A Natural History of Plant Kin Recognition
The hypothesis that plants recognize kin is strongly rooted in evolutionary theory and in the study of plant responses to environmental cues. Both of these fields, in turn, can be traced back to Charles Darwin. Darwin’s approach of the thoughtful, and sometimes controlled, observation of nature is a useful one in approaching a newly found aspect of biology. I outline four studies in different plant species that demonstrate a range of phenomena associated with plant kin recognition, and suggest approaches to understanding the mechanism behind plant kin recognition and the fitness consequences of kin recognition.
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