they see to the schedules they keep. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, he takes us into the inner lives of plants and draws parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize. Chamovitz shows how plants know up from down, how they know when a neighbor has been infested by a group of hungry beetles, and whether they appreciate the Led Zeppelin you've been playing for them or if they're more partial to the melodic riffs of Bach. Covering touch, sound, smell, sight, and even memory, Chamovitz encourages us all to consider whether plants might even be aware of their surroundings.

A rare inside look at what life is really like for the grass we walk on, the flowers we sniff, and the trees we climb, What a Plant Knows offers us a greater understanding of science and our place in nature.


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4.7 étoiles sur 5
4.7 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The plant senses, complex and fascinating 25 juillet 2014
Par Clém
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Very good book, it reminds us that these immobiles organisms are actually active all the time to search the light, fight against pathogens or warn the neighbours when herbivores attack, etc. The author makes great comparisons with human senses without any anthropomorphic ideas. The explanations are easy to understand even for non-specialists.
Pour les francophones, le texte est clair et facile à comprendre !
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 A palnt knows more than you expect 14 octobre 2013
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I found this a delightful book. It focusses on the senses and has a look on what plants have to do for each of them. It is a scientific work with many surprising facts. I was also happy that the myth of the "plants listening to mozart" was finally debunked.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Plants as Beings 26 janvier 2014
Par RAM
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
An exceptional book perfect for anyone who loves plants and should be read by those who don't because it might change their minds.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  150 commentaires
65 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting topic, informative, scientific, but sometimes hard to understand 14 juin 2012
Par J. M. Lawniczak - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Nonscientists with an interest in plants, such as gardening enthusiasts, should read this book. It appears to be very scientifically based, indeed the noted popular science magazine, Scientific American, is the publisher. The theme is how plants sense and respond to their environment. The book thus explores how plants "feel" light and respond to it. Also discussed is plants' reaction to touch, as well as other stimuli. The book can be understood by the nonscientist, though there are parts that became a little too technical for me. In addition, the organization is a bit off and sometimes chapters seem to end in what I thought should have been the middle of a discussion, leaving me waiting, in vain, for more.

This book works very well in the Kindle version. There are footnotes, but tapping takes the reader back and forth. A real plus on a tablet connected to the Internet is that several of the footnotes have direct links to You Tube videos that actually show a short video picture of the described event. What book can do that? For example, there is a picture of the American dodder weed plant growing into a tomato plant to feed on it. The video of the Venus fly trap closing in on a fly and then on a frog is also very worthwhile. On the other hand, some of the links have hyphens in them, probably as they were in the book form, and this means that the links don't work and you have to go to a website and type in the link directly.

All in all a very interesting book, with some minor flaws that led me to give it four instead of five stars.
32 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Beautifully Sophisticated Sensory Life of Plants 12 juillet 2012
Par Smith's Rock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
What a Plant Knows is a rare and beautiful piece of science journalism. Author Daniel Chamovitz's writing threads a needle with an aperture so fine that it is only rarely successfully accomplished: in elegantly simple language that is accompanied by a gentle sense of humor and deep integrity, he guides the reader to a new door of knowledge in a fashion that guarantees one will step through it. And once he/she steps through it, the reader's appreciation of what a plant can sense and remember (yes, remember, in a very specific sense) will be irrevocably altered.

This is not a dry and dusty tome. Though the phrase "I read it in a single sitting" more commonly applies to fictional thrillers (e.g. The DaVinci Code), it's applicable occasionally in science writing, and it's applicable to What a Plant Knows. Chamovitz, is a natural born teacher. When the reader wants to know "How the heck does a plant know which way is up, and which way is down?", Chamovitz refuses to plop the final answer out in one paragraph, instead, teasing the reader along the actual historical pathway that elucidates what we now know. And in so doing, he brings the full beauty of any given aspect of plant biology into focus, but ALSO brings to light the beauty and power of science that is well done; science done by people with a careful but insatiable need to know; science done by people whose need to be accurate exceeds their desire to prove their own theory right.

Chamovitz has the startling belief that the unvarnished truth is more fascinating than hyperbole, and hence What a Plant Knows is completely absent the hype and goofiness of The Secret Lives of Plants. You won't, after reading this book, find yourself crooning your favorite songs to your tomato plants (plants, Chamovitz convincingly demonstrates, really are deaf). But despite the fact that Chamovitz eschews sensationalism, what he says about the sensory life of plants, and what a plant can "know" and "remember" (the author very carefully defines what he means by those terms) is indeed both fascinating and sensational.

The book is just plain fun. Besides getting to learn terrific words like statoliths (essential for a plant to know which way is up, which is down), Chamovitz ups the relevancy factor multiple notches by linking the knowledge he presents to the reader with real life applications. He, for example, lets us know just how it is that flower growers get boat loads of chrysanthemums to bloom just in time for Mother's Day. Growers of Northern California's inhalable cash crop use this knowledge in what they call their "light dep" (light deprivation) season.

Plants, front and center, are the rock stars of this fascinating book. But also in starring roles are the folks that quietly, carefully, and with determination, track down the truth about the way our world works: scientists. They look good in this book. And so does science. Chamovitz's gentle, firm, funny, exploration of what tricks that plants have up their sheaves is full of integrity and passion. Treat yourself to it.
28 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 You'll find yourself looking at your plants differently 2 juillet 2012
Par David Lee Heyman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
As I was reading this book I couldn't help thinking back to my days in high school reading Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher. Both books are written with real science explained in a way that anyone can relate to and understand. In What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses, Daniel. Chamovitz goes over the basic senses we relate to as humans (sight, touch, taste, smell, etc) and shows us how plants use similar functions in different ways. He explains why plants grow towards the light. We learn how plants understand they have been turned upside down and ensure that their roots continue to grow downward while their stalk grows upward. Daniel Chamovitz explains these phenomenon using examples and language that anyone from a high school student to a grandparent can easily understand. This book will become a classic for high school biology classes. It could be the handbook for many biology teachers that want to teach their students through reenactments of early botanical experiments. I highly recommend this book and anxiously await future books from the author.
26 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Plants are the key! 8 juillet 2012
Par ClaireK - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I first heard about this book from Robert Krulwich's blog (...) and immediately came to amazon and bought it. I have long been a proponent of the idea that plants with 475 million years of evolution behind them might be way more advanced than we humans expect. Chamovitz goes through what we humans recognize as our five senses and relates how plants have (or don't have) similar experiences. He also includes memory and proprioception (knowing where you are in space). I found the writing clear, engaging and understandable. He also includes links to on-line videos where you can see this stuff in action. I personally continue to wonder what senses plants have that we humans don't recognize. I bet they are formidable. If you are interested in plants, this is a book well worth reading! It opens up a whole new perspective.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 You might think twice about what's growing in your garden... 19 septembre 2012
Par Salix Alba - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is a short book but very informative. You don't have to be schooled in botany to understand it. After reading this, you might think twice about what's growing in your garden or in the forest behind your home. Each chapter is dedicated on what a plant senses and provides research. That's right--a plant can sense. It can actually feel you touching it, and even' smell' aromas in the air. It even possesses a kind of memory. Whether you're just curious on the subject, or someone who loves to garden, or studying botany...this is a great book to have.
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