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Crown shyness (wikipedia.org)
307 points by unsupported on Aug 12, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 36 comments

Another crown phenomenon https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krummholz

And something that prevents many trees from being grown indoors https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_wood

Trees will lead you down a glorious wikipedia black hole.

What does reaction wood have to do with growing plants indoors?

There's typically no wind indoors.


You could say that you go down a tree of exploration on Wikipedia. https://xkcd.com/214/

This is super interesting. This is the kind of thing I enjoy on HN most, oddly.

You might want to check out "The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate" by Peter Wohlleben. It's an enjoyable book that covers similar topics, also available as an audiobook.

Perhaps somebody else here listens to the Slate politics podcast, where John Dickerson this week spent 4 minutes describing this phenomenon.

There was a bunch of popular posts about it on reddit yesterday. I would bet that is probably the most direct source of this post. Perhaps the podcast inspired the original reddit posters.

That's kind of even cooler, the idea that a 4 minute bit Dickerson did about tree growth patterns could spread so virulently.

Indirect source in my case: http://kottke.org/17/08/the-shyness-of-trees

I heard it on the Gabfest before seeing it here as well.

or Slate politics podcast reads Hacker News via the future, steals their thunder

Apropos of what?

Nothing? It's just interesting to think about.

>Plants are able to sense the proximity of neighbors by sensing backscattered far-red (FR)

Plants can see? I had no idea.

They also can "scream" by giving off a pulse (that humans can't hear) when attacked and can "talk" to each other by giving off chemicals when attacked by insects, thereby warning neighboring relatives to start creating protective chemicals to defend themselves.

> They also can "scream" by giving off a pulse (that humans can't hear) when attacked...

Do you have a source for the ‘scream’ phenomenon?

I am aware of (and was myself misled by) several pop-science books which confusingly tried to compare plants giving off chemicals when attacked with animals screaming. The result was that a skim read would have given one the impression that plants could make sounds inaudible to humans, which was not what was meant.

Trees who suffer from drought apparently give off ultrasound when their dried cells are destroyed, but it seems to attract pests who then finish off the tree: https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Pop+chirp+bite+crunch+chew%3a...

But that's the sound of the tree decaying/dying, not communicating as the GP seemed to imply.

Sorry, no. It was in a textbook from a college class some years ago. I no longer have the textbook and can't tell you more than that.

I will never again feel safe in the woods.

I stopped obsessing about the supposed morality of eating meat after I learned these things. Just because you can't hear your veggies scream doesn't mean they aren't suffering.

(There are lots of really good reasons to limit meat consumption. But, the touchy-feely appeal to "think about the suffering of the animals" is species-ist (for lack of a better word).)

This is getting very off topic, but I think that's a terrible basis for disregarding the ethical argument against eating meat. Why is it "species-ist" to think that mammals and other animals with highly developed nervous systems might have a conscious experience similar to our own (and not plants)?


Oh sorry my cat just wanted to comment on this. Hope it doesn't get downvoted for not being relevant, because he has a 'conscious experience similar to our own'...

The same argument leads a rational person to stop obsessing about the supposed morality of killing humans. The touchy-feely appeal to "think about the suffering of the _humans_" is likewise species-ist

So the rational path takes us to a horrible conclusion. Are you saying it's time to throw out rationality?

I think they're saying that you may have thrown out the baby with the bathwater. If your conclusion horrifies you—doesn't resemble what you were optimizing for—you may be optimizing for the wrong thing. Rationality isn't broken; revisit your optimization criteria. See the paperclip optimizer, the smiles optimizer, etc.

Wow! The gaps look extraordinary. What a weird thing to learn about today!

Looks cool, but didn't you learn that we don't know?

He didn't say anything to the contrary.

What an interesting phenomenon! Thanks for sharing.

Not sure why but this phenomenon is extremely pronounced while tripping on LSD.

An easy answer would be that everything is more pronounced while tripping on LSD

the absence of the phenomenon is not more pronounced.

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